A pink taxi

A pink taxi

October 25, 2010

Transitions in Daily Routine

"You have to work on your transitions to make it to the next level," the pilates instructor has often told me. Not only do I need to be well acquainted with the exercises,  but I also have to be able to go from one exercise to another with ease, to edit all the unnecessary gestures and facial expressions and transition gracefully between all the pieces of equipment, before getting to the next step.

I found myself thinking about graceful transitions today, as my son came out of the pool, an amazing hour of squad behind him. He was proud of his swimming results and good time he made, but he was slacking off now, slowly drying himself and chatting. I am a busy "swimming mom". It is important for him to realize that I have to go home to the rest of the family, and he himself has a science exam to prepare for!

People who judge me as strict or too disciplined have not seen me interacting with my children. I am often fullfiling their whims, playing their music, finding their small quirky toy accessories. It's not just about swimming, playing the violin, and studying continuously. There are many playdates I organize, birthdays they attend, indulgent sleepovers at their grandparents, cousins to see and many park or beach days. There are also moments when mama takes a break, whether for an art event, a party, or a manicure at N Bar. "Quand le chat est parti, les souris dansent!" (When the cat is away, the mice dance). Those are moments made for my kids to break the rules, switch the Play Station on, and load up on DVDs, hands in the cookie jar!

Time management is a true philosophy. My kids, especially the older ones, should learn to transition from one activity to another. To use another Club Stretch imagery: "if you go right into savasana mode, you will maximize the rest time". I would love my kids to learn this: if they don't waste time, they will have more time to play!


  1. Who's to say which parenting method works better? There are some who are completely hands off and allow their children to run riot and those, like our dear blogger that plan every aspect of their kid's downtime, study time and activity time. I remember that the only thing my mother had us scheduled for was studying (we could watch an hour of cartoons and then finish our homework) and chores (to teach us responsibility)and then we were in bed by 9pm (even that was flexible if there was a Bruce Lee or James Bond movie on.) Other than that we were free to roam the hills behind our house whether it was summer time or winter time and the only rule was to watch out for one another and be home before dark. My fondest childhood memories are of rambling through the wilderness in our back yard with my cousins and brothers. I am my mother's daughter and although my girls are still small, my plans are to encourage my children to play and use their imagination as much as possible. Life when you are an adult will dictate enough rules and restrictions.

    That being said, my dear blogger, please don't think that my 3 girls won't be ringing your doorbell at the appointed time for their tutoring!

  2. Always been a fan of your time management! Something I'm not so good at. Never put much thought into the transition concept which is in a way essential for time management. Some how always find that "time flies" which might be caused by a badly manged transition period (or ADD). I suppose a transition period is the fun time between programmed time, or tasks, and in your son's case and mine we tend to prolong that as much as possible. In any case, thank you (and your pilates instructor) for the tip :)

  3. My mother used to visit us frequently in the 70s-80s and she used to be bewildered about the extensive schedule of activities my children had after school.She used to call our house entrance,a busy train station where kids would be readied for horse back riding,karate or ice hockey.The four kids would be directed into diffrent activities.
    We had a driver,Karim a gentle Keralite Indian who worked for us for 30 years until his early demise two years ago.The ever smiling Karim was our Pink Taxi driver,since my wife didnot drive.The ever kind and gentle character used to shuttle the kids daily to Lycee Sharjah,sometimes twice.Luckily the roads were not congested then.After a short lunch break,the hectic schedule would commence until evening,when homework time starts.
    One thing you can give credit to our blogger who followed in her mother's footsteps,is that they represent the unknown soldier in every family life.No wonder Islam put Paradise undre the feet of mothers!