Thursday, November 12, 2009

Comfort in Consistency

The basket in our one and only bathroom is over-stuffed with a wide variety magazines--Texas, Parents, Men's Health, Prevention, American Baby. Unlike the men in my household, I'm not allowed the luxury of reading an entire book or magazine while I sit on the throne. The three shadows that follow me everywhere consider reading to be something I'm only supposed to do for them.

But I still enjoy keeping up with the world, and I do somewhat. Most nights, my fabulous husband watches the kids while I relax in a hot bath...with a magazine perched on the side of the tub. Wet fingers turn pages leaving them badly crinkled and sometimes stuck together for the next reader.

In these coveted, quasi-quiet moments, one thing I've noticed is all the parenting magazines say the same thing--children thrive on routine and consistency. You'd think this would be such a "duh" concept that researchers wouldn't have to waste time on studies to prove it. But if they're looking for photos of routine-driven children, mine should be on the front cover of their report.

It's so amazing to me how quickly those routines get established. Do an activity one day--no big deal. Do the same activity two days in a row and I've just instituted a new routine without even knowing it.

But lack of routine has been a problem over the past few days. By Tuesday afternoon, I had succumbed to the cold the children have had for the past week and a half. I hate when God chooses personal illness to remind me of how pathetically inadequate I am and how I should reconsider my attitude when complaining about my children getting sick because it could be worse--I could be sick.

But children don't understand mommy being sick. Even though Wyatt is the only one who can vocalize it, they all understand routine, and they want to stick to it no matter what.

Mommy's throat hurts? "Can you read this book, mommy...and that one, too?"

Mommy's body hurts from the fever? "Want to play soccer?"

Mommy's has a cough? "Want to go outside?" (in the wind)

Mommy has a fever and wants a nap? "No! I don't want to take a nap!"

I might as well be speaking a foreign language. The "Mommy-has-needs-too" language just can't be interpreted by three little would-be tyrants. No Rosetta stone around to help out.

But I take comfort in routines, too.

Mommy's head hurts? Wyatt says, "I kiss it and make it all better"

Daddy says time for bed? Wyatt puckers up for a kiss and says, "I love you mommy."

Mommy rakes up a leaf pile. Wyatt runs and jumps in. Joyous laughter.

Please pray for my health and healing.

1 comment:

  1. I'll pray for you, sis. That's so hard when you have kids to care for and you're not feeling up to it. Jesus very best over you and your sweet kiddies!