The weekends are always horrendous in our house. Saturday is THE worst day for Mini in terms of meltdowns and defiance.
The weekends are when the NC and I get to see each other. They are when the NC gets to see the kids. They are also when he gets to do jobs around the house, maintenance on his bike (vital for his commute), and rest, ready for the following week.
So our weekends normally go something like this – plan very little, attempt to sleep in a bit, have a nice lazy Saturday morning, go for a walk at some point, check to see if any new geocaches are available for us to go out and find, eat cheese and crackers for lunch (a Saturday ritual), play games, watch DVDs, bake and do nice restful stuff. Sometimes we’ll visit the NC’s parents, or go to the coast for a walk along the beach and a bag of chips, or for a run around the park.
In and amongst all of this, Mini will meltdown lots. He meltdowns when he’s bored and can’t think of anything to do, he meltdowns if he’s asked to put his shoes on to go out, he meltdowns at bedtime, and will be generally defiant and oppositional.
This weekend was different. This weekend, instead of having a lazy morning, we’ve planned in the same way I normally plan school holidays – flexible plans, they can be changed or dropped if Mini’s not coping. But with lots more packed in! It's something we've talked about for a while as we can see Mini struggles with the change in routine and slower pace, but haven't gotten around to actually planning.
Today it went like this. Kids woke up, parents got up. Breakfast, showers/baths, Buckaroo. Then we went out. There was no time for boredom, no time for meltdowns….we narrowly avoided one when it came to a bathroom visit before going out, but a consequence was issued and good choices were made.
After a long walk and a reward of some sickly sweet looking chewy candy thing, we came home and the activities carried on – cupcakes, pizza making, Happyland and cars.
Following lunch, even more to keep Mini busy – bike washing and Pirate ship craft activity. Dinner dragged, but all went down.
Mini then got dressed for bed without trouble, brushed his teeth without being asked and then went to bed without fuss.
That’s not to say it was all plain sailing…there were ‘moments’, but we overcame them.
I'm a bit unsettled by this, but feeling very pleased. When I plan for holidays, I make sure we have a couple of things to do each day, but have plenty of ‘downtime’ for resting, playing, tv time, however, today has worked much better with loads to do.
Lesson learnt – it’s only taken us 4 years to get here! Although, I guess we’ve only been enduring this ‘weekend wrath’ for 6months or so.
So cue new job for Stix and the NC every Friday – weekend planning. And cue shattered parents every Monday morning. But we know it’ll be worth it to have a happy Mini, a happy Dollop and a weekend without emotional rollercoasters and eggshell walking.
What do your weekends look like?