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What Would You Do If:

Wanted: Routine

I marched my delinquents to a friend's house this morning, and as they played with her delinquents and my friend I discussed our collective Rage, things slowly got better. Misery loves company, for one thing, but maybe we all just needed a change of scenery. 

I think what's going on is that I'm trying to establish The How We Live In The New House Routine and the kids are just not going for it. We've spent the last couple of months doing whatever is easiest. I mean, Phillip was away a lot, I was constantly getting calls from realtors wanting to see the rental house, we had to find a NEW house, then we had to pack and move and then we all got sick and yes, the kids have gotten away with many things I'm not proud of, simply because I had other stuff going on. Bedtimes were fluid, naptimes were flexible, television was always welcome. Now I'm trying to make things happen at specific times, trying to make Jack play in a specific place and on his own, trying to get them down for bed without hours of clowning around. And they're all "WHAAA?"

I have two things on my Killing Me Slowly list: bedtime and naptime. Ha! Could I pick two harder things? They're related, of course. Jack naps as an absolute last resort, when he positively cannot help himself. Molly cheerfully naps, for hours at a time. So at bedtime, which we would PREFER to be around 8pm, we have one incredibly cranky, nasty, sassy, whiny kid and one who is just not sleepy at all. Put them in the same room and they FEED off each other and it's AWFUL. So the idea we came up with was to separate them- put Molly down in a makeshift bed in our room, put Jack in his own bed, move Molly once Jack has fallen asleep. (Which he does quite quickly when he's tired and by himself.) We were going to start this last night. 

However! Yesterday Molly did not nap. So we put them down super early and they fell asleep and wow, if only it were like that every night. 

And today! They both napped! So... we put them down together and they are STILL awake. I keep hearing Molly drop books on the floor. She's not so smooth. 

So even when we have a PLAN, the kids find a way to RUIN IT. 

I guess we'll just keep trying. There's nothing else to do. Another thing I'm hoping for is Creating Spaces... like at nap time, Jack drives me crazy because he immediately wants to watch a TV show (he's not allowed until a certain time) or he wants me to play with him (a no no, this is QUIET TIME for BOTH OF US) and it's so frustrating. He used to be good at quiet time! And I know it's only because we've lost the routine and he's not sure what's available to him. I've just been storing toys here and there, he doesn't know where the art supplies are because I keep changing my mind, stuff like that. We are going to Ikea this weekend and I'm hoping to come home with a few things to help me sort out the space next to my kitchen, where I hope to put a lot of the kids' art stuff and Jack's quiet time things. Then he'll have a PLACE, you know? And I can say, "Here, go do all the things over THERE, because you are supposed to spend this time over THERE" etc. 

Will new furniture solve one of my problems? WHY NOT?!

Anyway. We shall power through. If I need to buy MORE furniture, so be it. 

P.S. I wrote about babysitting other people's kids at Parenting. I don't know. Sometimes I have good ideas there, sometimes I'm all, "well this happened, maybe that would make a good post, oh wait, not really, well, I already wrote it, ta da!" 

P.P.S. Did you guys know that there are almost twice as many people signed up for the Blathering as there were last year? And the year before? !!! I can't decide if this makes me sadder or happier than I can't go this year. On one hand: AM MISSING OUT BIG TIME. On the other: I would probably spend all my time hiding in the closet, and every so often passing a note under the door asking for someone to bring me a drink. 

Comments

Dr. Maureen

I feel the same way about The Blathering. Mournful disappointment mixed in with a bit of secret relief. Sigh.

Sarah

I can't afford to go to the Blathering this year, but if I went, I might join you in the hiding out - partially because I want to meet you and partially because I would be terrified (even though you and others have claimed that everyone is nice and friendly).

katie

We were totally right there a few months ago - stuck in a rage-filled rut with battled filled afternoons for naptime and worse for bedtime at our new house.
And then we finally got settled and things finally returned to normal(-ish).

CoCo would nap 3 hours or more, which meant she'd be WIDE AWAKE until 11pm. So I've started setting a timer and after 60 (or 90) minutes I go wake her up from her nap.

ALSO, your idea about having space for Jack's quiet time things is ingenius (why did I not think of that?) I am STILL rearranging stuff, trying to find the right place and I imagine I'm driving Jo crazy because she's constantly asking me for pencil/paper/markers/stickers. Right now, she's really into tiny notebooks that she fills up with "her stories" (she draws pictures and then verbally narrates the story)

Hope your IKEA trip is both inspiring and fruitful and you can get settled into a routine these next few weeks!

HereWeGoAJen

I always think that furniture will solve my problems. Right now, I think I need a play fridge to go with our play kitchen because obviously, that would solve everything.

Kristina

Ugh. There is nothing worse than getting little ones out of their routine. It's SO hard to get them back. Good luck.

Also-I am a firm believer that new furniture will solve problems. Life is so much better when you get to sit on a pretty new couch or the toys all have a place to go. I was disgustingly excited about new shelves for our playroom, so much so that I put them together BY MYSELF when Hubs couldn't do it.

Christiana

My 3 yr old naps for HOURS but then refuses to sleep at night. But she is a pain in the rear without the nap and I absolutely cannot handle her for hours and hours before my husband comes home (see my blog for my own personal issues right now) so I don't know what to do. I tucked her in bed for the final time last night at 11:20PM. She hadn't slept yet. We were in bed and asleep before she went to sleep.

craftyashley

Yeah, sharing rooms I found is a terrible idea with little ones. After separating the twins in the new house- bedtime is HEAVENLY. As is naptime. Yay for a 4 bedroom house!

Emily

We are getting to the point with Lucy that it is heavenly for her to skip her nap and fall asleep right at 7pm. We don't do it EVERY day, because she would be a holy terror, but I try to do it every other day/every couple of days. It's nice to keep them out doing something until around 2:30 or 3, then I bring them home, let them watch a movie with a snack, feed them dinner around 5:30 and then we do baths between 6:15 and 6:30 and then BAM! Into bed. And they sleep. It works so much better now that its summer and I want to be outside with them too.

BUT I will say, that we are staying at my parents house for two weeks and the kids are sharing a room and we don't put them down together. Either Lucy falls asleep and then we take Asher up to bed, or we put Asher in another room to fall asleep and then transfer him. It has worked perfectly. They also have a tendency to work each other up, and when you're dealing with sleep-deprivation and new routines, I think the extra sleep helps everyone adjust better. Thinking of you, Maggie. Please don't be hard on yourself - remember, you're PREGNANT. You have way less tolerance and energy than you would normally. I KNOW THIS. XOXO

Shannon

I will confess that I always wake Karolina up at 3 pm, no matter when she went down for a nap. When she did nap, this could mean that her nap was anywhere from no more than 20 minutes to 2 hours. I know they say never wake a sleeping baby, but I want a firm 8 pm bedtime and this is the only way it happens. She doesn't nap anymore, so it's just a 1- 1.5 hour break from each other. But it works for us! Like you said, it's all about the routine.

Glam-O-Mommy

Maggie, you always talk about the Blathering and it sounds so fun, so I checked out the site and realized it's in Austin this year, which is a mere hour from me. Then, I got all, I can't go, I wouldn't know anyone! Seems intimidating! Too bad you aren't going though...we could've hid in the closet together LOL.

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