Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your Evening Rituals

What is your evening routine? Yesterday was the 8th annual Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children - “a national movement to inform parents that the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free.” Who knew? As it just so happens, we did eat dinner together last night. As a matter of fact it was the beginning of a new effort on my part -- PEACE. We make every effort to eat all together and have a sit down homemade meal together every night -- except date night. So, like with most things, if I don't plan ahead and get myself organized things can get chaotic. For most parents with school aged kids the craziest times of the day come when everyone leaves and when everyone returns. The biggest tool to use against this mayhem is planning and organizing -- and of course setting an objective. Now, they may have gotten a bit too carried away in the 50's with women welcoming their working husbands home dressed to the 9's with pearls and an apron with a "Welcome home dear! How was your day dear!" and a martini. However, on the flip side, what can develop over here if I don't put my mind to it, plan and organize is lunacy. I'm finishing up with dinner (or worse, just starting it), Benjamin works on his homework -- asking questions, getting distracted by: Ripley who is saying he's hungry wanting attention ... a playmate. The two boys start bickering in someway and Victor walks in. I immediately give him 12 jobs and ask him how his day was as I race to finish dinner, correct and redirect the kids, and try to smile and look cute. Now I am trying to recommit myself to having dinner pretty much ready and organized before he gets home. Do you ever feel like you and your spouse never have a decent conversation? Well, it's no wonder why! Yesterday -- for the first time in months -- dinner was pretty much all prepped and organized, the table was set. We sat down with a hunk of cheese (his parents has brought back from a recent trip to Portugal) and had a glass of wine and chatted about our days. I'd put out some things for Ripley to "work" on, and Benjamin was finishing up his homework. Wow. It wasn't perfect (there is always something) but it was pretty dern good.


Kristi said...

It's almost impossible to have a private conversation when you have children! Our weekday evening ritual goes something like this- I try to have dinner almost finished when the last two get off the bus. They work on their homework while I finish dinner. I established the homework first rule early on and now they don't question it. When Byron gets home we have dinner. At 7:30 the girls begin their baths. At 8:30 lights out no excuses! They know this so they make sure they are ready. Bedtime prayers are said and kisses are given. Finally peace and quiet (my girls don't see whats so great about this) 8:30 to 10:00 mine and Byron's time together.

Sandy said...

Amen and Amen to the "right away" homework rule, and the "firm bedtime" rule! A woman after my own heart.