Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Creatures of Habit

I have always known that children crave consistency. I'm not talking about a legalistic routine where the clock is the tyrannical task master, but a logical progression of events throughout their days.

Care for pets.
Eat breakfast.
Brush teeth and dress.
Start school.
Peel Mama a grape.

Many of my friends have heard this story before, but I remember when Tyler was 3 and Himself and I were both on the music team at our church in California. This placed us both on stage when the children trickled in from Sunday school, but Tyler would go to our "spot," see my purse, and sit down.

One Sunday I decided to "get out of a rut" and sit somewhere else. I stood singing on the stage, helpless, as my poor son wandered up and down the aisle, looking for my purse. Some friends of ours finally took pity on him and let him sit with them until I came off the stage! I vowed to never change my seat again. Consistency!

Fast forward to Florida. This time a friend of mine decided she was in a rut and would change her seating. Unfortunately, she chose our row. I had to scramble to find a new spot that would hold all five of us.

Enter my teenage son, who had driven himself to church. He wandered up and down the aisle and couldn't find his sisters or my purse! My friend decided she would behave and leave our row alone the next time she was in a rut. Consistency!

Recently, I have been making lunches for Tyler. Each day I give him a sandwich, some Cheezits, carrots and dip, and four cookies. Last week, there were only three cookies left in the package, so I decided to just give him three instead of opening another package.

He accused Ben of taking one of his cookies.

Look, every day my mom gives me four cookies. Now there are only three. You took it.

Dude, I did not take your cookie!


Last week and this week, my focus has been on consistency in all things, including Bible reading, prayer, laundry, correspondence, school, groceries, and housekeeping. I don't want to be a slave to these things (except Bible reading and prayer. Lord, chain me to You!) but I do want to be able to function without panic if someone comes over, or to be able to easily turn in school reports when due.

Consistency is working very well, but it definitely takes effort. I am so close to becoming a housewife of old who had a baking day, laundry day, shopping day, mopping day, etc. I don't want to fall apart if I miss something, but I certainly tire of giving in to the "tyranny of the urgent."

Have any of you found things that make consistency a habit and lifestyle?


agable said...

Lol Poor Ben...although he has been known to take cookies before :). I am very much a creature of habit. It throws me off when things aren't predictable. Maybe I'll try to sit in a new row at church next week, just to shake things up a bit :).

Jess said...

I am such a creature of habit that I often can't even remember the reasoning behind my habits. "It's just the way I've always done it...."

Today I actually took a slightly different route home.
That's pretty bold and risky.

BA said...

I like to follow some sort of schedule (i.e. clean the house on Fridays) but I will never, ever, get a handle on the laundry! It would be so easy to just do one load/day but no, it just piles up. Thank goodness for our laundry room where I can just shut the door and pretend it's not there :-).

Rebekah said...

I think consistency is a wonderful thing and I bad for children who don't have any in their home and life.

Thank you so much for your comforting words and care. It means so much to me!

Mrs said...

BA, WHAT are your days? Clean house on Friday. . . what else! LOL I want to be like you when I grow up!


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