I have heard from everyone again and again about the importance of following a routine with a child. I used to try my best, although it did not always work out that way. I wasn't even really sure how much it benefited him. However, I can now see the positive effects of following a set pattern with Sameer. I think he is more confident of himself, since he knows the whole routine. That confidence helps in other things too. He knows when we start saying "ninni", what happens next. So he'll automatically start going toward the bedroom. He knows that it means change of clothes, and unfortunately that means, a lot of struggle with mumma. In fact, he starts whining as soon as I put him on the bed and begin taking off his clothes. He knows that once he is ready it's time to say goodnight to papa. So he'll run over to Rahul to be picked up and get his good night kiss, hug and jhula. When I say diaper change, again he'll go toward his chaging table. And then of course, he'll rush on toward the phone, and giggle when I come running to pick him up.
He knows that if I seat him on the chair near our door, it means, he'll be putting on shoes. And that means he is going out! To the playground, Yay! Well, that's not how he says it but his expressions do. Once I get him off the chair, he'll walk over to the door and wait for me to open it. Once I had to go back inside to get something, and he kept looking at me quizzically, wondering why aren't we out yet!
That's the other development that we were so happy with. He knows the way to the playground now. Last week it rained almost continuously for three days. When it finally stopped raining, I took him out. But instead of going to the playground, I thought I'll take him for a walk instead. Well, he would have none of that. He just kept going in the direction of the playground. I stopped and called, "Sameer, we'll go to a different place today." He turned to look at me and then kept going. He paused in one place to look at some leaves and flowers as he usually does and then walked on, completely unconcerned as to whether I'm with him or not. I again called and then he realized that we're not going to the playground. Reluctantly he returned to me half way before changing his mind. I had to finally go pick him up and carry him for some time before he would resume our walk.