before marty went back to work, she took care of getting the kids to school. the one battle i heard more than any other took place over shoes, namely, where are they? i could describe to you the variety of places missing shoes had been found but (a) the internet does not have enough space for the inventory and (b) you wouldn't believe me anyway (e.g. one time the left and right shoe weren't even in the same zip code). i had learned years earlier to keep my parental observations and suggestions to myself so i never said a word about the ongoing battles over shoes in the morning.
instead, when marty went back to work and i took over the morning duties, i sat my two boys, then 5 and 8, down on the front step in the foyer where we would be putting the finishing touches on leaving the house and gave them the new rules.
when i call out 'wheels up' i expect both of you to head to the foyer, get your shoes, backpack, and coats if necessary, on and be ready to walk out the door with two minutes. if you cannot find your shoes within sixty seconds of me asking you to find your shoes, you will lose one week of screen-time.
in the two full years i've taken the boys, each of the boys have only mis-placed their shoes once. the above picture shows anthony on the day he couldn't find his. the rain boots reveal part of the reason it is so important they know where their shoes are, because when you only have one pair, you really, really need to know where they are.