Thursday, 28 January 2016

Another new start

We've started back at school this week, which, among other things, means, getting back into routines to keep everything moving along and getting done.

I like routine, but I like flexible routine the best!  I like a routine that says, "when you get up, wake up properly and do a workout.  Then cool down properly and have a shower.  Eat a nutritious, delicious breakfast then finish getting ready to leave the house."

That style of routine suits me much better than, "get up at X.  Get into the gym by Y and out of the shower by Z.  Eat quickly while rushing to finish getting ready to leave the house at such-and-such a time."

Ultimately they're both the same routine, but one is relaxed and flows with however the day is panning out, while the other is rigid and stresses me out.

Unfortunately, my mornings are more the 2nd style of routine because I prefer to stay in bed until the last reasonable moment (especially because getting to sleep is sometimes tricky).

Part of the reason they're more the 2nd style in the mornings is that my hours at work have changed this week.  Instead of 8am to 4pm, I've moved to 7am to 3pm, which means I get home when the Little Big Fella gets home from school.

Which also means that the afternoon/evening is more the first style of routine.

And I'm loving that!

Today we got home and had a swim, then I went to the shops to get milk and such.  While I was there I realised that I could check the mail because the post office was still open!  Previously, getting to the post office after work has been a rush and puts the whole afternoon/evening under pressure.

I'm just enjoying having that extra time to play with my son (yesterday we played UNO Stacko, and Yahtzee).

There is a slight down side, though.  I only have about half an hour after the Little Big Fella goes to sleep before I need to go to bed.  And I'm definitely going to need to change things around a little so that some of the jobs I used to do at the end of the day get done earlier (before I'm completely exhausted).  But overall, this is going well for us so far!

The Little Big Fella started Grade 2 this week.  He has the same teacher as last year, who he absolutely adores!  And he has plenty of friends in his class.

The school he goes to has all composite classes, except for Prep, so this is his first year as a big kid.  His teacher gives the Grade 2 students stickers every time they do something as "a responsible role model", and it seems to be a good motivator.  He's so proud to be able to help.

The Big Fella informed the Little Big Fella this week that he needs to learn how to cook his own breakfast, and that when he's a little bigger, he'll get to cook dinner for us all.

So the Little Big Fella has been cooking his own bacon and eggs, and french toast this week (with supervision - he's not quite ready to tackle the kitchen alone yet!).  He's so proud of the skills he's learning.

Which has made me re-assess my parenting.  The Little Big Fella is big for his age, so often we treat him as an older child.  But there are also lots of times where I baby him and do too much for him, depriving him of the opportunity to learn and be proud of new skills.

So as we start a new school year, and a new season at work, I'm internally challenging myself to allow my son to experience the frustrations and joys of tackling new tasks.  I will take the time (especially in the afternoons, when I feel like I have so much more time) to give him the space to make mistakes and beat the challenges.  I want to give him more chance to be proud of himself, and grow into the man we want him to be.