Staying home with Isaac has led me to fall into habits. Some of them are good, some bad, some are just…habits.
One of the bad ones is that I have become something of a “frumpy househusband” and it’s not uncommon for me (and Isaac) to still be in my pajamas when Erin gets home if we didn’t have any errands to run. That one’s not so good, I’m not really proud of it.
One of the good ones is that the dishes definitely don’t pile up as much anymore. Kind of proud about that one.
And one of the “eh” habits is that I rarely ever wear shoes anymore. When we’re hanging out in the house I see no need to wear shoes, and when we go out back I don’t worry about them either. We have decent grass and no sharp objects (or stickers, thankfully), so I go barefoot. When we do go out I just slip on some sandles and head out.
I hadn’t really thought about the ruts I (we all) have gotten into until recently when I was going out and decided to wear shoes instead of sandles. Isaac saw me put on socks and grab my shoes and immediately yelled “BIKE RIDE!!!” at the top of his lungs. This led to him wanting to be taken into the garage, suited up and headed out into the great world of me pulling him all around the neighborhood. Let me tell you, it broke his heart when he realized that we were not going for a bike ride, but rather just leaving the house. (I honestly don’t even remember if he was coming with me or not) Then, just last week, I asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride. The first thing he did was walk over to the shoe rack, picked up my shoes and brought them to me. First off, I took that to mean yes. Second off, it reminded me just how obvious it was as to when I wear shoes.
All of this got me to thinking about the routines I frequently find myself getting into and how I can change them to make life more interesting. For a long time every week was the same for Isaac and me. Monday Erin would be off and we’d hang out as a family. Tuesday he’d have school. Wednesday we’d do story time at the library, Thursday he had school and Friday we’d just hang out at the house. Then I realized how incredibly boring that week was, so we started going to the Children’s Museum or the Zoo and I’d let him run his energy out. After enough weeks of that I kind of got bored going there so we started going for more bike rides, walks and playing out in the backyard more.
The frequent changing of the weeks has made the stay at home life a whole lot more interesting. I’ve decided that while every day isn’t going to be the most exciting day on the face of the planet, that doesn’t mean that every day of every week has to be the same. Routine for children is important, no doubt. But a boring routine is just that, boring.
I like to think of our routine as being 1) Wake Up/Breakfast 2) Do something fun 3) Lunch 4) Nap 5) Wake up and play with Mama 6) Dinner 7) Bed. That just means that I need to come up with one thing a day to do (well really 3 things a week, he goes to school 2 days and the weekends are always busy) that entertains us and we can be good for a few weeks. Then, when it starts getting old, I just have to think of 3 new things (or recycle in 3 old things).
And if I ever stick with something too long, Isaac will surely remind me. He might even give me a kick in the pants with my own shoes.
What about you? Has your kid ever done anything that made you think “Hmmmmm, maybe I do that too much?”