Creature of Habit

Thanks to my love for schedules, expecting the expected, it’s not all that surprising that Caroline shares my love. Given my obsessive tendencies, one might expect that I’m a rigid over scheduler. The truth is I’m not. Our days aren’t mapped out in fifteen minute increments.
I just tend to allow our days to flow into a routine that works for us in whatever season of life we’re in. In all honesty, my life is too pitiful uneventful to warrant a schedule.
Wake, breakfast, school drop off, gym, lunch, school pick up, dinner, bed.

Hardly worth writing down.

Hardly worth living.

Oh I kid.

When Caroline was a baby, Craig kind of laughed at my desire to maintain the sacred schedule. Hey man, don’t knock it, they work. Kids and sometimes adults (like me) appreciate the comfort of a routine and knowing what’s coming next. It calms my inner neuroses.

Upon waking each morning Caroline retreats to my bedroom to watch a little TV.
I realize that I’m not going to win any parent of the year awards (I lost last year for letting her run around the neighborhood while I sat in the air conditioned house) for this because I know “experts” out there suggest that kids shouldn’t watch TV in the mornings. I’m generally a conscientious parent, but look, I NEED my hot tea and computer in the morning. I’m not proud. I’ll admit it. I like to be left alone for a few minutes (or more) to ease into the day.
What better way is there to obtain a little quiet time than parking your kid in front of the TV?
Again, I’m not looking to be crowned mother of the year. It’s all about survival.

When winter hit and our downstairs family room became the iciest ice box of all times and since a morning without TV is classified as cruel and unusual punishment (for the both of us), I indulge her. Somehow this TV time morphed into breakfast in bed time. MY bed.

Again, I’m OK with this. Except for the two days in a row Caroline got blueberry juice on my coverlet. I think the three words I’d like to remove from her vocabulary are “ooops, sorry Mom.” Those words never have a happy connotation. “Ooops, sorry Mom” = a mess and/or the need for me to do a load of laundry.

Because of this typical morning schedule, which I haven’t fully elaborated on (yes, you can thank me for that) Caroline has grown used to a few things. Mainly that I put her clothes on her dresser for her to wear that day. She is very low maintenance, especially where clothes are concerned, so she’ll wear whatever I lay there.
Well, this morning, Jacob, our neighbor came over to go to school with us. His mom works on Thursdays and his dad goes out of town frequently. On these days Caroline gets up a little early so she can be fed and dressed before 7:30 when Jacob arrives.
To make things go a little more quickly, I brought her clothes into my room for her to change. Man that sentence all typed out makes it seem like she is such a little princess. I assure you she’s not. Well cared for spoiled yes, but entitled, no.
Not yet anyway.

When she came downstairs to greet Jacob, she wasn’t wearing the clothes I laid out. I asked her why and she said, “they weren’t on my dresser so I got some out of the closet.”
I should have known this, because she’s like a man, completely unaware of her surroundings when the TV is on.
I told her they were, you know, ON THE BED RIGHT NEXT TO YOU
“Oh, I didn’t see them.”
Of course not.

I can’t argue too much. She took the initiative to pick something out on her own, instead of hollering “Mooooom, where are my clothes, YOU didn’t lay them out?” I’m proud of that and consequently willing to forget that she picked out her too short play jeans with a hole beginning to form in the knee.
I told you she’s not a princess.
Details are useless to her.
Unless you’re talking money or numbers.

This just made me realize how easy it is to fall into such an expected routine. Routine is comfortable, but it makes us, especially our brains, lazy.

I suppose we need to work on thinking outside of the box, being aware of our surroundings, looking beyond the two inches in front of our faces, and LISTENING TO MOM.

But most importantly I want her to fully understand that high water jeans + socks
+ tennis shoes = not a good look.

We can all be thankful that they weren’t sparkly socks.


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