Yes, this is MandyE. No, this blog hasn’t been hijacked.
Really…it’s me…who lives and breathes by the clock and has the spreadsheets to prove it…
And no, I haven’t thrown the clock to the wind, allowing the girls to wake up and go to bed when they please. I haven’t allowed more than a 15-minute window for the start of meals and snack times. And I certainly haven’t said the girls can nap if and when they feel like it.
No, mealtime and sleep-time structures are all still in place. But I recently found myself really appreciating the lack of schedule most of our days have in other respects.
On Wednesday morning, I had plans to take the girls to Panera for a mid-morning snack (between 9:30 and 9:45, approximately). We had missed our weekly bagel the week of Thanksgiving, and I was afraid our Panera friends would think we’d moved to Canada. I was looking forward to a cup of hazelnut coffee, and I had my grocery list and coupons ready for our shopping trip following our snack.
The girls didn’t know what I on my list, though, and they hit the ground hard on Wednesday morning. Before breakfast they’d already planned a birthday party for their baby dolls, AND traveled to Mongolia (???). They broke for breakfast, and then hit it hard again, organizing the kitchen chairs into a train, and then running around, talking about “construction”, moving pillows and blankets and stuffed animals with incredible determination.
At 9:00, I wrap up my coffee time and typically join the girls in playing. They were so engaged, though, I decided not to disturb them. I started cleaning in the kitchen, folding some laundry, and they didn’t even blink.
I was thinking we could skip the trip to Panera, have snack at home, and then do our shopping, allowing them to play a little longer.
But they were still so involved.
Snack time came and went, and they hadn’t taken a breath.
I just let them play…as long and as hard as they wanted. Finally, at almost 10:30, they paused to ask about snack. They had a few crackers and some milk, and then they asked me to play “hair cut” with them.
The three of us played and read for an hour, and then it was time for lunch.
We never made it to Panera, and I was running low on milk, but that was OK.
It’s days like these (among so many other things, of course) that make me so thankful that I’m home with the girls…that I can allow their imaginations to wander as far as they want…that I can hop into and out of their pretend games as they ask me…that we can wind down for cuddles together.
This was one of my biggest fears of starting the girls in preschool this year, that we’d lose this awesome sense of “home”. I am so thankful that it still thrives. It’s worth a million times more than even the most inviting cup of hazelnut coffee.