Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Soemthing Has Got To Give

I've been noticing a lot of my Twitter and Facebook updates have focused on behavoir problems with the girls. It got me to thinking about what is going on. I think I've got some answers and figured out solutions.

1. The girls are cooped up inside too much.
The sad thing about where we live is that there isn't really much of an outdoors. We have a small patio, but it has a huge wall, doesn't get much sun and we've had a nasty case of flies wanting to join our family. We do have a bit of grass in the front yard, but it is next to a pretty busy street so I'm uncomfortable letting them out and about even with me standing there. 

Solution: Park days, playdates, field trips and outdoor activities. This month I've already filled in the calendar and we'll be going to some sort of structured group event once a week and doing something on our own once a week. I worry about overscheduling, but they love being outside so we'll see how this month goes and adjust from there.

2. The girls need more independence.
Aba likes to make fun of the girls' common cry lately: I wanna do it! Yes, they are now three years-old and full of pre-schooler independence. A while ago (read: late last summer) I made the house more toddler-friendly and it was a wonderful antidote to the toddler demands of independence. Now, however, they are able to do more and want to do more and I'm not ready. I have a nice long list of what I'd like to do, but things always come up and my list gets pushed to the bottom of the pile. 

Solution: Pick the three best fixes from my list and do one each week. I'll try to get to five items, though.

3. The girls need their routine back.
The biggest change from last fall when I last had this type of epiphany is the lack of routine. I hate to use the word schedule as it implies something more rigid and articicial. For us, the day flowed so smoothly from wake to eat to clean to play and the girls knew what to expect. Right now our best routine is dinner-tidy-brush teeth-pjs-books-bed. Some nights when I don't think they will sleep I will start getting the brushes ready and the girls will see it and suddenly they are in the routine and bedtime is right on time. 

I really believe the biggest impediment to a routine for them is the lack of a routine for me. I fall into this whenever we get a cleanign lady and I no longer have the tasks of deep cleaning and household laundry. I seem to then let all of my routines fall to the side. In the fall we were housekeeper-free and I was flying with Flylady. Now, I am not.  

Solution: Set my routine on paper and make a photo chart of the girls' routine for them.

I'll keep you posted!