Okay, so I will admit to my faithful readers that going from one to two has been a bit of a struggle. At first it was the simple matter of getting everyone out the door. I had grown accustomed to tossing a bag of crackers in my purse and heading out the door with my self-sufficient four year old. Suddenly I was back to the dreaded DIAPER BAG, which was much too small for the many things I now needed to have with me at all times: diapers, wipes, change of clothes, spit up cloths (worried that John would throw up and I would be unprepared as I had been at the airport), toys, formula, bottle, sippy cup, snacks... you get the idea. And while I was frantically trying to cram everything into our too small bag, my oldest would be ready to go and impatiently opening and closing the door to the garage a million times. Sigh. I learned quickly to have bags ready to go in our back closet. Swimming bag packed with towels, change of clothes, sunscreen and snacks. Diaper bag packed the night before, with drinks waiting in the fridge. I also began prepping the kitchen the night before with early morning cereal and milk. I can do this, I thought. Except for one small problem... my four year old.
Paul has always been a high-energy kid with tendencies toward impulsive behavior. So I really shouldn't be all that surprised that those behaviors have been magnified since John came into our lives. And having considerable experience with children who have similar dispositions, I should also not be surprised that he craves routine. And is slowly falling to pieces without it. We do try. For two weeks he went to swimming lessons everyday and loved it. Then my brother was in town and playing with cousins was an ideal distraction. He had Vacation Bible School for a week - another great activity. And now... we have nothing but that late days of summer to idle away before routine returns. The really sad part? Without a job in September and a firm rejection from our town's Universal Pre-K, there will be no routine in September. I am hoping to keep him in daycare for at least two days a week if we can swing it financially, so he has something to look forward to besides endless hours with mommy and little brother. Don't get me wrong - I try to plan outings and fun activities, but a gung-ho SAHM I am certainly not. The fleeting thoughts I once had about home schooling my children? Gone out the window when I brought home Mr. Social Butterfly.
As things began to tumble not so gently downhill in the van household, and I seriously contemplated calling Super Nanny, it became clear that we needed behavior modification. With the help of my good friend Amy and some input from the boy, we began on our quest to made things more peaceful. Yesterday was the first day using the new system. The morning went surprisingly smooth, but around midday it started to unravel. I have to remind myself that these things take time (P definitely "inherited" his impatient, why am I not seeing results NOW attitude from me), but hopefully we are on the road to recovery.