I love routine.
Routine gives place and purpose to my creative impulses.
Routine balances and soothes my chaotic mind.
Routine gives my toddler a sense of security and self assurance when she knows what to expect from her days and her parents.
Routine at its best ensures the boring stuff gets done efficiently so there is more time for the fun stuff. Routine at its worst forgets that the most important moments in childhood and life happen in the in-between moments and marches right through Serendipity and Spontaneity on it's busy way to Order and Check-List-Completion.
Children intrinsically know this, and since I have (oxymoronically) structured lots of free play into our days, the Bean is the Master of under-table-toe-gazing and sunny-spot-lounging. But while the Bean is doing the important work of childhood, I can usually be found glued to my routine of dust-bunny-wrangling and food acquisition and preparation.
To keep my routine from getting in the way of living, I try to obey three "stop lights" when they come up in my day:
- Mommy, wanna read a book?
- Mommy, wanna go outside?
- Mommy, wanna make sumpin'?
If nothing is about to ignite on the stove, we don't have an obligation in the next 17 seconds and/or we're not in a moving vehicle, I try to stop whatever really important thing it is that I'm doing and just say yes.
So while "getting something done" trumps "just being" more often than I like, here is proof that every now and then, I am capable of coming to a full and complete stop.
Our morning of "making"