We are a family of routine. We like them and we make them rather quickly. So when a routine gets changed, even if it is for a good and happy reason (like Adam being home from work) we seem to all get a little thrown for a loop.
I love when Adam is able to be home during the work week. It does not happen often, which is perhaps part of what makes it feel special, but when he is home it feels like bonus time. Whether that time is spent working on projects, or running errands, or sharing a lunch, it is an actual welcome change from our routine.
But it doesn't come without complications. Our morning routine somehow feels more stressful when he is home. There is something about the extra body or our unfamiliarity with each other's morning movements that seem to keep us stumbling over each other. And time moves faster on the mornings he is home, forcing me to push harder and faster to get the older girls out to the bus stop on time.
Nora had a terribly difficult afternoon today, which I am not hinting is a direct result of our change in routine. She did, however, have several variables working against her, one of which was her change in routine. It's a delight to have Daddy home midweek, but it still is not our "usual." But, she also had a rough night last night, seems to be getting a few molars, and took a nap that was about two hours too short. When the ingredients fall together just so, it is inevitable that the afternoon falls apart just so as well, which is exactly what happened.
The minutes between five thirty and seven o'clock seemed impossibly prolonged as she toddled around the house whining and crying and frustrated and angry because I just wasn't understanding and doing what she wanted. It was a night that I frantically wanted to end ASAP, like twenty minutes ago. But I didn't put her to bed at five thirty. I knew it would be a bigger mistake to get her down too early than it was a fight to be in the same room with her until seven.
I gave her all the attention I could muster, which was only sometimes the right amount to keep her from yelling, and when the clock hit 6:58 I was in her bedroom with the lights out and bedtime routine started.
We like our routines in this house, it is true. But we sometimes like variation too. And even though we trip over each other when Adam is off midweek, we would gladly adjust to a new routine if he could be home during the day more often.
It is always nice to have him home.