My two toddler boys (who are three and two) thrive on routine. From school drop offs to nighttime rituals, we try to keep things consistent for them. Any shake up in the average morning sends the boys into a downward spiral to the dreaded red on the school color chart. So when I dislocated my knee early this year doing a reverse lunge and ended up on crutches and a walking boot? The wonderful world of our household routine came to a startling halt. In fact, our daily routine shattered.
Mommy can’t drive. She can’t help with baths. Mommy can’t pin you down long enough to get you dressed. Heck, Mommy can’t even get herself dressed!
Every time I kicked my braced leg up to relax, I heard the stampede of little feet scurrying down the hall. Fear of one of them crashing into my injured leg sent beads of sweat down my forehead. Seeing a football zoom past my head immediately hurled me into a panic mode. My leg was going to be tackled right along with my two year old. Unfortunately for me, they finally realized that I could not catch them. Mommy = the tortoise. Kids = the hare. It has been a struggle for me to sit on the sidelines in my own home and watch my husband take over (and not judge the way he loaded the dishwasher or tried to comb through our son’s insanely curly mane).
Although it has been a pain (literally) to be down and out, I must admit some perks to breaking the family routine surfaced. The boys are attempting to dress themselves. (You want to wear that jersey for the third day in a row? No problem!) My youngest doesn’t beg to be picked up every second of the day. He knows I physically can’t do it. His Mommy obsession has turned into a Daddy obsession. Now Daddy gets to read “one more book” twenty-three times at bedtime. Lucky Daddy! The boys help me cook dinner. And even though I will not take their advice to add chocolate chips to the spaghetti, they are offering to help. I am also getting extra hugs and kisses, mainly on my leg, but I’ll take it.
Some other household routines have changed as well. My husband goes grocery shopping! What he comes home with may be completely different then what was on the list I painstakingly wrote out, but I’ll make do. He has actually done laundry — for the first time since we’ve had kids! He had to handle the drop off and pick up at school, and Lord knows, that can be an impossible task.
I’ve learned to sit back and let the chips fall where they may. Is it bad that I am secretly enjoying this break in routine?! Maybe it actually helped everyone in the family.
As I slowly get back to my normal state, whatever that may be, I am thankful for my helpful husband, my surprisingly understanding boys, and the amazing group of friends and family that came to our aid. (Honestly? I am most thankful for the numerous wine clubs that deliver cases of wine to my front door.)