I'm funny with a schedule. I hate it when my day planner is looking empty. I wonder what's wrong. But I hate it when it's full. I long for the freedom of an empty planner. I love having things scheduled, but I hate having to do them. And I have always had a deep hatred of routines. The r-word. Routine = boring. Zzzzzzzz.
When the girls were just babies, I called our approach to parenting "zen parenting." It wasn't up to us to tell them when to eat, when to sleep, when to whatever. We let their little clocks set the schedule. Never would I wake a sleeping baby during the night to sleep -- they ain't kidding when they said let a sleeping baby lie (they did say that didn't they?). I would watch other make their schedules around nap times. My girls would take cat naps in the car if needed. And they would sleep when they were tired, not when I laid them down. This counted for bedtime too.
Well, zen parenting as a philosophy was golden for the first four or so years. And then came kindergarten. Holy crap was I unprepared for waking up a 5 year old to get her out the door to be at school by 8 a.m. Zen parenting was biting me in the ass.
Now, as we're starting to get into the swing of first grade, I found myself aching for a routine. The stars aligned to make our lives difficult for the first few weeks of school. Short notice without our babysitter for the second week (and my first week of teaching), illness set in on week 3, my dad rode into town over Labor Day weekend and stayed through week 4, week 5 might have actually been normal -- but by that point we didn't know what normal was. Then more family came into town -- they didn't stay with us, but it meant more out-of-the-house time than normal. Of course, before long there was a day off for a teacher work day, giving us one of those blessed short weeks. But I think as we go into this three-week stretch of actual five-day weeks, we might finally figure out just what our routine is.
Oh blessed routine, don't let us down.
I didn't realize that having children would make me such a square. But sure enough, I'm at the point where I'm regularly offended by what I see around me. And I'm not just talking about girls jumping on trampolines on "The Man Show." (Is that even still on???)
No, it doesn't take something so blatant to horrify me these days. A simple magazine cover will do. Take that recent People with Britney Spears and her boy and his daughter. The way the whole piece was presented was, "BZ meets her honey's babies for the first time." She's playing the part of evil stepmother beautifully. Big camera smile, laughing and being sweet to the girl while daddy and the media are around. The picture just looks so manufactured, stiff. As though the first time you meet your future stepmother is not awkward enough for any child, imagine having it captured on film for the whole (celebrity-loving) world to see.
Not to get all Dr. Laura on you, but this man's ex-girlfriend just popped out another baby of his, there was a picture inside the magazine of the two, and the caption read something like, "She's adjusting ... " How exactly do you adjust to the fact that you just gave birth to a baby, and your baby's daddy is off taking your other daughter to People magazine shoots with her stepmom? What does that birth announcement look like? "Mommy, Daddy and Stepmommy (and People Magazine) are pleased to announce the birth of ... "
Slow down, people. I'm not speaking as the product of a few divorces and other relationships gone bad. I'm thinking of the children. Hey, I could be wrong and the whole gang could live happily ever after. I'd like
to be wrong, but somehow I doubt I am.
She might just be 6 years old, but she is already a teenager. Max just came to ask me to help her spell "knock first," so she could tape that message to her door. I at least advised her to add "please" to the sign.
Last night she wanted us to knock first because she was dancing to Disney Jams in there. Today, I don't know what she plans on doing.
I told her that I would help her spell it, but I reminded her that Mommy and Daddy will always have no-knock entry privileges.
Does this mean that I will be really in over my head in another 7 or so years??