What's for dinner?
I can't image how I would navigate in a world without being able to tell time. I remind myself this everyday when Stephanie asks for the hundredth time if it's dinner time yet. It is not that she is hungry for dinner, she might be, but that's not really what she is asking. This can happen as early as 9:00 in the morning. and then throughout the day. It is because she knows what happens after dinner. Especially on the weekend when we don't have the structure of a school day, she doesn't know what to do all day, but she does know the plan after dinner. So if it's dinner time soon then she knows what comes next. But I don't always know what's for dinner at 9:00 on Saturday morning. It could be 5:00pm and I still may not know. I have had times where I plan out meals for the month but that hasn't happened for awhile. It's on my to do list, along with some many other things that I haven't done.
The dinner issue is more of a factor this time of year when it gets dark at 4:00. She's ready for dinner even though she just had her after school snack 30 minutes ago. So we have to be careful how early we eat because the bath or shower that come after dinner, followed by a game or 2 and she might be ready for bed at 7 when bedtime is still.2 hours away. We do use timers a lot when we aren't ready for something. For instance, she is wanting to go on her 5th four wheeler ride (when it was warmer out) and we will set a timer for 1 hr on the Echo Dot and then she knows when she hears it, it's time for a ride. This works for various things but it doesn't help when dinner 8 hrs away.
Christmas is also a long long waiting period. I know a lot of kids have trouble the whole month of December because of the anticipation of Christmas. We have done many advent calendars in the past but since Stephanie doesn't eat any processed foods that was out this year. But I took her love of stickers and just printed out a paper with number 1-24,typed Merry Christmas on the bottom, ordered Christmas number stickers and she puts one on the current date after she eats breakfast each morning. I told her when it was filled up it that means Christmas is here. I might use this same method for other things going forward. The other kids do miss their little advent chocolates though.
Stephanie is always asking what is next. If we are somewhere she wants to know when we are leaving. We could have just gotten there and she was waiting all day to go, but now already asking to leave. I believe it has to do with being in control. She doesn't get to choose when we go or leave (for the most part), so the not knowing is why she keeps asking all the time. We joke that she would ask and ask when we are going to someones house that we had told her about earlier in the day. We get there and she asks to leave and then after we finally do leave, she asks to go back. So she's not doing it to be rude or because she doesn't want to be there, it's the unknown. I can't tell her we will leave in 1 hr. That means nothing to her. A lot of the time I tell her we will go after lunch, or after Matthew's practice. Something she can relate to. Usually it ends up with me telling her all the things that we are going to do either before we go somewhere or what we will do before it's time to leave.
At church she knows after communion we don't leave until after the last prayer, last song, and then a high five from our priest. But then that causes some issues when we have a substitute priest. So my mind is aways thinking and planing and trying to stay one step ahead of Stephanie. All to make life a little easier for her. Because when Stephanie is happy I am happy. And then the whole family is happy.
Picture is from an after dinner cruise while on our family vacation up north. She would ask for the after dinner cruise as soon as lunch was over