Location: Colorado, United States

    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Be careful what you wish for

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.

posted by Laura at 9:31 PM |


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