I've had to learn on the fly how to make the morning routine run as smoothly as possible. And I'll do whatever it takes. When the older kids were smaller, it was competition: who could get dressed first, who could get to the car first. It helped to propel them to where I needed them to be by a certain time so we could get downtown, or wherever else we had to be, on time and with little or no whining, complaining or insubordination.
I've learned this week that GK needs a task. It seems to take her mind off of the fact that her mother isn't in the house and that she's about to be left someplace. So she now spends the mornings delivering and fetching things. She seems to enjoy taking the kids their lunch boxes and I parcel them out one by one. She runs, calling out to them with their box in hand, "S! Your lunchbox!" When that's done I have her go get a brush or her shoes or whatever else I can think of.
This week has been rough, though increasingly better, and today was just beautiful. She did her various duties at home, chattered all the way to the big kids' school and then no crying when I dropped her off. Finally.
When I left her she was chattering away to one of her favorite teachers, Miss S, saying, without stopping or breathing, "That my lunchbox, My bag, My mommy's name is Kristy, My pants, My shoes, Saw a rat in the kitchen ... "
Of course, this is the start of the weekend, so she has a couple of days to forget all about how much she doesn't mind being left. But I imagine each day and each week will get easier and easier. I have a good imagination.