Wednesday, July 15, 2009

works for me: "what are we doing tomorrow?"

we stay pretty busy here. we like to be on-the-go, going and doing, seeing and experiencing. we have fun. we're out the door by 10am most days, gone until 2 or 3pm. we make plans and we go places to see people and do things.

BigGirl loves this. she's gotten into the routine of it. she knows that if she wants to go somewhere she has to get ready, and she knows what all that entails: bath, teeth, hair, clothes, breakfast, chores, pack snacks, and so on. with the incentive of going somewhere or doing something fun, she does all these things in record time.

the problem is this: i've also found that same incentive helps her stay in her own bed at night. so when i'm tucking her in, after our prayers and sweet dreams and i love yous, i often tell her what we're doing the next day IF she sleeps all night in her own bed.

because otherwise there's that little chance of her crawling into our bed at 2am, and then tossing, turning, kicking and punching us in her sleep. [i'm not even kidding. one time she gave me a bloody nose.]

but...there are days when mama just wants to do n o t h i n g.

and telling her this when i tucked her in at night wasn't good enough, really, for either of us.

"what are we doing tomorrow?" became a habitual bedtime phrase. saying "nothing" almost guaranteed she'd show up in my bedroom an hour later. saying "staying home to catch up on housework and e-mails" was not better. i had to come up with something.

first, i banned her from asking "what are we doing tomorrow?" and told her that if she asked it, not only would i not answer her, but she also had to tell me 5 things she liked about TODAY.

second, i stopped using the next day's plans as incentive for anything. especially at bedtime. after prayers and sweet dreams and i love yous, i tell her, "tomorrow is Thursday, July 16th and we are going to have an awesome day together."

[did you catch that? i sneak in a little lesson. shhhh!]

i got myself into that mess so i had to get myself out. and quick. yesterday we had a great day at home. it worked for me!

there are more helpful Works for Me Wednesday tips at We are THAT Family.