I remember going through this when Lainy Ann was 6 or 7 years old. She can not NOT be on a schedule. We would skip 4th of July Celebrations, staying up late for movie night, etc. My kids are ruled by the schedule. They thrive with a schedule. They fail without one.
When Lainy Ann was young I would plan every second of the summer - ensuring we had daily outings, field trips, shopping trips, school work, science experiments, summer camp. It was exhausting. We never got to do anything spontaneous or just hang out with friends. We never slept in or stayed up late. But it kept the melt downs and bad behavior at bay.
Lainy Ann is much old now and is perfectly happy to stay up late and sleep in. She loves hanging out with her friends last minute and she loves sitting at home with no plans. This summer I let our plans relax a little bit. I decided we should be spontaneous. We are doing plenty of camps and all of our weekends are booked - but the busy times are interspersed with weeks of down time.
We are failing. Failing. The kids have been crazy and out of control. William can not NOT have a schedule. I have had a semblance of a schedule with morning tv time, outside time, homework time, nap time, etc. But its not enough. Friends have come over to play with us. We have gone out to run errands and be busy. It doesn't matter.
We have dissolved into the Wild Wild West where children ignore everything a parent says and destroys anything they can find. Kids are sneaking off-limits toys. They think 'quiet time' means run through the house and bounce balls off the windows.
This morning the children were up at 5:30 am - threatening to wake up the other 8 sleeping people in the home. At 6:30 am I put them outside to play to keep the inside quiet. They started screaming and yelling. They turned on the water and were hosing down the house and my car - the very thing that I said was not allowed the previous day.
I was at a loss. I put the boys into the car in jammies with no shoes. We went to the police station. We talked to the police about noise ordinance laws and talked about how we live in a community and need to respect all of our neighbors and their needs (since clearly they weren't respecting my rules). I was hoping this would really sink in and help them to remember their role in society. The police gave them toys and thanked them for coming in.
We went to the doctor next because I suspect a med change is in order for William to help him regulate his mood and impulses better. The nurse tried to send me away since my chid wasn't technically sick. I told her this was an emergency. She asked if I could come back later. I told her no. I told her if she didn't see me I would go to the ER. I told her I was in a crisis.
We talked about better applications for the meds and we have a follow up appointment for next week. I was prescribed a dinner buy myself tonight and a healthy dose of patience. The meds won't kick in until tomorrow.
So today I pray. I hand on tight so I don't fall off. I have disciplined, begged, taken away privileges invited friends over, promised treats. Nothing has worked.
Today I pray. I don't know what I am praying for, but I pray. Because that is all I have left.
UPDATE: God answer prayers in the form of naps. Thank you, God.