Monday, November 26, 2018

Today, I am grateful for daily routines - little things that bring order to our days. Our entire family, especially Smarty, appreciates knowing what's coming next. Perhaps it makes us less adventurous than other people, but I admit that I value order higher than spontaneity, and my husband is the same. Not surprisingly, Smarty did not fall far from the family tree. Even as a baby, she responded well to routines. She started sleeping much better once we established a certain series of steps we would go through before putting her to bed. Obviously, over years her routine evolved and changed, but even now it involves an obligatory cuddle and a Russian lullaby, and it is still something that we follow faithfully every night.
We are also firm believers in family mealtimes. We eat breakfast and dinner as a family on most days, and no cell phones or other devices are allowed to interfere with dinner. We like to talk during mealtimes about the current events or something that interests one of us. I cannot imagine dinners in front of TV - neither of us grew up with this tradition, and we are not raising Smarty that way.
One of my favorite routines is going on walks with Smarty. She is usually extra chatty during these walks and more likely to share what's on her mind, but often she just talks about books she is reading or the stories that she is developing.
My other favorite tradition came about relatively recently, about 3 years ago when Smarty was finally interested in watching some TV. Even now, she has no interest in fiction movies or series, but she enjoys documentaries and reality shows. So pretty much every evening we clean up after dinner, set up breakfast for tomorrow and sit down to watch our current favorite show. Many kids are stimulated by TV shortly before bed, but not Smarty. Watching TV before the start of her night routine actually helps her unwind and wrap up her day. I know I will remember these evenings fondly when she leaves home just a few short years in the future. We will have to create new routines then, but right now we have our Smarty-centered routines, and for this I am grateful.

Your Turn

What are your favorite routines?

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