Around here, a good sense of humor goes a long way. My days start off by the baby, 20 months, waking me up (his bed is right next to my bed). I then do my morning tasks, like changing the baby, bathing the baby, reading to the baby, feeding the baby, getting myself dressed and such someplace in there, and then getting my three older children up (8yo, 8yo, 11yo). They do their chores while I make breakfast. When breakfast is on the table and the baby is safely belted in the booster, I go and get my 7yo son from is bedroom.
Ding Dong! His door alarm sounds. I get a little breath knocked out of me by the smell of the feces beneath the mattress, on the mattress, in the closet, and/or on the walls. "Good Morning!," I say cheerfully with smiling eyes. He says good morning and smiles a genuine smile. He crawls out from under the blankets, completely nude because he cannot have clothing in his bedroom because it's too much to wash everytime he goes in there. He gets to the door and throws up his hands and exclaims, "Stick'em up!" He follows me across the hall to the bathroom, where I soap him and rinse him in the shower. I had to have him hold his hands in the air because he would touch all of the walls on the way to the tub and get feces and urine all over them every time he came out of his room. Too much to constantly clean. That was months ago, but every time we get to the tub he's still giggling about cops and robbers. It's funny to him. I enjoy it with him since it's one of the few positive connections I can get with him.
Then I watch him potty. If I don't watch, he'll pee on the floor, shower curtain or toilet paper. Or he might try to pry the toilet paper fixture from the wall (again). Or he might rub urine on his body so he can sneakily wipe it on me or one of the other children later.
Then I put toothpaste on his toothbrush and remind him to wash his hands. He might forget that he needs to rinse them. He might forget that he needs to look at his hands while washing them so he can know where he needs to scrub and if all of the soap is gone. Then I remind him to brush his front teeth too. Sometimes I just have to tell him that he did not brush his teeth clean and encourage him to try better next time because cavities hurt.
Then he gets to grab his clothes that he left by his door before going into his bedroom. Wait for him to get dressed. Walk him to the breakfast table. Have him do whatever time out that he would not do the night before. Finally, breakfast.
Every morning. And every morning, I tell him that I am going to choose to love him today. I am going to love him by washing him, cleaning up after him, giving him enough food, giving him enough clothing, teaching him, and keeping him safe. I am going to do that for him because it is God's work. There is nothing my 7 yo ds can do to change that.