Jul 19, 2009

A Schedule After My Own Heart

To appreciate this post, you need to know a little about me. I grew up an extremely scheduled person. I loved knowing what and when I could expect for my next meal. I lived by my bed-time. A schedule was a comfort for me, it was my security. I knew what to expect. That's why, it made perfect sense while in college, that I had a "Plan Board". It was divided into two sides, one for my room-mate and one for me. On it we would write out our plan for the day so we knew what to expect (why...I have no idea). There was not much spontaneity going on, obviously. Also, that may explain my lack of consistent room-mates. It appears that not everyone appreciated the "Plan Board" as much as I did.

Eventually, I became an adult (in age only) and my little scheduling tendencies followed me. It came in awesome when I jumped into my career. I was in charge of meeting with clients and arranged my own calendar. As far as jobs go, it didn't get much better than that when you're an efficiency, schedule freak like myself. It was pure bliss, actually.

Then I graduated to parenthood. Another scary foray into the future unless you're armed with a comforting schedule. Poor Gavin. He bore the brunt of my need for organization (read 'control' here). I was flabbergasted that the hospital would actually send us home with this new person without guidance or a nurse. The only piece of advice was, "Just make sure you feed him every 4 hours". Well then...that's all we needed. Chuck designed the best little spreadsheet ever to keep track of every and anything new little baby Gavin would need. We woke him up precisely every 4 hours to feed, whether he was hungry, awake or not. This is what the authorities told us to do and we will not waver. At each feeding there was the spreadsheet to fill out...we marked whether he peed or pooped, what time the feeding was, how much he ate, when we started and stopped. It was horribly anal. We did this for 3 months. Mercifully, our pediatrician told us, "Stop. You don't need to do this anymore." What a relief. Gavin grew up asking, "So, Mom, what's the plan for today?" Enough said. He was a kindred spirit. He knew that a good plan, made for a good day.

Once Bennett entered the picture, any semblance of organization or scheduling was utterly lost. That was the beginning of freedom for me. For the first time in my life, I realized I didn't have to stick with a bed time - for myself. I could eat when I was hungry, not just when it was time. The kids could nap before and/or after lunch. By time Chloe came, I was only a shadow of my former self. I still love efficiency, but can't stand being locked into a schedule. I NEED flexibility. I NEED freedom to change my mind. This blows Gavin's mind.

Now...knowing the rigidity under which Gavin's earliest, developing years were formed, you can have a slightly better understanding of what and why and how he does some of the things he does. The boys have a neighbor that they play with every day of the week. They have really developed a neat relationship. Evidently, they were tired of coming up with what to play on what day. So, they all decided to make a schedule in order to ease the brain drain caused by thinking so hard during the summer.

I walk into the gameroom to see them all sitting at the computer with Powerpoint up. Gavin has made a beautiful chart and each of the boys were contributing to all the blank spaces. They were all equally excited with this genius idea, it seemed. They excitedly asked if they could print three copies so they could all have one to tape to the place of supreme importance in their rooms. Here is what all the commotion was about:

Obviously, it's encoded, but I think I might could crack it for you. 'Kung Fu' refers to role-playing ninjas and having hours of fun doing karate moves on each other. But just in case they get bored of that, instead of taking a break from each other and retiring to their own rooms, they still have 4 more options to choose from - it's just pure genius. Once Kung Fu looses its initial thrill, then they can morph into Jedi's, complete with robe and light saber. This includes full scale battles with extremley life-like and realistic sounds emmanately forth from each jedi. Since there's more time to kill, why not play the game "Scene It" a few times, at least until you've memorized all the answers and it's no longer fun to play. Then I suppose Legos comes in 4th on the list of fun activities. That could get a little quiet and still of a game...but I supposed even boys need some 'quiet time' to their long, grueling days of making boy noises and running. Lastly, and if Mommy is in the mood, 'water' would refer to 'going to the pool'. This is normally a given on any day, as long as its not raining...which, why would it rain? It's Texas, in July.

Thus you can see the pride bursting forth from my bosom as my eldest carries on the beauty of 'the schedule'.

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