Probably the biggest reason that it's working for me to be in a doctoral program with three kids is our schedule. We have a very precise schedule, and practically everything is on it: meals, play time, chores, dates, everything. At any given moment each of us knows where we need to be and what we should be doing. In fact, I could have told you a month ago what we'll be eating for snack at 3:00 this afternoon—milk and homemade peanut butter chocolate-chip cookies.
I am naturally pretty organized, but I married a master organizer. A few weeks ago at our family meeting Danny announced (in all seriousness): "Ok. We've got 27 months left in Wheaton. What do we want to do this Saturday?" The countdown has begun, and he wants to be sure we don't run out of time to do all the things on our Chicago bucket list. (We went swimming).
Yesterday, however, we had to be a bit spontaneous. You see, we had snowshoeing on the schedule . . . but it was 80 degrees out. So we improvised. Hopscotch with sidewalk chalk was our substitute activity. We also squeezed in some barefoot baseball, frisbee, bike-riding in shorts, and follow-the-leader. With daffodils blooming and soft green grass under foot, it was a strange way to spend St. Patrick's Day in Chicago! Who would have guessed that I'd have a blister from wearing flip-flops already!
We're told that the last time Chicago had such a warm March was 1938, and that year there was 11 inches of snow in April. So perhaps next month we'll get to try out snowshoeing. If not, we'll have to excercise some more flexibility. After all, schedules only work if we can go with the flow when necessary. And since snack time was supposed to start 4 minutes ago, I'd better leave it at that!
p.s. Eliana (age 10) just informed me (after proofreading this post) that we eat cookies at 3:15, not 3:00, so as it turns out, I'm right on time. Phew! It's great having so many organized people in one family to keep me on track!!