Just about every email I've ever received from all of the parenting newsletters I've subscribed to have mentioned how important routine is to lil' ones. That's fine and dandy, but we're hardly a family of routine followers. The only ones in the house who truly seem to stick to a schedule are the cats, but even they have to sometimes just give up and wait a bit longer for breakfast. Or dinner. Or treats. Huh. I may have just figured out why they're so fat.
So, yes, routines are nice, but we're not good at them.
Enter last week and the beginning of a big ol' new routine: the morning trek to Gramma and Grandpa's house.
Since Charlie's birth, we'd been very lucky to have Gramma come to our house to take care of her. Except for a few days when Gramma's broken ankle complicated her driving across town to get to us, Charlie was able to sleep in, spend the morning in her jammies, and generally just relax. It was time to start dropping her off at G&G's, though, so that meant that we needed a plan. Preparation. And God forbid, a new routine.
This, of course, is not a big deal for all of the parents out there who have long managed to drop their babes at daycare and still get to work on time, but for us this was like a major life change. Perhaps even more so than the actual addition of a child to our home. There was grumbling from both parents. There was negotiation of who would drop of (Daddy) and who would pick up (Mommy). There were lists of take-with-Charlie items to be scratched out. There was the laying-out of the clothes she would wear in the morning. There was diaper bag stocking. (We still haven't managed the transition of cloth dipes to Gramma's house, but it's a'comin!) There was figuring out how to get the dishes done and the trash out in the middle of the new morning hustle. There was mapping out a morning schedule that would time everything just-so and get Daddy and Charlie out the door. And, while I'm at it, there was prepping Mommy's work bags, milk pump, and water bottle so that she could be on time, too.
Again, so not a big deal for most, but good grief! We are clearly not most.
One thing I hadn't really prepared for, though, was Charlie's reaction. Most mornings we've had to wake her up to get her ready to go, and each morning I've thought to myself, "Well, this isn't going to go well." But each morning she's stretched and popped up with a smile. She's laughed and kicked her feet while I wedge her socks and shoes on. She's grinned and whispered, "Bampa," after I ask her if she's ready to go see Gramma and Grandpa. She's dutifully grabbed a toy to take with her, happily reached for Daddy who loads her into his car, and even waved as they drive away.
She's been wonderful.
And you know whose house is trashed at the end of the day? Not mine! (Sorry, Gramma.)