Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kid Schedules

Well, that time has come again -- the time to rework the daily kid schedule to keep both of these energetic, smart, hell-hacking children occupied and engaged with the world.

Several things have shifted -- Chris has exited the terrible twos, which is a good thing, because he'll be four years old in two months. And as if on cue, Norah is stepping up to fill the tantrum void. She is already doing things like throwing herself on the floor, wailing when you (for example) don't allow her to repeatedly smack on the glass on the front of the goldfish tank at Walmart. She has a lot of energy that needs to be channeled into more than just playing in the house all morning.

It's starting to get more fall-ish, but still too hot for any kind of extended outdoor play, but it won't be long before we can start spending an hour or so on the playground every morning. I think that the kids need early morning activity, then some chill time, then lunch, then more activity, then chill time, then evening. I think I should make it a goal not to have the TV on very often during the daytime.

So, when Chris starts school on Monday, what sorts of activities can Norah and I do, to help her burn energy? I think she might be interested just in holding my hands and walking around stores, or playing on certain parts of playgrounds.

Here is a dilemma -- I love to do messy play with the kids -- flour and water, bubbles, play-dough, all that sort of thing -- but I can't even keep up with cleaning the house when we don't do those things -- how can I do those kinds of activities, which the kids need, without completely trashing my house? And I can't do them outside -- not yet.

I think the answer to many of these dilemmas is the same answer that has been there for a long time, which I have halfheartedly tried to work on, but have not succeeded because I am not putting enough effort into it: Get up earlier. I need to get up at about 5:30 so that I can pray, work, and prepare the day's activities before the beasts begin to awaken at 7:15 or so. Right now I sleep until the very last moment, and then I wake up to a headache, two hungry kids, diapers, clothes, getting Ben off to work (which doesn't require much from me, but occasionally has me searching for a coffee cup of a lost shoe)... the dust doesn't settle until after 9am, and I have to wait until naptime for a minute to myself, so that when naptime doesn't happen, I feel totally off balance for days at a time.

So, self, start getting up early... okay? Did you hear me? Ugh.

This is the mundane daily stuff that takes up some of my brainpower. Parenthood requires constant shifting to keep the balance right. There is sort of a science to it, but when it comes down to it I end up relying on instinct.

Here's to the new school year and new adventures! :)


  1. I always try so hard to get up early to do stuff I have planned to do -- fulfill my list of perfect morning activities. And I realized, I just can't. I am not a morning person. So I do my dishes before bed. I throw the load of laundry in, I watch the late show, I blog and go to bed. Then in the morning the only goal I am pursuing so far is morning prayer because 1) it fits into your schedule in every way and form (if I'm in a hurry I say it while we go and if its a lazy morning I say it on the couch with coffee while the girls eat breakfast). I always think I'll wake up and workout or do yoga or something, but no that's about all I can do first thing. Or I melt my cutting board...

    Then if I do (usually) have chores I haven't done, usually dishes, I lay a big thick comforter on the floor in the kitchen and set up water or rice play depending on if the kids are dressed already or need a bath. They generally keep the rice on the blanket with very small exceptions. Then I just dump it back in the box -- or if its water, I stuff the blanket straight into the washer and dress the kids. It's when we get bored I tend to make disaster messes ;) but even still, that giant blanket on the floor is the key to containing the mess. Well that and not letting the kids run off with a bucket of rice or paint on their hands. lol

    As far as fitting in work, you tell me how to do that. I have no clue when school is going to fit in my schedule in about a week! ack. help!?

  2. oh and I meant to add, when it does cool off this fall, let's PLEASE do a regular playground date. We miss seeing your adorable kidos!

  3. Yes! :) Playground in the fall! Come, fall, come! :D I wish that blanket trick would work on my kids, but they do not respect boundaries unless they are enforced. Let's just say there is rice... generally... everywhere in my house. I gave them a bag of lentils to add to the rice box as "tiny rocks" -- and I recently found some sprouted lentils on the bathroom floor by the tub. So yeah... they also fight over the construction equipment now. Hahaha. I did try that poke-cereal-into-the-box thing, and they really loved it.

    Good luck with school!!! :) :) I will give you any hints I can. My best advice is to assign your time to different chunks of activities. Have times when you are definitely not working, and lavish your attention on your girls. Then when they wear out, you can crack open a book or whatever, knowing that you are still a good mom ;D