That word itself brings me such calmness. I know in my family that the more structure and routine that we stick to the less anxious and better behaved my children are. There are few surprises or unexpected trips happening in our house! This summer we had a good routine and got used to it. When school started we all had to readjust (me included! I was surprised by how much I missed the girls during the day!) and eventually got used to it as well. THEN about 6 weeks into school the local school district schedule planned multiple days off! Too many! This threw my kids off. We started the weird break by not going to our local church but visiting our in-laws’ church for a special service for them. The kids had never been there for services before and there were a ton of new people! My kids handled it soooooo well! So much different than they would have a year ago. Then we had the week off. We had some hard points for sure and this week things are back to normal. You could almost feel the collective sigh Monday morning as we went about our normal school morning schedule and all 3 kids were off to school.
We live by our routine, but even more than I realized. Last Friday Skye was spending the night with an awesome mentor she has kept in touch with since her pre-us days. The little ones did so good that about 2 mins after Joel tucked them in we talked and realized that it would be fun to try and go grocery shopping at night as a fun thing since Skye was having fun and we didn’t want Cayla and Preston to feel left out. I know, I know I said we usually don’t do things like that. But honestly Cayla and Preston handle change a bit better that Skye but tend to feed off her anxiety so without Skye there we wanted to give it a try. They did great, but something happened on the car ride that made me feel like the lamest parent in the WORLD! We got in the car and they were so excited, until we got out of town. You see, it was dark out, not dusk. They were concerned that they couldn’t see the horses and cows and tree and what is the light in the sky over there (ambient light from a large city nearby), what where those lights coming at us, how could I see while driving, ect.
It was about 2 mins into these questions that I realized in the year that we have had the kids we have not taken them outside after dark. Dusk and sunset, sure. But we ALWAYS planned our activities and even trips around being home by bedtime. We also do a really early (I came to find out) bedtime. Preston is usually sleeping by 7pm (if he makes it that long!), Cayla in bed by 7:15pm (she takes a while to fall asleep sometimes) and Skye in bed by 8:30pm.
Joel and I explained all the night time questions (as best as we could) through barley contained laughter! The next night Joel and I had a date (woohoo) and we said that Preston and Cayla could stay up until 7:30pm! Cayla looked at our babysitter and said “Tomorrow after church I’m going to take a nap because I’m staying up until 7:30!” Couldn’t contain my laughter then! (She didn’t actually take a nap btw).
Anyway, as of yesterday we are back in our routine and the kids are rocking it! Skye had a great day at school (we have had some behaviors there lately), Cayla worked on math facts and Preston and I hung out and had fun after he was done with preschool. Also, to brag on my kids a bit. We had conferences last week and Skye is getting closer to grade level on all aspects!!! Cayla is doing great with letters, learned her first word (go) and is learning math facts (if joe had 5 markers and I took away 2 how many are left). Preston is a curious little kid and recently our days at home have been all about learning random things like what a drier does when you shut the doors, how a stiffer works, why to look in front of you when you run, ect!