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The Mother F’ing Routine

Kids are like Rainman about their routines. Once something is done one way, that is how it has to be done until the end of time – or else prepare yourself for a hissy fit that embodies a cat in heat trapped in a sauna. I live in fear of what will be the next compulsion added to the Munch’s habitual expectations of the day.

It starts like this. The Munch has a request. It may seem simple at the time. So I comply. Sure. You can wear your bathing suit in the bath. Why not? Then suddenly that is the new thing. She won’t take a bath without her goddamn bathing suit because now that is just the way shit is done. And god forbid you can’t find said bathing suit, because even the suggestion of bathing without one sends her into a fit of fury.

I get it. Its about control, and kids wanting some power over their destiny. They latch onto routine because it calms their anxiety about how much of their life is dictated by the adults who keep telling them what to do. From a philosophical standpoint it makes sense that The Munch is vehemently attached to rituals. But holy fuck is it annoying when I have to wrap her in 5 towels (the green frog on the bottom, then Buzz Light year, followed by the orange one, the other orange one, and then finally topped with the monster) just to get her to brush her damn teeth.

I try to see it as meditation – doing the same things the same way over and over. All ancient cultures have countless ceremonies that people participated in. It was part of their community, spirituality, and grounding of the self. The mindful practice of repetition was engrained in how humans behaved. But in my modern existence, the only thing I do everyday willingly is watch youtube videos and check Facebook.

There is something that I resist so much about mundaneness. I know it is all about perspective and blah blah blah… but the tedium of monotony is maddening. Blame it on my ADD, but sometimes I just want to break out of the mold. There are nights were I want to say “fuck stories man, lets play poker instead!” But I guess it makes the Munch feel vulnerable to do things differently. For her, sameness is security. So I do my best to keep things consistent, although sometimes I worry I am enabling compulsive tendencies….

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6 Responses to The Mother F’ing Routine

  1. Laszlo Nagy says:

    Shit just got real. The order in which you are enjoined to wrap her up in bath towels, each of which presumably carry their own special meaning to her as constituent parts of a sequence, speaks of an unusually exacting set of demands upon you that would confound just about any ritualist. I realize that there are those that would argue that you yourself could break the ritual completely. Perhaps though, towel sabbaths can be allowed, and this can be explained to her. My sense is that you are not enjoined by the cosmos to be a 24/7 ritualist, but perhaps a 24/6 ritualist. // Am I mistaken that there is a reason why the dogs in the photo are flanked by yellow rubber ducks? Also, I can’t help but notice a new baby to her existing pantheon of babies (in the far left).

  2. olga davidson says:

    Ah……um……a girl after my own heart?

  3. Toni Nagy says:

    I just peed laughing….

  4. Teneisha says:

    i love this guy ^

  5. elise says:

    Please teach her poker and make it your next post!!! I say surprise her every once in a while with your own outrageous demand and see how it goes.

  6. Bridget Barkan says:

    I think it has to be a balance. I remember having routines, rituals and things that drove me nuts early on if they were done or not done. Things with my food and sleepy time…etc I think its important that Munch feels safe but also as she gets older, things will not go as she wants them to all the time. I don’t know when children should learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them but its better they learn it home then in the world that won’t hug them if they are feeling confused. It might be important to completely break the routine with a new fun thing. I don’t know what that could be, I mean you’re the genius mommy 🙂

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