Four Steps to School Morning Sanity

Four Steps to School Morning Sanity

As a parent who works from home, the responsibility to get my daughter ready for school, provide breakfasts, lunches, and transportation falls to me. Before Gracie hit school-age, I remember thinking that parents who complained incessantly about their trials and tribulations over just getting their kids out the door each morning were, apparently, a bunch of whiners.

Then my daughter started school. And, apparently, I’m a whiner.

By the time she was up, dressed, fed, and in the car that first week, it would not be uncharitable to say that my kitchen looked like a dozen drunken monkeys had a food fight.

Now, I’ve been a professional chef most of my life. My entire day revolves around my ability to plan and organize my kitchen, so everything is done the right way, at the right time, every time. That first week? Not so much. At 6 a.m. the alarm would go off, and I’d hop out of bed thinking, “OK, plenty of time! I’ll whip up some scrambled eggs with veggies, maybe a little bacon, toast some bread, pour some orange juice…” By 7:15 I’m having a psychotic episode, flinging cold mini bagels with what would turn out to be jalapeno pepper jelly, in my daughter’s general direction, trying to stem the waterfall of orange-juice cascading from the table, and screaming through a haze of bacon smoke, “For the last time…yes, you have to wear shoes! Now hurry up and meet me in the car!”

*Note to Newbies: Never, ever, agree to “meet them in the car.” Your vehicle’s tags will expire long before they finally wander out the door, like tiny disheveled zombies, and shamble away into the morning on little bare feet.

To read more, pick up a copy of the October 2018 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

Perry P. Perkins is a third-generation chef, award-winning writer, and culinary instructor. He lives with his family in Longview, and operates the MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, for at-risk and under-served youth. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including sixteen “Chicken Soup for the Soul” anthologies. He is also a reoccurring guest-chef on AM Northwest. More of Perry’s work can be found on Amazon at, and his cooking blog at

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