Monday, May 3, 2010

Adaptable

(tricycle picture, since I didn't have one for the birthday post... totally unrelated to the rest of this post)

Kai has proven to be quite the adaptable child over and over again. Although she is quite intense and focused as she attempts a particular task or engages in an activity, she is amazingly adaptable when it comes to her core schedule and routine. She has never had an attachment to any particular object. And, while she likes a routine and likes to know what to do next, if you change the routine and explain to her that you are changing it -- she'll go along with that as well. Daycare was a good example. There was, literally, NO adjustment period. Na-da. It was like she had been hanging out with a dozen other kids and four other adults her whole life. She just joined right in with the other kids and quickly mastered the routine of the day.

Another example? Her bedtime routine. Eric and I have been letting Kai go to bed with a sippy cup of milk for about a year (ever since Kai was weaned). She doesn't fall asleep with it - just drinks it while we read stories and then she finishes it, hands it to whoever is putting her to bed, curls up and goes to sleep. Our doctor advised some time ago to replace the milk with water so that she doesn't have any milk after brushing her teeth. We resisted, dreading putting Kailey to bed without the milk. We, it turns out, were quite attached to the milk and our notion that it made bedtime easier. Kai, on the other hand, wasn't so attached. This last week, I decided I was willing to deal with the hysterics that I assumed would accompany an attempt to go to sleep without the milk, and handed Kai a glass of milk BEFORE brushing her teeth. "Here's your milk for bedtime... drink it and then we'll brush your teeth and go to bed." Kai looked at me, looked at the milk and then grabbed it and drank a few sips. One thing that helped is that the milk was in a regular plastic cup, not a sippy cup. Kai LOVES anything that is more adult-like. So, she was all about drinking her nighttime milk from a real cup. She drank it and headed into the bathroom, where we brushed her teeth. Then we turned out the lights and headed into her bedroom. "Milk?" Kai asked as she got into bed. Here it comes, I thought. "No. You just had milk and then you brushed your teeth -- so now we'll just read a story." Kai climbed into bed, grabbed a story and bedtime proceeded without another peep about the milk. She was asleep in her usual time. I was amazed.

Kai has done that over and over again in her short years. She is willing to go with a new routine or try something she has never tried before. She is more than willing to change things up.

In this way, she and I are polar opposites. Like any good Taurus, I am quite set in my routines. I like to know exactly what is coming, and if you try to change the routine at the last minute -- like the bedtime routine AS I'M GOING TO BED - I will, to this day, throw a bit of a tantrum.

Kai's way is much better. I am trying to be more like her.

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