Sunday, June 17, 2007

Giving Jada More Slack

Jada likes her order. She has her routines, has certain stuffed
animals she can't sleep without, doesn't even like to leave a room
unless all the toys are put away and all the drawers pushed in.

So as you can imagine, with the arrival of Aaron, her orderly world
has been thrown into a bit of disarray. Our house is more cluttered
than usual, particularly since Aaron's sleeping arrangements are
temporary as we fix up his room. And the normal rhythm of the day has
given way to a different, so far inconsistent rhythm, based on Aaron's
sleep schedule. So while we try not to tolerate tantrums and bad
behavior, we're also trying to give Jada a little more slack than
usual, understanding that she's thrown a bit out of sorts by this new
addition to our family.

I was reminded of this fact last night when, in a panic, Jada starting
throwing everything but the kitchen sink into her crib right before
bedtime. It had been a rough day in terms of her not getting what she
was used to getting. A few tantrums had been thrown, which did not
seem to work for her. And so filling her crib with familiar items
seemed a logical way for a toddler to deal with all the turmoil. And
so I checked to make sure everything in the crib was safe, cleared out
a Jada-sized space, plopped her right in the middle of it all, and
kissed her goodnight.

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