Sunday, March 7, 2010

And then, there it was.

As I've told you before, I'm a scheduler.  I really really love living by a schedule.  And as a parent, that has been magnified.

We get up between 6:00 and 7:00. 
We eat breakfast around 8:00.
Lunch is between 11:30 and noon.
Dinner is between 5:00 and 5:30.
Baths fall around 6:00.
The boys go to bed around 7:30.
I go to bed around 11:00.

Nearly every day.

And I live by those times completely.  I love that my kids are predictable when they're on a schedule.  I don't like the consequences of a late night (ie crabby children, most frequently followed by a crabby momma.). 

But, at times, there have also been consequences to my schedule.  My kids miss anything socially that happens outside of our house after 6:30 p.m.  I have packed up and left with tired children from many an event.  I was always looking forward to the day when their little bodies could handle a little more flexibility.

I have been feeling my life getting easier with every passing month.  With Jack nearing his third birthday, I have far more independence.  He can do a lot of things on his own, I have no one to carry, he understands more complex instructions.  But this weekend, I realized:  I have entered the next chapter. 

Saturday night, we spent a night at a hotel, one night: a micro-vacation.  The kids played amazingly well together - including Cole.  They were cooperative and excited (oh, that excitement...watching them brought me right back to the emotions I felt as a child with something so exciting as a night in a hotel...with a pool!).  They slept well.  They are, truly, big kids. 

I never want to wish the years away.  Right now, I can fix all of their problems with either a kiss, a snuggle, or a band aid.  My mom's wise words:  The days are long, but the years are short.  But I hope, with all my heart, that I appreciate each stage of their lives wholly.  Whatever the challenges, I hope I learn from them - become a better parent.  Whatever the joys, I hope I soak them up completely.  Those boys, they give me so. much. JOY. 

This, I believe, will be a very fun chapter!


elizabeth said...

This was so sweet to read. It sounds like you are soaking up the joys now, and will continue to in the future. Enjoy the next chapter!

Atlas would do well at your house. He thrives on schedule. Which his poor person is not so good at remembering.

Amy said...

Just last night I was talking to my cousin about this. We don't visit that much or go places because of the bedtime schedule. The kids are getting older now and really are pretty flexible. I had birthday parties for Lydia and Henrik and everyone was leaving around 7p. (which is usually bedtime for my kids) My cousin and her family showed up around then and stayed until 11p. I loved it, although the kids didn't go to bed on time and I sure am tired this morning. (I will use the fact that I am tired for the reason this doesn't really make sense to me as I read it back, but I can't figure out how to say it better :) )

Amanda Kay said...

Love the picture - they're all so doggone cute!

ethiopifinn said...

i love your schedule! we don't start our days at the same time... i like to sleep later. we would surely benefit with more structure, but we've always kept a little bit of flex in our week due to my work schedule, evenings and saturday.

Yes, you don't have a 'baby' anymore! I can just imagine how that changes your everyday.

The joy is easy to see in you :)

Julie said...

Aw, gave me tears. Very sweet post. Your baby is going to be three soon! Wow. Your mom is right on about the days being long but the years short. Isn't that the truth? I'm glad you had a good micro-vacation. :)

Beatle Sue said...

That was so sweet! I catch myself wondering what Adrian will be like when he's older when I should (and I do!) enjoy that he is still so little!

Sounds like you have that schedule down! And around here, I'm not sure I even remember what that word means. But that's okay! I like a little spontaneity!

Andy said...

Your mom's quote...oh, how spot-on. Unfortunately, huh? :)

Jo said...

I love a schedule too. Some parts of our schedule are flexible (breakfast time), and others aren't (bedtime).

I feel things getting easier as time goes on. But I also cuddle my pajama-clad toddler and know it can't last. Your mom's quote is exactly right.

Diane Lindquist said...

Love the post, Leanne! I was just looking at photos of Sophie & Sam when they were about 18 months old wishing I could give *those* little ones a big hug .... ahhh, off to give the 3 1/2 year olds a hug : )

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

I love this post! And, the cute picture.

The joy in their faces and the excitement and anticipation of a hotel stay is so fun for a parent to watch, isn't it.

I've attempted a schedule here and there over the years but I thrive on the opposite. Spontaneity and no schedule. Although, my kid's bedtime is around 8 or 9 almost every night.

~ Jennifer