Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Redefining Normal

We have been back from Florida for several weeks now, and its been nothing short of mayhem. The excitement of enjoying our free time quickly dissolved as I realized I had no idea what to do with these girls. All three of us are creatures of habit, and the onset of summer vacation for Nora, coupled with my new teaching schedule, has left the house and its inhabitants feeling upside down. The influx of stuff, from jewelry to dresses to bone china teacups, hasn't helped anyone feel better either.

I spent the first week back unpacking, reliving memories, and trying to get the girls back on track. The first week failed. Its hard to recreate a sense of flowing from one activity to the next when everyone has a different idea about when to eat, sleep, play, etc. Even now, it seems like everyone is on a different schedule, but starting today I decided to break rule #1: Never wake the sleeping children up. I don't think I have a choice. Emily gets up at 6:45, while Nora sleeps until 8:45. How can I make breakfast and have us eat as a family with a two hour time difference? That two hours throws off the rest of the day, as tummies get hungry for snack and meals at different times. Plus, by the time Nora finally wakes up and is alert, Emily is ready for a nap. I can't win.

Since we are creatures of habit, I've decided to take a cue from Nora's school and from Miss Shelly's speech sessions. I am making a daily schedule. I have a daily routine broken down by time, and then there will be pictures of the activities that the girls can pick from taken from the PECS book. Instead of shopping in the PECS book for whatever whenever, there will be two options for the girls to pick from at any given time. This should eliminate my two biggest problems at the moment, being (1) Boredom/restlessness and (2) Never-ending snacks.

Here is the routine I came up with for Monday through Friday. Let's see if it works.

7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast
8:00 - 9:30 Free time with small toys (Little People for example)
9:30 -10:30 Take a walk; play in backyard
10:30-10:45 Fresh fruit/veggie snack
10:45-12:00 Yard chores
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30- 1:00 Clean-up lunch, make bed, other cleaning
1:00 -2:00 Art and Music and Dress-up Play
2:00 -3:00 Free time with larger toys (Kitchen, tent, trips to playground)
3:00 -5:00 Movie time/computer games
5:00 -6:00 Dinner and clean-up chores
6:00 -7:00 Time with Dad
7:00 -8:00 Bath and bed time routine
8:00 Stories then lights out

The block of time from 1:00 to 3:00 can also serve as my errand running time, if need be. Sometimes we will go to the park; sometimes we'll go to the store. But I figure if I keep running around to the same time, it will be easier to Emily to transition from one activity to another.

WISH ME LUCK!!! Because this is going to require some discipline on my part as well.

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