...because we all have our motley moments!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stick to the Program!

While spending time here at our summer getaway, we have tried several times to take advantage of some really fun, classic evening activities down on the campus of the YMCA conference center: family sing-alongs, campfires, family art night, game night, and going out for ice cream after dinner (they have really yummy ice cream there!). These activities are geared for families with young children, but they don't start until 7 or 7:30 pm. Which is fine if you're on vacation for just a few days with your family, but we live here all summer.

For us, these events (as fun as they are) just make bedtime absolutely unbearable. The behavior the next day is unspeakable. When our children go past their bedtimes, they seem to catch a second wind and a bratty disposition. They do NOT want to go to bed, even though their regular bedtime was two hours ago! So we're realizing that as great as these activities seem, having the kids stay up past their bedtime is just not worth it. Our kids really, REALLY need their schedules to stay predictable. When things become unpredictable, we all end up unhappy. There is usually yelling or threatening involved, from one or both sides. What a way to end a day, huh?

So we have decided that fireworks are not on our list of "Can't Miss" things this year. The kids marched in the "Shortest 4th in the North Parade" with their children's program groups yesterday. One marched with the "Wee Woozles" and the other marched and hopped with the "Crickets." It was classic! Today we might go visit an historic fort, where they do reenactments and cool activities with the kids. We made homemade vanilla ice cream with the kids yesterday to enjoy on this beautiful 4th of July, complete with homemade hot fudge sauce.

In other words, I'm not going to feel guilty about nixxing the fireworks tonight. Up here in the mountains, it stays light until almost 10:00 at night...firworks begin at 9:30. The display is put on by a town about a 1/2 hour away from us. We are SOOOoooo not doing that with our preschoolers!!!! They will still wake up at 6 am (or earlier) no matter how late they stay up, so we're going to preserve our sanity and stick to the regularly scheduled program. I'm gonna miss seeing those beautiful fireworks, though!

(Correction: I just checked the website and realized fireworks begin at 10PM!...seriously, that is WAY too late!!!!)

Happy 4th of July! How are you celebrating with your little ones?


Rachel said...

Happy 4th, Donna! It actually looks like rain here, so we're having family over for an indoor picnic and we're going to play the fireworks by ear. They're only a few minutes away and they're at 9, so it's not awful--we took our son last year in his pajamas so he could go to sleep in the car if it was too late for him.

Sometimes it's hard to make those decisions about skipping the "fun" stuff in order to preserve the happiness of the household, but you are absolutely right--it's worth it. I have to keep myself in check all of the time because I have a tendency to think we "need" to do things because we're supposed to, like staying out late for holiday activities, etc. Sometimes it's just not worth it!

Enjoy your time there, and I'm so glad the kids are doing so many fun things! Have a great day! :)

Bryssy said...

We are currently recovering from being on a short vaca and all of us staying up too late. Trying to get back to the schedule is HARD! Glad you are enjoying your trip, Donna!

Lindsay said...

My kids handle staying up late just fine. There isn't too much whining and they usually take a nap the next day to recover. Actually durning the summer they don't go to bed until 9 pretty much every night (7:30-8 during the school year), but it's not unusual for them to be up until 10. But they do sleep in the next day. And like I said it doesn't make them grochy or I wouldn't allow this. I am pretty strict when it comes to my kids sleep but not during the summer when we can adjust our schedule easily.

I ran in my 5K yesterday, then we had a party at church until about 8 p.m. then we came home and watched the lake fireworks from our backyard. :)

Liz said...

Yea, Lindsay! We put our kids to bed before the fireworks last night. Unfortunately, they woke Ethan up and then he was up sick later in the night. I don't think the two are related. My kids do not do well if they stay up too late. They don't sleep in no matter how late they're up and Ethan is too unpredictable with naps here at the beach to have him catch up on sleep.

Donna said...

Sorry your little one is sick, Liz!

Funny how some kids can totally absorb a schedule change and then make up for it through naps and sleeping in...my kids just don't. I wish they could, but an early bedtime is not the worst thing in the world, I guess! We just have to miss out on night activities for a while...oh, well!

Lindsay, way to go! I can't imagine running a 5k!!! That's awesome, girl!