Once not long ago I found myself deep in the dark of night dancing the Lego minuet by moonlight. You know that dance: you take a step and your unsuspecting foot falls on white-hot plastic pain as an unseen Lego bites into your tender tootsie flesh. And so your foot springs upward and you attempt to stifle an exclamation of surprise and anguish so as not to wake your sleeping toddler—the same child whose failure to pick up those Legos has brought this midnight joy into your life. And of course since Legos come in innumerable minute pieces, by the time you step on one, you’re already in the minefield and every succeeding step thereafter induces another pirouette of pain in the Lego ballet.
My attempt to tiptoe across my toddler’s bedroom floor to close his window against a chill in the night air ended with me capering about to this merry jig, and in the midst of my suffering came a sudden, “piercing” insight into the human condition—or at least into the parental condition. And it was this:
Life with small children is like Legos: it’s all about structure. If all the bits and pieces are locked together in a solid structure—wake-up time, breakfast, playtime, lunch, nap, etc.—life is good. But without structure, you have only “sole” destroying chaos.
Solution: build structure. Then protect it.
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Back to school time means adjusting to a new routine, which always reminds me of the power and importance of structure. When the schedule is solid, the kids know what to expect throughout the day, they know what’s coming next, and everyone moves from one thing to the next peacefully and happily and everything stays on track.
So there’s my humble back to school suggestion: build a solid structure, then protect it!
Copyright 2016 Jake Frost
About the Author
Jake Frost is an attorney, husband, and father of four grade-school aged kids. He’s the author of five books: Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; Catholic Dad 2: More (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; From Dust to Stars: Poems by Jake Frost; Victory! Poems by Jake Frost; and a children’s book he also illustrated called The Happy Jar.