The boys transitioned to our new, fall schedule better than I had anticipated. It requires getting up earlier, getting home (most nights) later, and a day full of bus rides and school rooms and I had feared we'd be struggling for awhile before getting into a groove. With the exception of the tears at Hutt's drop-offs (which have gotten better, but are still occurring when I take him to school) the transition has been pretty smooth. On the majority of mornings, Collin is getting out the door on time and with enough time to get the boys to Busha's and have them eat breakfast before heading down the lane to meet the bus. When they get home in the evening we get dinner on the table as quickly as possible, followed by just a bit of down-time before starting our bedtime routine. The schedule is strict and unfortunately doesn't allow us as much free time together as we'd like, but this is our season of life right now, we hope it won't always be like this, but for now we are trying to make the best of it.
So this past weekend, and the days leading up to it, kind of threw me for a loop. Meltdowns. Fighting. Screaming and crying (in public!) - it was kind of a nightmare. I mean, overall we had a nice weekend, but we struggled with behavior problems throughout almost the entire thing. And, again, I sat clueless.
Then I read this post on Zen Habits about struggling through the changes of life and the part about your 3-year old not listening because they are asserting their independence, well, that was like a light bulb going off for me.
That's it! That's why we've been dealing with behavior issues the past few days!
This new schedule is strict and while, yes, they are doing well with it, I realize now they are struggling, internally, with feeling like nothing in their lives is within their control right now. Time to get up, time to get dressed, time to get in the car, time for the bus, time for school, time to come home....while there are moments of choice tucked in there, on a whole their days have become much more controlled by us and this schedule and much less controlled by them.
I laid next to him in bed, the room was illuminated by the nightlight and the fan in the corner was making whirling sounds as Hutton breathed slowly, rhythmically, next to us. I thought he, too, was about to fall asleep when suddenly a little voice creaked through the dark:
"Mom, those scary dreams have come back."
"They have? Well tell me about them, what are they about?"
"Well, there was another one about a monster and one with a falling tree again. And in the last one, I was riding in the back of a truck down a bumpy road and I fell off."
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Instantly my thoughts were confirmed. They are feeling out of control; dreams of falling represent something being out of control in one's life.
So this weekend we're going to do a family activity on Sunday and I plan to let the boys pick what it is we do. It's a small thing, but it is something and I'm hoping it will give them just a bit of security to know that they too have a voice, and their voice is being heard.