Ari is home today. He has the sniffles and after the Whooping Cough incident at kinder, and even though he was on antibiotics, I am reticent to send him to kinder with a runny nose, lest other parents don't take kindly to it.
He had a rough day on Wednesday. He apparently was touching other kids faces and even scratching kids at kinder. It was his first afternoon session and he's not at his best after lunch even at home on quiet days. As well as this his kinder teacher was away and he adores her, so he was probably not very self-contained on the day. The afternoon culminated in a massive meltdown at about 5.45pm and he was asleep before he even ate dinner.
This has me thinking about changing our afternoon routine a little. The Grumpy Old Man and I have had a talk about it and we're going to aim for eating dinner at about 5pm, with the older boys having a 'supper' before their bedtimes at 7, 8, and 9pm so they don't go to bed on empty stomachs (Bryn and Ari tend to vomit in the morning if they don't eat within an hour of going to bed, don't ask me why, I don't know).
So, then the older boys will have an hour of screen time after dinner instead of before dinner and Erik and Lukas will then do their homework, while Bryn goes to bed.
I'm realising life is a constant rhythm of assess, design, implement and then reassess, redesign and implement.
We tend to have a fairly dramatic household. We're all quite highly strung. We can wish we were not this way until the cows came home, but after a decade and a half of wishing we were a more chill household, I think I've started to accept that chill, generally, does not happen here.
So, there are dramas, and the best way to be chill about dramas is to deal with them as they arise. Just deal with them, and keep moving forward, and understand there probably will not be a time when we lead peaceful, drama-free lives. There will always be a new crisis to discover and sort out.
Having a routine really helps all of us. It is a small piece of stability in an otherwise unpredictable life.
Ari has become increasingly restless and difficult to manage over the past three months. I initially put it down to the holidays and the boys being around all the time in our tiny house. Then it was the excitement and stress of the new car. Also my parents moving to Melbourne was very exciting, and finally starting kinder after nearly a year of anticipation. There has been so much upheaval for him that it isn't surprising he is acting out a lot.
That said, it could also be a four year old thing. All our boys have had particularly challenging periods at the age of four and it seems no different for Ari.
Life isn't set to calm down though. The Grumpy Old Man is filing a new Police Check application today in preparation for joining an agency to work casually as a home and community aged carer. We have high hopes that with the licence and the car he will be able to pick up work, finally.
I am also very hopeful of being accepted to a Doctorate at Deakin which will allow me to receive mobility allowance each fortnight, as well.
If these things eventuate there will be yet a new routine to adjust to.
As well as this, our landlords are not coming to the party regarding a new lease. We know there was a challenge at VCAT either this week or it will be next week about getting building approval in our back yard. Whatever the outcome of those proceedings, I sense the landlords want us on a month to month contract so they are free to resell the land, or build without lowering our rent. I suspect if they build they will take the attitude that we can remain in the house if we are willing to continue paying the same rent for a property that no longer has a back yard or a garage or even a driveway.
Continuing to stay here with reduced storage space, no yard for the kids, and with a construction site directly over the back fence without even a financial compensation for any of the losses we will experience would be very difficult. However, the owners have us over a barrel - whether they know it or not - because we cannot afford to move out of here, nor would we have anywhere to go in this extremely tight rental market.
Staying here with all the change or moving will be equally disruptive to Ari's equilibrium.
So, I think it is more important than ever for us to try and gain some stability within these walls, a routine which can be predicted and counted on. A soothing rhythm of life.