Last weekend, a friend asked if Cee and I would like to go for a hike with her on Sunday morning. I would have loved to go. It was perfect Oregon summer weather, and this friend is one of my favorite people in the world. But, I said no.
I said no because Cee needed a Do-Nothing Day – or at least Do-Nothing Morning. Five days per week, she goes to daycare for the morning. She has a great time there, and I get my work time in. It’s a nearly perfect arrangement. The only thing that’s hard about it is actually getting there.
Cee likes to do things herself, and she likes to do them at her own pace. She does not do well under pressure, and she does not like deadlines and ultimatums.
It is vitally important to her to choose the right underwear for her day. And sometimes she can’t decide on the right pair, so she settles on two pairs instead. (And once, six pairs at a time, which made potty time quite a production.) And then the right pants, sometimes two pairs of those, too (or one pants, one shorts, since we’re on the verge of shorts season). And then a shirt. Maybe it is one particular favorite shirt that she really needs, and if it’s in the dirty laundry, we have to talk about how we wear clean clothes to school. Sometimes we don’t make it to socks – I just carry her to the car barefoot with a pair of socks in my pocket.
Cee enjoys this process, and she sees right through my efforts to shorten it. If I put two pairs of pants in front of her and ask her to choose the blue ones or the grey ones, she thinks about it for what feels like a long time and then says, “Hmmm, where are my red pants?” and starts digging through her drawer. For now, I have accepted that getting dressed just takes some time. But usually, around the time that she has her undies on and one leg in her pants, one leg out, I glance at the clock and realize that we running late. I end up rushing her (with mixed success), and we’re often both a little frazzled by the time we get in the car.
This snail-paced getting-dressed routine is annoying to me, but lately I’ve also been noticing just how stressful it can be to Cee. She doesn’t like to be rushed, and I don’t think she likes seeing me get impatient either. She slows down, shuts down, and falls apart, and that’s a rough way to start the day.
Every day, I work at being better at this process, but it’s a work in progress. It feels like a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t kind of situation. And I know it will get better. Soon enough, she’ll be bored with the getting-dressed challenge; at least, I can hope.
But anyway, back to last Sunday. I declared Sunday morning a Do-Nothing-Morning, and I let Cee know that we were in no hurry. I poured myself a cup of coffee and settled into her room. She could take as long as she wanted to get dressed. And how long did it take? About 90 minutes, most of it spent like this:
It was nice. With a busy week schedule and fun summer activities, it’s hard to find Do-Nothing Mornings. But my girl needs one every once in a while, so I’m vowing to find more Do-Nothing time this summer.
Do you make time for Do-Nothing time? Have any set aside for this weekend?
P.S. – One small solution to Cee’s difficult underwear decision has been the purchase of undies labeled with the days of the week (found them at Old Navy), at least for this week.