Routine might be the hardest thing for me in life. But I've always craved it, and I've reached good goals during the times I was able to keep daily routines. This is now more important than ever for me because children thrive in predictable routines.
I've been trying to set a consistent schedule for Sophie: get up, go potty, get dressed, walk Lola, cook and eat breakfast. It started well in the fall, when she had just turned one.
But things changed at the beginning of the winter.
She'd sometimes get happily dressed, either by herself with my help or by letting me dress her. But other times she wouldn't let me help at all. She would get too frustrated (all those layers!) and I'd end up walking the dog by myself, for instance.
So I followed her. Often, she would spend a long long time practicing in full concentration, putting on her clothes and shoes, which was amazing to watch. I only helped if she asked.
But I know that we both need consistency and structure.
I asked my Montessori teacher, Karen.
She said, "At 18 months your schedule will be very loose due to the important work that a child has to do at this age. Allow big blocks of time for things such as dressing whenever possible. She is learning a lot with her repetition and practice. A schedule will work on days you can do work time… just keep it loose and not too structured yet. At this age you will be introducing her to a more structured time."
Below are a few ensembles that Sophie chose on her own. Although she still needs help with a few things like snaps, buttons and zippers, at 18 months she's pretty much able to dress herself.
Which doesn't mean that she always wants to do it ;)