"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Standard Routine

I am a creature of habit. For better or worse. I like my routine. I find routines comforting. I like having a structure in place - it needn't be an intricate or detailed structure. Room to ebb and flow - to grow, or not - is important in any structure. But here's the thing. Sometimes - for a person who usually embraces change, and gets restless in life - I get a little bent out of shape when my personal routine is disturbed.

It's been disturbed.

I am a bit perturbed by the disruption.

I had just really nailed my new morning get to work routine with the new job. Get up, let the dogs out, pee, feed the dogs, make coffee, bring the hubs a cup, fetch the baby, feed the baby, take a shower, get dressed, figure out what the heck to do with my hair that day, feed the baby breakfast, eat my own breakfast, welcome the Nanny, give her the update, kiss the baby bye bye, out the door, and off to work. Arrive at desk by 8.30 am.

It worked. It was great. I had it down.

Suddenly, things have changed. We add daycare to the mix. We add the fact that Abbey now has opinions to the mix. We add the fact that Abbey is no longer willing to entertain herself in a bouncy seat in the bathroom while I shower into the mix. Plus getting another being fed, dressed, sunscreened, lunch and bottles packed, clean diaper, and out the door with me into the mix.

I don't like this mix much. It tastes a little bit bitter.

I hear that a person's child is often a reflection of the parent. If my routine-ness is any indication, then I have to say it's true. Abbey, too, seems to have her own schedule. A schedule that doesn't really gel with mine very well. And we're both having a difficult time adapting to one another these days. While she used to wake, eat, play, eat some more, play, then nap for two hours, she now has to schlep off to "school", usually falling asleep when we're 10-15 minutes away from arriving, and then waking with a wail and an eye rub, not to nap again for several hours. Because Abbey doesn't like napping at daycare so much. At home, she naps like a pro - usually 3 hours total a day stretched between three naps. At daycare today, she napped a total of 30 minutes. Same with bottles...at home, she's taking about 12-18 oz in bottles during the day. Today at daycare, she took 5. They tried. I believe them when they tell me they tried. But her routine has been disrupted, and none of this is "normal".


Knowing her routine, and knowing how flustered I become when my routine is disrupted, I have a terrible foreboding about where this is heading.

So, how do we adapt to this new reality? How do I get out the door to work - on time - with a well-fed, dressed, clean and relatively happy 9-month-old? How do I impress on her daycare providers that she really does need to nap more even though I understand she doesn't seem very sleepy? That she really does need to eat more during the day? That I'm not really an anal retentive, micromanaging Mom from hell? And how do I ease Abbey to a new way of doing things when she seems to be cut from the same cloth as me, and truly, I'm not so crazy about it all, either.

It's always this way isn't it? Just when you think you have it figured out...

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