Posts Tagged ‘routine

Piccie post

Posted on: 31/12/2011

I must confess to being inspired by another blog for my piccie posts. And you should be warned, my piccies are of especially poor artistry.

Here’s one I prepared earlier, when we were still with the in-laws…happy new year!

Smallest one calls from her cot persistently one evening.

We can’t be doing with having our TV pleasure disturbed.


There’s an enormous game of snakes and ladders painted on the ground by the library, so we stopped for a quick game today.  Mid-game, however, middle child suddenly needed the toilet, zoomed back into the library, made it to the cubicle, but wet her pants before she sat down. After an extended no-show I whisked in, whipped off the pants, thanked heaven she was wearing flip-flops, cleaned up the floor and whisked her out to finish the snakes and ladders.

I have a theory. Middle child has toilet issues, as anyone who knows our family will know. But I also know that in spite of these issues she can hang on for 10 minutes or more if she is constantly encouraged.  We had an occasion once when middle child and I were in the middle of the state apartments at Windsor Castle. Ever been there? If so, you’ll know that if you’re in the middle it’s a ten-minute walk either way to get out and find a loo, especially if your accompanying adult is seven months pregnant. She nearly gave up, intending to sit down and wet herself a minute away from the toilets, but with constant ‘you CAN do it, I KNOW you can hang on’ in her ear, she made it. And she was so proud of herself.

When I’m right there next to her, she never wets her pants. When I’m not there, it’s like her confidence isn’t enough to keep her going on its own.  If I hadn’t had a baby in tow I would have gone with her today, but I did, and it was almost inevitable.  Do you think my theory is accurate? We had a little pep talk at bedtime, reminding her how she can be strong and determined if she believes in herself.  And, bless her, she pointed out that she did at least make it as far as the cubicle.  We agreed it would only have taken five more seconds of determined ‘hanging-on’ to have been a complete success.

Maybe one day it will sink in, and she’ll get it.  Better still, she’ll actually go with enough time to spare to start with. (I forgot to mention, I had asked her if she needed to go at five-minute intervals in the half-hour leading up to this point, with vehement denials each time. Having too much fun to notice trivial things like a full bladder.)

Confidence in a six-year-old is a fragile thing.  I almost wish I could re-do the potty training. Re-set the triggers so that she goes when she feels a mild urge, rather than when she’s hopping around with her legs crossed, and it’s touch and go.  A year back, we saw a paediatrician about this. She told us we needed to do some pavlov’s dog style training, insisting she goes two hours after every drink. This was really tough with a five-week old baby to deal with, but, with the help of the school, we did do this for a full six weeks. And it was working well.  The only thing is, it was too intense to keep up, so after six weeks we relaxed a bit, in the hope it would stay good, and middle child would keep it up by habit.

She didn’t.  Not surprising, really, when you consider that (a) she was barely five years old and (b) our family isn’t hot on routine and timekeeping at the best of times.

I need to reflect on how to deal with this now.  It’s rare that she wets herself. Once a week, if that, during the school term? But when there’s no routine to follow, we all lose track of when what was drunk and how near the nearest loo is.  It’s just an extra layer of stress we would rather not have to deal with…but now I’m kicking myself for not being on the ball.

Do I now need to revisit the pavlov’s dog style training?  Do I have the strength to see it through properly this time? And how will I know when it’s time to lighten up? Six weeks doesn’t seem to be enough.

If any of you have any words of wisdom on the matter, I’d welcome your thoughts.

I realised as I typed the title, that this might be the subject of one of my ‘why moving house is stressful’ blogs, but for now this is a good thing.

Now that the house is beautiful, clearly we have to keep it this way until some nice person agrees to buy it.   So we have a more pro-active attitude to tidying up.

With regard to me, that means cleaning up – properly – after every meal, keeping on top of the laundry, going around all the rooms decluttering every morning, and keeping an eye on the state of the bathrooms and toilets.   Amusingly, these are all habits good old Flylady encourages in us.

It also gives me a lever on the kids.  They have to keep their rooms tidy too.  So I have been implementing a policy where nobody gets their meal if they have left their bedroom or playroom in a mess.  They are buying into this, though it’s tricky when they have friends round.   Nevertheless, they are keeping up their side of the bargain, and for every day their room is tidy they get a little extra pocket money.

I hope and pray that all these things that must be done will become routine for both me and the kids.  (Oh, and the loved one, who is playing catch-up on the tidy thing.)   I almost want the house to take longer to sell, to give us a chance to set the habits in stone.

Or perhaps I should just make sure that once the house sells, we don’t collapse in a heap, have a celebrat0ry pillow fight and let the house degenerate back into its usual chaos.  Tempting though that may be, it won’t help once we begin the moving process.  And it’ll be three times as bad once we move into any new house and have any building work to wade through.

healingdream /

But we might have to have the pillow fight anyway.  If we sell the house, can you think of a better way to celebrate with the family?

Over the last three years I’ve been trying to work out how to get the morning routine sussed so that we are not late for school.

Good old Flylady has a wealth of advice on this one.

  • Get up fifteen minutes earlier than you used to, and use this time to make sure you yourself are fully ready (‘dressed to lace up shoes’), having laid out your clothes the night before.

I’m now getting up half an hour earlier, and yes, I’m laying out my clothes.  It definitely helps.  I don’t wear lace-up shoes though. Maybe I should.

  • Get everything that has to go in the car ready the night before, and put it at the Launch Pad (special place to put stuff ready to go in the car)

I do almost everything the night before, and yes we even have a Launch Pad (my son thinks this is a brilliant name).  I can’t cope with doing the lunches the night before as I can’t stand soggy sandwiches, but this still helps a good deal.

  • Leave with fifteen minutes to spare.

We never have a spare fifteen minutes.  We are lucky if we are on time.

Flylady also has several other things that you should do before you leave the house, such as swish and swipe, rebooting the laundry and emptying the dishwasher, all of which just have to wait till after the school run.   I’ve tried to squeeze them in, but as any parent in the school playground will tell you, I just can’t do it and still be there on time.

The kids know they are not allowed to have TV or playtime till they are ready with everything except their coat.  Being five and seven years old, this needs frequent reminding.  The baby, thankfully, is adaptable and does not contribute to morning chaos.

Take this morning for instance.   I was so good.  We were doing well.  I’d limited my ambitions to just getting out on time since everyone had overslept.  I was micro-managing the children, which works well to prevent distractions from taking hold, albeit rather time-intensive.  We were getting in the car, and still on time.  When I realise that it’s a bit too quiet.

Yes, the moment I had taken my eyes off him, my oldest child had decided that rather than get his sweatshirt, coat and shoes on and be ready, he’d  just pop to the playroom and fiddle with his Lego.

The Playroom

The playroom. Irresistable to 7-year-olds who should be getting dressed.

I so nearly broke Resolution No. 2.  My voice certainly came out at a higher pitch, and my displeasure was noticeable.

And we were late for school.