For me, everything stiffens with age

Things get out of whack. The baby's not taking her third nap all the time. The preschooler is fighting bedtime, with endless pleas for water, indiscriminate whining and "I don't know how to close my eyes".

It takes a while for me to figure this out. I cling to my old schedule. But it was working so well, these past few months! That last phrase is my first clue. It's been months since a change in schedule. I'm attached. The kids are moving on.

So we take a look at our schedule with fresh eyes. We cut out the baby's third nap entirely. We make the preschooler's dinner and bedtime earlier and cut back on desserts and sweets in general. Our whole afternoon is rejiggered and I stumble around for the first week trying to figure out how to make dinner and keep the baby awake and happy and get the bedtimes moving quicker and after a few weeks.....SUCCESS! LOOKIEME! I BE FLEXIBLE! Only two naps a day FOR SURE and a much happier baby. The preschooler stops whining at bedtime and goes happily to sleep without any labored demonstrations about how one moves one's own eyelids so as to facilitate that RUMORED thing they call SLEEP.

And it goes on working in that way for weeks, months.

*Big pat on my own VERY FLEXIBLE (if arthritic) back*

Until it doesn't any more. The baby isn't always taking her first nap. The preschooler is whining and fighting bedtime.

And here I am, still clinging to THE SCHEDULE! It was working! What HAPPENED??

While the kids are adapting to new seasons, have new needs, new developmental stages to go through, I am still clinging to the old season, the old needs, the old developmental stages.

Same old, same old.


Hillary said...

Oh man. Isn't that truth? The Lad's schedule still changes every other day, and after months of being so used to The Boy's schedule, the constant flux is killing me. One day, I'm so very zen about dealing with wake-ups and feedings whenever they come. The next, I'm telling my three-month-old to just get with the program, would you?

Swistle said...

Ha, this is great! ME TOO.

Anonymous said...

I was just whining to my husband about this last night. But we did so well for a week! Why must we change to something new!?

Gina said...

Can you imagine how much easier parenting would be if they just stayed in a holding pattern for more than a few months...

Right now our baby is also choosing to drop his 1st nap some days - which is fine with me. It the days when he just can't stay awake and then opts to take two, 20 minute naps - or "crap naps" as they are referred to around here that drive me crazy. And the 3 year old is always "a little bit hungry" or so he says right before quiet time and bedtime. The other day he even moaned dramatically, "I'm starving!"

Marie Green said...

Our entire household falls into utter chaos- several times a year- and each time it takes me a L-O-N-G time to figure out what happened. And then each time, it's like a BRAND NEW lightbulb goes off in my head.

Fast forward 3 months... WTF is wrong with these children?????

Which is to say ME TOO!

Grateful Twin Mom said...

I echo everyone's sentiments. Usually goes in a 3 to 6 month pattern--just long enough for me to get complacent. And the funniest part about it is that I'm always so shocked when it changes. How could this have happened? Well, 'cause it just does. You know that cliche saying, "Nothing is life is constant except change?".......

Good Enough Mom said...

Did you read Vygotsky's theory about the zone od proximal development when you were a psych major? It's all about windows of growth potential in kids...I was just saying to a friend last week that there should be a theory about MOMMY zones of development, since we're really the ones having to constantly stretch and grow and push through to the next phase!

Hmmm...maybe your blog will inspire me to write more about this!

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