Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Our New Normal.

A while back, Maia sent me this book.  And I started reading it and got discouraged and intimidated pretty quickly because life was lacking in order and peace in no small part due to factors beyond our control - I couldn't just up and quit my job (hi there teaching contract!), and the fact that so much of our daily schedule was driven by what time I needed to get to work on THAT particular day was too frustrating for me to even set any sort of routine.

Because how does one set a routine when THIS week, I'm going to work at 11:30 Monday and Friday, 9:30 Tuesday and Thursday, and 10:30 on Wednesday.  And NEXT week it's totally different.

Frustrating.  And one of many reasons why I'm glad that I'm fortunate enough to be staying home with the kids from now on.  So routine - it's going to happen!  But clearly not right away...

We're in our first full week of our new life, and I decided on a whim today to try to start incorporating some sort of purposeful routine.  Sarah's posts always remind me that it is possible to do this!  So I jumped right in.

Always a good idea to make that decision at 8 AM that morning, right?

Of course, Cecilia and John Paul slept until almost 9 (as opposed to their usualy 7/7:30 wake-up time).  Glorious, and they desperately need the sleep, but I had PLANS!

In an attempt to get them to finish breakfast with some semblance of speed, I said that we'd do CIRCLE TIME as soon as they were done eating!

So of course, Mary Claire was whining and chanting, "Circle time! Circle time!" for the next hour while I tried to cajole John Paul into actually eating some of the massive amounts of food he had served himself.  Cecilia decided early on that her tummy couldn't fit any more food, so the twins finished off her fruit.  I tried to clean up the playroom so that we could actually have room to sit in a circle, and gave up on trying to get anyone but the twins dressed.

Then Mary Claire insisted on using the potty (after pooping in her diaper, of course), and ran off to pee on the floor and on her romper once she was done.  All while shuffling through a series of alter egos (Huckle Cat!  Lowly Worm!  Grasshopper!  Nonny!  Sugarlump!) and insisting I address her as such.

Finally I gave up on John Paul's breakfast and we settled down for some prayer, stories, and songs.  Apparently the ONLY thing Mary Claire wanted was to sing the "Circle Time" song that I made up on the spot, because she started sobbing, "CIRCLE TIIIIIME!!!" as soon as it ended.  Meanwhile, John Paul only wants to sit on MY pillow, Elizabeth only wants to sit on CECILIA'S pillow, Mary Claire will only sit in my lap, and Cecilia doesn't want to give up her pillow because it's the only colorful flower pillow!

We finally got things sorted out (Cecilia got the pillow from her bed and let Elizabeth sit next to her, John Paul got my pillow when I stood up to help them, and Mary Claire stayed in my lap, sobbing).  The big kids were receptive for our beginning prayer, Elizabeth was quiet, and Mary Claire...  Well, she's teething and not taking it well, so she gets a pass.

John Paul kept lying down to read a book.  Cecilia just wanted to lie down and pretend to sleep.  Elizabeth wanted to do whatever Cecilia was doing, but Cecilia wanted more space.  And Mary Claire just kept sobbing about "Circle Time."

We finally finished with a prayer, and I asked John Paul and Cecilia if they wanted to do something in their workbooks while I made lunch.  ABSOLUTELY!

I got coloring books and crayons for the babies and got the big kids set with their work, only to realize I couldn't find Cecilia's workbook, and that John Paul was just going to zip through whatever pages he felt like doing at the moment (it's cool, he's waaaaaay above age-level for pretty much everything academic ever).  Cecilia made do with a tracing book but decided she was DONE once she couldn't get her square perfect, so she went off to do stickers with the babies while John Paul finished his breakfast and did every workbook page he could.

On the plus side, I made lunch for EVERYONE with relatively little drama and we all actually got to sit down and eat together!

On the minus side, while we were eating lunch I realized that the big kids and I were still in our pajamas...

Photo: First day trying to incorporate a stricter, more purposeful schedule around here... Three of us are still in pajamas, one baby has peed on the floor, one baby sobbed through circle time, and Mary Claire keeps talking about how everybody has a crotch while the other three sing MC Hammer.  Nap time yet?
First day trying to incorporate a stricter, more purposeful schedule around here... Three of us are still in pajamas, one baby has peed on the floor, one baby sobbed through circle time, and Mary Claire keeps talking about how everybody has a crotch while the other three sing MC Hammer. Nap time yet?

So.

We got through it.  And we'll do it again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And day after day after day, because they will do better, and I'll do better, with some semblance of routine, and some semblance of purpose, and a lot more prayer.  But it's not all happening in one day, that's for sure!
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