Forgive me for writing yet another post about routines - a changed routine, a failed routine, a lack of routine, a new routine that was the answer until it wasn't. But, as my mom recently reminded me (when I apologized for talking about our new schedule at home for probably twenty-five minutes with an inordinate level of enthusiasm): "Routines are so crucial! Of course you think about them and talk about them!"
Another reason I hesitate to write this post is because, if I have learned anything from motherhood, it is that as soon as you even think any version of "Well now I know how to get them to . . . ," your children will wake up five times the next night / throw the vegetables (and the fork, the plate, the cup, and the placemat) on the floor / insist on wearing shorts when it is forty-three degrees outside / stop pooping in the potty.
So I will not explain that I have been trying for the last ten days to make the evening routine happen a half-hour earlier, and that I believe that this shift in schedule has resulted in easier bedtimes. I will not congratulate myself for trying to get dinner on the table by 5:30 these days. I will not apply for any kind of genius grant because I realized that picking the kids up on foot and walking them home in a stroller is simply more humane for all three of us than trying to fight the 1.3 miles and twenty-eight minutes of traffic.
I will simply remark that tonight, for the second night in a row, I was free to do whatever I wanted starting before 8 pm. I could write a blog post. I could think through a difficult project at work. I could watch any number of junk television shows. I could finally try to understand (and get sucked into) a certain website that rhymes with schminterest. Technically, I could do laundry, but I am going to pretend that I am actually swamped with other things.