I’m not quite sure, now that I’m at the point where I am, that I remember what it used to be like when I was the Monster’s age.
Certainly, when I was his age, I was going to nursery school and the like. I’m sure that at that age, my mother was dropping me off daily and picking me up, not that I remember how much of the day I was there, if I liked it or not, etc. It never made much of an impression on me, apparently.
The Monster has a well-defined routine now in the mornings. We get him out of his room, we take him to the potty, then he has breakfast, gets dressed, and waits for the schoolbus. (Or more precisely – I sit in the study with a window open so I can hear the bus coming around a blind corner, and then grab him when it’s about 30 seconds out.) Once the bus is pulling up and the door is open, he makes a mad dash for the big yellow bus. I swear, I’ve never seen a child so excited to get on the bus in my life.
And that’s mornings, Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday are a different story, and therein lies the problem.
I don’t think that, per se, he really has an issue with the down days. I do wonder if they confuse him at all, if the fact that there’s rarely as strict a schedule as the other mornings throws him off his game. I know that he understands that one of those two days, I’ll be in the kitchen making breakfast. Not that it necessarily impacts on his patience with such – we usually have his breakfast heating while he’s on the potty so it’s out shortly thereafter – but it’s definitely a stressor from what we’ve noticed.
And weekends like the upcoming one are probably just as problematic, if only because it’s rarely predictable from week to week what we’re going to be doing. Contrast that with his school week, where everything follows a set pattern, with good transitions between activities. This weekend is… open. The wife wants to go to a tryout for Wheel of Fortune, and we have a birthday party on Saturday night during which the kids will be visiting their grandparents. (Adult party! Woo!) We have bowling on Sunday with the local Autism Society chapter. But.. other than that, we have nothing, which means we’ll ‘fill in’ things where we can.
I’m just thinking perhaps it’s time we solidify the morning rituals a little more, to ensure consistency and make sure we’re getting him off on the right foot each day…