Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Creatures of Habit

Before becoming a parent, I literally did read “Parenting for Dummies.” And if there’s anything I remember from that book, it was that consistency is important and structure is important. I remembered them not necessarily because those are the most important things about being a parent, or even because those were the main points of the book, but rather because consistency and structure is something I value myself, so when I read it in the book I more easily retained it. And now, as a parent, I try to live it – the kids will tell you it is very common for me to repeat to them what we will be doing and in what order, at the beginning of any given day.

Alas, my daughter, who has been blessed with an elephantine memory, holds me to that schedule. And when things change – and, of course, they always do – she reminds me of what I had promised and can get quite emotional when something she was looking forward to is no longer on the menu for the day ahead.

This happened last week, when I told her we would be participating in the Baltimore Avenue Stroll later in the week, only to have rain cause us all to desire to snuggle at home instead. Except for our little elephant, who insisted that we eat out, even though we wondered why she would think such a crazy thought. Until we remembered that it was the Baltimore Avenue Stroll she was referring to. Chastened, I took her and Aaron out and we partook of sandwiches and cider and ice cream on Baltimore Avenue.

But some days, I will in fact have to call an audible, and Jada will have to learn to adjust. God bless her for her memory; now here’s hoping God blesses her with an ability to roll with the punches when the schedule changes, as well.
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