Saturday, August 20, 2011

Can't we all just get along?

  Stonehenge may or may not be a calendar, but it works for me here.

One part of my crazy mind wants to just go with the flow.  The other part wants to have an entirely structured day.  Can they coexist? 

For me, not every day is exactly the same, but for the most part every Monday is similar to the last one.  The same can be said of the rest of the days of the week, save the weekend.  It's not even really remotely the case for Saturday and Sunday. 

The truth is this - the part of my day, when I'm at work, is very structured.  Not because someone's told me it has to be that way, but because I've come to find how much I enjoy knowing what I have to do and when I'll do it. 

I'm very good at reacting to the curve balls that are thrown at me, but I prefer to hit the fastballs.   

When I'm at home, the only thing consistent about our routine is the inconsistency. 

Here is what I have come to understand about myself:  I prefer more structure for larger items and less for the smaller ones. 

The girls have the same bed time routine every night.  Nap time and bath time follow the same rules.  Meals are planned at about the same time everyday.  Those are my big items.  Everything else is small.

Seems simple, right?

Not always.

On Sunday, Julia wanted to take the girls for a walk at a local nature preserve. It was a beautiful day, but I knew we had just under one hour before they should start eating their next meal.  My mind started to plan the outing:
  • 30 minutes of total drive time to and from our destination 
  • 20 minutes to walk the mile loop
  • 10 minutes to prepare their food for dinner
  • 10 minutes to cover the miscellaneous events such as loading and unloading the car, changing diapers, and such.

We couldn't do it.  There just wasn't enough time. 

I put my foot down.  Then I put my other foot down.  I kept putting one in front of the other as we walked the mile loop.

I could feel myself getting frustrated.  I had a master plan and things were not going according to this plan.  What the cuss?

                                                                           Fantastic Mr. Fox - what a great movie.

Dinner would be late, which would result in added fussiness (for both Papa and toddlers), which would then cause dinner to take a lot longer than it should.  This would throw off the rest of the night, and possibly do the same for every other occurrence that would ever take place in my life from this point forward. 

My life was ruined.

Can you guess what happened? 

I was wrong - again.  Maybe that should be a label.

The girls adapted better than I would have.  The walk outside was just what they needed to relax them.  We got home (late) and played while Julia made their dinner.  They didn't get fussy.  They ate a great meal and everything was once again right with the universe.

Lesson learned - my need/desire for structure is not as great as the girls' need/desire for (minimal) flexibility and experiencing new things.

Events like this probably won't lead to me abandoning my structure all together, but I did leave my watch at home yesterday.  Accidentally. 

I missed it. 

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