Sunday, January 10, 2016

How Family Snuggle Time Came To Be

Our kids thrive on routine. Monday through Friday, for the most part, the kids have a schedule. The weekends are more lenient. A small portion of this schedule we created. The rest fell into place over time. Their doing. Even if my tentative schedule for the day has crumbled into barely-salvageable pieces, their schedule remains intact.
On occasion, if we veer off track, they remind us. 

For the past few weeks, right around the same time during the evening hours, all three kids started acting up a bit. At the same time. Unless it's the Welcome Home Doggie Dance, or if there is a knock on the door or noise outside, it's rare our kids communicate at the same time.

At first, Lisa and I were stumped. Did they hear something we didn't? Was our area going to be hit with an earthquake? Bad weather? We couldn't figure it out.

It continued. Most nights. Right around 7:30 p.m. At that time, I'm on the sofa using my Chromebook. Lisa is in the home office on her laptop. That's when it starts. Coco paces. Then, he'll sit at Lisa's feet and bark. If that doesn't work he'll try to take Lisa's slippers off her feet. Lobo follows suit with the barking. Sophie runs back and forth unable to settle down.

What. Is. Going. On.

One night, last week, instead of using her laptop, Lisa decided to grab her tablet and sit on the sofa with me. This was right around when the commotion started. The second Lisa sat down...silence. The kids jumped on the sofa and snuggled with us. Eventually they fell asleep.

The following night, same thing.

I think Lisa and I caught on right about the same time. She was at her desk. I was on the sofa. The kids were acting up. I could hear Lisa telling Coco she was shutting her laptop down and would sit on the sofa to use her tablet. I then told her that the kids were letting us know they wanted family snuggle time.

And that's exactly what it was. 

The first week of December I surprised Lisa with a "just because" gift. A tablet. She had been wanting one. The month of December was crazy busy. She didn't have a lot of time to use it. Days would go by. The tablet sat on her desk. When Lisa did use her new tablet, she sat on the sofa with the kids and I.

The kids picked up on that. They remembered. As our nightly schedule returned to normal, and Lisa's tablet usage increased, shortly before Christmas, the kids probably had a meeting of the minds.

Coco: Mom has a new tablet. She can sit on the sofa and do everything she would do at her laptop.

Sophie: Both Moms on the sofa in the evening is nice. An extra belly rub for me.

Lobo: I'll just bark. Whatever you want me to do.

Coco: If Mom tries to sit at her laptop for more than 5 minutes, I'll distract her until she can't take it anymore. I'll bark and try to pull the slippers off her feet.

Sophie: You think we'll get extra snacks if we work family snuggle time into the schedule?

Lobo: I'll just bark. Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?

Coco: Focus! We each need to do our part to make this happen.

Sophie: I'm in.

Lobo: I'll bark.

Coco: Let's do this. Family snuggle time. Every. Single. Night.

And that's how it happened. Or, something like that.

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