I’m pretty predictable when it comes to child-rearing, and I’m so ok with it. I was one of those moms with a strict feeding schedule when my kids were babies, our weekday mornings are pretty routine, and of course our bedtime rituals are pretty consistent, minus the nights I am ready to pull out my hair (OMG how many times do I have to tell them to pick up dirty underwear?) or nights like this night.
My daughter and I are currently reading the Whatever After series. We’re on book #4, and although we have purchased a couple of them, most of the time we check the books out from the library. Money saver of course, however, it also means that we have to get through the book in the two weeks that we have it.
So that shouldn’t be a problem, right? I mean, I love to read, she loves to read, we both love this series, no issues, right? Well, remember where I explain my parenting style as routine and pretty much creature of habit? That pretty much means we do a chapter a night. It’s just long enough for us to maintain interest, get our giggles in, and keep the story going. But its not long enough for us to finish it in two weeks, especially since there’s more than 14 chapters, and there’s usually an errant night here or there where I read with both kids, my husband may read with her (this is our thing, he’s not allowed to read it) or (gasp!) we miss a night of reading. So often, we either renew it or return it and end up having a long gap before we are able to finish the book.
On this particular night, we are only on chapter 6 of 19, its Monday, and the book is due back on Saturday! We are just getting into the thick of the plot and as usual, we don’t want to stop reading after I finished chapter 6. She wanted me to keep going, and that’s not unusual, however, what was unusual was my decision to actually read another chapter. Was it super short you ask? Not particularly. But you know, sometimes a mama has to switch it up a bit. I could tell she was surprised that I decided to keep going, but I didn’t make a big deal about it and neither did she. Now did she still ask me to read a 3rd chapter? Of course. Did it happen? Not on your life. Baby steps.
My take away for you from this evening’s event is to switch things up every once in a while. Routines are great and most of the time they make my life a lot easier. However, I am aware enough to know that while I want my children to be organized people and I want them to see the benefits of routine, I also want them to understand that flexibility is also important. So it is just as important to me to show that side to my children. Also, as a book lover myself, sometimes you just can’t put the book down!
*The Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski are books about Abby and her younger brother Jonah who have found a magic mirror that can transport them to various fairy tales. Somehow, some way, the two of them always make some sort of mistake that could ruin the story, and they have to fix the fairy tale before they find their way back home. So, if you have a younger child (1st or 2nd grade) who loves princesses and fairy tales, or loves to giggle, this may be the read aloud for you. If your child has the same interests and is older, then this may be one they want to read independently, although I still think it would make a good bedtime together read for them too. 🙂