8/29/2013

The epitome of life for a mom in the suburbs & a miracle discovery.

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Did you know that a consistent schedule is maybe the best thing you can do for your toddler? Maybe that little fact is in the imaginary "how to raise your child right" manual that I wish was sitting on my nightstand. But somehow, all on my own, without google or therapists or my mother or any of those go-to children advice options, I figured it out.

We have been working with mister J on the things he is struggling with, like maybe some moodiness and some difficulty controlling his emotions. You know, typical toddler stuff I suppose. I have been given advice lately that has shown us huge improvment, and then one night as I sat in bed I thought to myself, you really need to put him on a good, consistent schedule.

Are you bored to death yet? So sorry, bear with me.

So I had this idea which pushed me to pull out my handy dandy yellow and black plaid notebook from college, the one that I use for random things such as documenting the food I ate that week or penning ideas on what sewing projects I'd like to get done or writing down a workout schedule when I'm motivated even though I know it will change in two days.

In this my random notes notebook, I labled a page: Jace's Schedule and added a long squiggly line to seperate the title from the main page, as I always do. It then followed with his new routine, starting with breakfast at 8:00 every morning. In segments I put activity times, play time, screen time, story time, nap time, outside time, bath time. The usual things, but now on a schedule like a job. Turns out that it was the most genius thing I have ever done, except maybe for the time that I glued two pennys to the bottom of my pinewood derby car on a whim and ended up taking the trophy for first place. That was pretty genius, you know, for a 14 year old girl. (what, you thought only boy scouts did pinewood derby??)

I told the hubs all about the schedule I made, reading it to him while we lay in bed that night. "And then from 10:00 to 11:45 we have an outside activity, like the library or the park. And then we come home for lunch at noon. And then we have story time at 12:30, because you know how J has been fighting his naps lately? I think thirty minutes of story time will really help him go down easier..."

And the hubs heard this: "Blah blah blah, me me me, Jace Jace Jace, boring boring boring...." while he nodded along and pretended to listen. But I didn't mind, because sometimes it's nice to tell people things even though you know they don't really care. And why is that?

Anyway. Since I wrote the schedule, I have been a mother nazi of sorts, albeit a very sweet one, but the kind that makes sure we always stay on track. If Jace wants to sleep in, I wake him up instead to make sure we are at the kitchen table at 8:00 munching on our toast. And I avoid any activites that will leave us out past 7:30 at night, because we must be in the bath washing right at 7:30!

Do you know what has happened since I've implemented this schedule? MIRACLES, friends, THAT'S WHAT. Such miracles as I've never seen before! Not in my two year old, anyway.

My son, he doesn't fight to sit at the table and eat his breakfast. He knows what's coming! And when I say, "Okay bubba, time to get dressed and brush our teeth!" He follows me upstairs while holding my hand and I am dumbfounded. Right down to bathtime, when after we lotion up he laughs while I put him in pj's instead of resisting, and he happily brushes his own teeth instead of me holding him down while he screams so I can brush them, and then he climbs in bed all on his own for his five minutes of ipad time, counting down with me at every number of minutes left before it will be time for lights out.

Can you believe these miracles?? If you told me a month ago that they would happen, I would laugh in your naive face. But THEY ARE HAPPENING and I am left wondering, who is this boy?!

All I know is that I wish I had learned about this consistent routine/schedule miracle earlier. I imagine it's a lot his personality, but who knew that all he needed to aide in some of that toddler moodiness was a routine?!

I mean, we're not perfect but. Life is so much easier. So. Much.

ALSO, while we are here. If you had told me last week that this week we would have our parkstrip finished, I would have also laughed but not been so suprised because, have you met my husband? He is sort of this OCD guy who is always working on the next project and getting it done in record speeds.

Monday he says all nonchalantly, should we do the parkstrip? And he tells me all about the cost of rocks and the kind of plastic we need and "but do we really need plastic? because I googled it, and some people said..." and then he finished with something that explained to me how a car engine runs and why we have to change our oil. But I mostly heard "blah blah blah, boring boring boring..." You know, an eye for an eye, right?

Well the next thing I know we have loads of rocks lining the streets, waiting to be shoveled into their appropriate places. Then Tuesday evening we have brothers over to help lay plastic and shovel, and by the time I drive home from work on Wednesday, TWO DAYS since the hubs even BROUGHT UP THE IDEA, the parkstrip is DONE.

So, let's just say this has been a good week for us all.

I love these boys of mine you guys. I LOVE THEM so much that it all wells up inside of me and threatens to explode at any given time. Sometimes I sit back in awe and wonder what the heck I ever did to deserve such a grand life with such grand people in all corners of it.

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