i don’t know how many times i’ve had to change or modify his routines so far throughout his three years. their needs change so much as they grow and they become bored so easily, it becomes a challenge each time to come up with new ways to establish a workable routine, and make them want to stick to it.
as they say, ‘daily routines can mean the difference between a chaotic or a calm house’. i think as young as they are, they do appreciate knowing what to expect every day, and will eventually be cooperative when doing what is asked of them. plus, it’s a great feeling when you see them start doing things on their own after having ‘trained’ them for a period of time!
but hey, who finds strict routines fun? certainly not me. heck, i myself have great difficulty following the clock. (now, who invented the damned snooze button? you are so not helping.)
the first part of the month, i guess with the children transitioning to different classes and me being away in hospital with auni, the boy began to be a little resistant to being sent to school by his oma. ‘i don’t like school,’ he said.
so i decided to tweak his routine.
my mommy instinct guessed that he didn’t like being forced out of bed and dragged into the shower in the morning. (mommy used to be small too, you know.)
ok, no need to shower, i told him. you bathe in school, ok?
ok, he agreed.
i mandi in school, he said.
(which he does lah, it’s part of their routine in childcare, and his sociable nature means he likes doing things with his peers, including showering. yes, conformity is a good thing when it comes to getting them to do something.)
so we’d do his toileting, teeth brushing, face-scrubbing, bed-hair-flattening, uniform-wearing, i’d let him choose a toy or a book, he’d grab his shoes, and out the door we go, both of us kissing and waving the little one goodbye.
i think what he REALLY wanted was for me to do all those things with him, and not his other caregivers. undivided time with mommy to start his day, even if it’s just a few minutes journey in the car, listening to the radio, talking about what to do when i come back, sealing it with a quick a peck on his lips before he waves me goodbye and disappears behind the school door.
and it’s paid off. yesterday he told me, ‘i like school.’
music to my ears.
i may have said it before, but there’s just something about your firstborn, however frustrating he is or whatever mischief he has up his sleeves, that when they are on their best behaviour, all the misgivings just instantaneously melt away and you’re reminded of what a sweet baby he was and still is.
our bedtime routine too is special one-on-one time.
he knows the drill. a cuppa warm milk, toileting, teeth brushing, and storybook reading.
a short note about the milk thing. remember the ceremonial milk bottle-throwing on his birthday last month? well, he hasn’t succumbed to the bottle since. (just like the b/feeding and the diaper thing – once it’s out of his system, it’s out.) but it DID take him a while to get used to the idea of drinking milk from a cup. the mommy instinct went to work again, and one night, i made his milk in a bottle, brought in his Ben 10 mug, sat down with him in his room, asked him to unscrew the bottle cap to pour the milk into the mug, and he downed the milk in one go, followed by high-fives and low-fives and a kiss on the lips. again, that was what he really wanted, i guess – a ‘special’ routine.
a few books and a chat about the day, and we say goodnight.
and that’s bedtime for him.
as for the little one, thankfully she’s an early sleeper compared to her brother, so that makes it easier to divide the attention between the two.
and her bedtime routine?
plonked in her cot, where she ‘sings’ herself to sleep.
nice or not, her song? lol.