Kids love routines. They need routines. Until they can tell time, the routine is their watch. Our kids know the weekly routines and they are learning about dates and reading a calendar so they know what’s upcoming on what days. So any deviation from that routine requires a lot of explaining if it means missing an important day like Lego club or library day.
That being said, something we hadn’t counted on was their interpretation of what is actually “part of the routine” and what is a special variance to said routine. We have always assumed that we as parents make the schedule but something intriguing happens every now and then. If we add something to a day…something fun or good like a special treat, a special place or an ordinary place but one where on this particular occasion they get a book or treat, this becomes part of the routine.
It’s an interesting process because no matter how much we specify the uniqueness of the change to schedule, if it’s something fun…it’s now part of the routine. It doesn’t matter how much we tell them that this is only happening once. If it’s fun, it’s an automatic entry in the schedule. It must be an ancient truth because they surely look at me with watery “but that’s not fair!” eyes when we don’t do that thing they thought we were gonna do because we did it last week!
Having all three do this simultaneously is a tough power to overcome. We usually stick to our guns and let them work through their 12 stages of disappointment. But every once in awhile we cave. They love when we cave.
…and this is how Thursday milkshake night started!