Monday, December 17, 2007

The Morning Routine

I love lists. I love making them out, crossing things off, the wonderful neatness of it all. I have magnetic pads of paper stuck on the fridge so I can quickly jot down my grocery list, notes to the babysitter, or just have a piece of paper handy if someone needs to give me informations. You will find lists written in my day planner or stuck between the pages, forgotten in the back pockets of my jeans, crammed in the nifty dashboard hide-away of my van, and floating around in my purse.

There is a Daily Plan hanging on the side of my fridge, guiding me through what to do with each hour or half-hour increment of each day. It tends to make the day go more smoothly when we follow the routine. I am absolutely not telling you that I go by this list every day. No, in fact, last week was blown all to bits. And on Mondays, the kids and I are doing good to ever change out of our pajamas. Especially when it is so cold outside!

This morning, Thomas and Sarah Grace finished their breakfast well before Elizabeth had made much of a dent in hers. The asked to be excused, got their hands and faces cleaned up and then excitedly announced that they were going to play Hide & Seek.

There are so many thing I love about the age that Thomas and Sarah Grace are. We are never at a loss for anything. I can simply pull it out of my pocket. What? A dinosaur? Here ya go. I just happen to have one hiding in the silver ware drawer. A boat? Sit right here. Watch out for the big waves. You want a birthday cake? Well, right over there on the book shelf is a fresh one that I just finished up. A trip to the beach? Get your shovels, hop on the ottoman, and we will take a short drive.

And they merrily go along with whatever. They carry a basket around that is full of Christmas Cookies right now. Handing out triangle cookies, circle cookies, and square cookies for whatever that ails ya. They pack their bags and head off to Granny's house. They grab their keys and go to Kroger to get some more ice cream, coming home to offer me new flavors like cheese or watermelon flavored ice cream. They laugh back and forth, zig and zag, hither and tither playing in their imagination with friends or cousins that we haven't seen in weeks, weaving a wonderful day of entertainment. For them and for me.

This morning, though, they chose Hide & Seek. A game I love. But they play it special. Thomas shouted 'You count Say-Gwace, and I will go hide by the Christmas tree.' She hid her face and counted...'One, two, fwee, fouw, five, six, seben, eight, nine, ten, eweben, twelb, firteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenteeeee', and off she went, squealing with laughter as she made her way to the tree and....surprise! Thomas was there giggling and squealing. He then commaned her to go hide in the closet and he ran to the kitchen to count. After he 'found' her and the hysteria of giggles and squealing subsided a bit, she came back to the kitchen to count.

Elizabeth was somewhere between eating and laughing wildly at all the commotion going on around her. Sarah Grace began counting again and shot out of the kitchen in search of Thomas. After about half a minute, she came back into the kitchen looking slightly worried. 'Mommy, where is my Domas hiding?' He had forgotten to tell where he was going! I told Sarah Grace to look around carefully.

The doubtful look she shot at me just about did me in. She gazed at me for a minute, probably contemplating my competence in the game of Hide & Seek, turned resolutely and bellowed, 'DOMAS! WHERE ARE YOU HIDING?'

'I'm in here,' came the giggled reply. Sarah Grace ran out of the kitchen yelling, 'Say it adin, Domas!' until she found her target. They again melted into laughter and squeals.

This game continued on for nearly an hour. Suddenly, I realized it was quiet. I went into the kids rooms looking for them. No movement caught my attention. So I headed off to my room, which is supposed to be off limits for playing purposes. Nope. Door closed, nothing going on in there. The big doors were all dead-bolted, leaving no doubt that they were still inside. I called out to them, and was answered with muffled giggles. I followed the sound towards the kids rooms. I peeked in Thomas's room, but thatthere is simply no place to hide in there. So I stepped across to the girls' room, still not seeing anything. I called again, and the toys in the toy box moved a little as the giggles issued forth again.

I sat Elizabeth, who I had been toting around with me, on top of the vibrating pile. Soon, it erupted, spewing forth small children and stuffed animals. We played in the kids rooms, until about 11 am. None of which is on the Daily Plan. And now, they are still tackling each other, squealing about playing this or that, but happy. I sat down to catch my breath before I go concoct something for lunch and am thankful that I have the freedom to break from our daily routine to play silly games and tickle warm, cuddly children. Grateful, too, that I can take a nap in about two hours! I am worn out.

Guess the house chores get put off another day...


The Bouldins said...

I love posts like this. It makes me feel less stressed about following my own schedule :)

Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

Sounds like great fun and great memories for you and them both! No better reason to break the routine.

MeesheMama said...

I think you should email me your list. I thrive on schedules and flail around aimless without them. Sticking to it or not, it seems like a wonderful idea, and one that I cannot seem to wrap my fingers around these days.

Aside from all that, I loved the hide and seek story. It delights.