Hello, routine

Oh routine, how I have missed you and your scheduled ways.


You have arrived in the nick of time. I have longed for your back-to-reality expectations and your fall television programming. Summer was so “yesterday.”  Let’s get this September off on a good note, because next week I suspect all hell will break loose.

That’s usually how it goes in our household. School begins with hope and the cheerful possibility that classes will be fun, teachers will be awesome and homework won’t happen. Ever.

This notion of joy lasts until the end of the first week of term one (right about now) with the realization that yes, teenagers are expected to be awake, showered and conscious before 9am. Their cooperation will be met with demands and deadlines, work outside of school hours, socially awkward moments in the lunch room and friend drama.

And while they whine about the injustices of their free education, I reassure them that someday they’ll get paid to endure the exact same challenges in something called a career, where March break, PD Days and summers off will be non-existent, unless they become teachers (neither one of them want to do that because they don’t want to deal with kids’ attitudes either).

But let’s not get bogged down in anything negative, my dear routine. Let’s you and I focus on the positive.

I’ve been working super hard to keep on the bright side of things, which lately, given the headlines like nuclear bomb tests and tropical storms ripping up lives, has made it challenging.

That’s where you come in. Routine, you keep me distracted from reality, secure in the mundane glory of my personal Ground Hog Day mentality, where I believe if I just steady the course, as determined by my three house-mates (also known as family) and meet their need for me to keep them organized, all will be right with the world. It’s what I do. Distraction helps me focus. It also keeps me sane (by my definition, of course).

Thus, in anticipation of your arrival I have the colour-coded calendar plastered on the fridge, already a rainbow of extra-curricular events, dental appointments and get-togethers.

The plastic food containers are stacked neatly, ready to hold tiny portions of foods the kids insisted I buy but will not eat because they claim there is never enough time at lunch (assuming I don’t comprehend the concept of lunch as scheduled time).

All laundry is folded, sorted and dispensed in individual family member bins. I even removed the white pants from my wardrobe as per the post-Labour Day rules (but then promptly pulled them back out, because I’m a rebel like that. Come at me, fashion police.)

I am sure the morning bedlam, with monosyllabic utterances, shared bathroom facilities and a new-found shared appreciation for caffeine, will make for interesting times in our household.

As such, I’ve been working on ways to make mornings fun, like blowing an air horn every time someone pushes the toaster down, or stuffing glitter into the hair-dryer. I’m still in the planning stages.

Alas routine, you are the beautiful peace and calm of normalcy in a household that requires structure. You help me organize our chaos. You make me the keeper of all knowledge (on the fridge calendar), and that makes me powerful (in my own mind).

So bring it on. We’re ready for you.

Happy September, everyone. We’ve got this.




Kelly Waterhouse