Filed under Motherhood Young Children
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Jack’s life is not so simple as Caly’s. He’s a three-year-old boy. (I can see you moms of sons smiling and nodding to yourselves. You understand.) So far, he’s an only child. He has no other siblings to
fight play with. That means “Mommy” is his primary playmate and conjurer of entertainment. Jack—as much as I love him—is also a whiney child, and easily bored.
Schedule to the rescue again. The same principles that helped regulate Jack’s feeding and sleeping as an infant provide order, structure, purpose, and fun to Jack’s toddler days. There’s “breakfast time” and “toy time” and “school time” and “video time” and “outside time” and “table time,” mostly in ½ hour increments. You get the idea. And so does Jack. Recently, I took him out of the bathtub and he excitedly announced, “It’s towel time!” (I guess there really is a time for EVERY matter under heaven!)
It took some effort to get his wake-time schedule up and running. I blocked out a week where I was home in the mornings and focused on moving Jack through his day. We have a timer (which has since been dunked in the bathtub) to help him know when it’s time to transition to the next activity. Mom encouraged me to label each part of the day to help him understand.
There’s always more tweaking and troubleshooting to do. But now that the structure is in place, I have great flexibility. I often shuffle the late-morning and afternoon activities around, depending on the day. Even if we miss a day, Jack easily slides back into his schedule the following morning.
Moms with multiple children might not need a schedule quite as intense as mine (that’s why it’s just a suggestion). But my three year old is a lot less whiney on a schedule. And so am I.