Something that really amazes me is how quickly I'm able to grasp a new routine. Nick often makes fun of me for this.
Me: Hey, I'm flossing again! I'm definitely sticking with it this time.
Nick: This is the first time I've seen you floss this month.
Me: Well, just because you don't see it, doesn't mean I'm not doing it. I floss now. Like, regularly.
Nick: So this is your second time this month then?
I'm usually good for my word, but sometimes my word gets twisted. Like when I say "I'm doing something," it very likely might mean I've done it once or a dozen times. Its like I do something once and in my head its habitual - part of my routine - something I just do.
I think its because I'm a creature of habit and I thrive on a routine.
My point is, that the photo below is part of my routine:
Almost every morning I cut up strawberries to put on my granola and yogurt (thanks, Emma!). The scene looks like this: Me cutting (braless, unless I've already gone running), while Ev sits on the counter picking up strawberries, taking one bite, and putting them back down. Then she asks for a fork (spoons and forks are synonymous) and we sit across from each other on the table and eat our breakfast. After awhile, Ev gets full/bored and begins spooning out scoops of yogurt and drawing on our table with it. Swirls and swirls of yogurt, with little chunks of granola. There's often a spilled water or milk cup (sippy to cup is a tough transition!) and copious amounts of "hand wiping" for the Evster. Ev will suddenly realize that "Ket" (blanket) is not at the table with us and get down to go find it. While she's finding Ket, I hurriedly scarf the what's left of my breakfast and we continue our morning routine. Then four hours later, when Ev's napping, I wipe off the crusty yogurt from our table.
Without fail, this is our morning. Since we're hobbits, we often have a second breakfast of pancakes midmorning, but we thrive on this simple daily ritual.
I have come to realize that I when I think of mornings months ago, like the mornings when I used to put Ev in her highchair and spoon her baby food, or pump like a madwoman while Ev whined in her Bumbo, they seem like past lives. Those routines seem "like such a long time ago." I have quickly accepted this week as my "routine," even though I know that in a week or two, a new routine will befall us. Yet, in my mind, it will become habitual almost immediately.
But I've had an epiphany about this. I think that as a parent, but especially a mother, every day is different and the same simultaneously. There is the monotonous changing diaper, giving baths, making lunches, sitting in time out day. And there's the learning new words, trying new things, suddenly hating cheese day. But you never have just one day. After morning bath (same), you realize that your kid doesn't like princesses, but Hello Kitty today (different). And heaven forbid you feed them grilled cheese! (same) That was so yesterday - today is a quesadilla (different) day.
And for me, that's why I crave routines. That's why I lunge at a newfound routine, so happy to make it mine everyday. Don't get me wrong, I've learned to love the spontaneity of parenting, especially when I compare my pre-Ev life with my life now. It is better in every way. Even when I've had a sucky day, its a better sucky day because its a sucky mom day.
Ev's birthday is coming up. She's almost 22 months. And like anyone, momentous events get my brain going. I cannot BELIEVE my kid is going to be two.
How many routines is that? Well, a couple of routines a month for two years... that's at least fifty routines. Fifty messy, busy, adorable routines with my pal Ev. Plus all the really good crazy stuff that doesn't constitute a routine (and everyone knows that is the best stuff anyway).
I guess this post is a roundabout way for me to express how happy I am.
Motherhood has taught me a new kind of routine - its called no routine. (I just call it one to make me feel in control) Everyday is an Ev day, and that's the best kind of day.
Actually, the best kind of day includes Ev and Master Chiseled Jaw.
Look at these two "studying" together.
But second best days include gymnastics,
and car races in the kitchen,
and temper tantrums on the floor,
and more temper tantrums,
and more dress-up,
and even more dress-up,
and stealing dad's stuff,
and modeling new clothes,
and reading books,
and saying "Cheese,"
and reading a little bit more,
jumping off the couch,
and playing princesses,
and eating strawberries,
and not posing,
and playing with friends,
and getting sassy.
That's a pretty good second best day if you ask me.