I did something today I've never done before: Put both kids to bed by myself. That's really surprising to me that its been 20 months and I don't think I've ever done it before. It also says a lot about how often Mike gets out by himself. Tonight, he is away at a movie in Portland with a friend.
In most ways, today was a very normal day.
Mike got up with Natalie when she came running out a couple minutes before 6. I got a little more time in bed as he got her going and got ready for work. Soon after, I got William up and got him breakfast (and Natalie more breakfast) and ate breakfast myself. Between then at 930, I got William dressed, prompted Natalie to get ready, took a shower, made their lunches, and cleaned up a bit. We went to our play group as usual. It was packed today; about half people we know well, and the other half new faces! The kids were pretty busy, so I had a lot of time to talk to the other moms. Then after play group, we went to the park with a few moms. We had lunch there, played, and went for a walk in the woods. (It was a mini version of what we did last Wesdnsday instead of MMM since two families were busy with school vacation).
It was about 1 as we were heading back to the car, which is usually when both kids are in bed for nap. I thought for sure that William would fall asleep in the car, but no. In fact, he took no nap today, which is something that has only happened maybe one other time. At first, he sounds very hyper in his crib. Jumping, yelling, banging, talking. But after about an hour, he was knocking on the door, turning his light on and off, and started to call out for me. I struggle with that. I know that I used to let him cry for a few minutes during nap, which is essentially the same, but its harder when he is actually calling my name. So, I went in and talked to him and tried laying him down on the bed. This seemed to confuse him. He wanted me to stay and play with him and read to him. He cried for a few minutes before actually coming to the door. So, I went in and talked with him again and tried to explain that he could play or sleep. After about 15 minutes of whining, knocking, and playing, he started to cry for me again. So, I wound up in there with him for maybe half an hour. I pretended to nap mostly as he played. This experience has me very concerned about our plans to switch him to a toddler bed in a few weeks. I made a point of putting toys in his room so that he could play or sleep, but maybe that is making him not want to sleep? Or was he just too wound up to sleep? Overtired? I am really hoping it was a problem of him not being tired, not an indicator of what naps are going to turn into around here. Usually he plays some in his crib with no problems and then falls asleep until sometime between 330 and 430. I'm very concerned about him fighting nap because he wants me to come in and play with him (versus playing alone in his crib) or because the bed is different than the crib. Natalie never had this problem, by the way. Until she was 2 1/2, she did not get out of bed until I came in. After that, if she wanted to play, she did, and when she was tired she slept. Maybe I am expecting too much of him? Maybe he just isn't ready? Luckily, we intend to keep the crib in his room and the bed, so I guess this change doesn't have to be pressured.
As soon as I got him up at 330, Natalie came out. We had plans to go to our friends at 430 and we managed to keep busy until then. We made dinner with the four kids around, then went outside in their backyard to eat. Dinner was a dream come true for Natalie: chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and watermelon. Also, there was avocado and salad. Both kids ate pretty well, especially with a little prodding. They then had Popsicles, the good kind with real fruit in them, for dessert. Mostly Natalie and her friend were pretending William was a bear or monster and running away from him and then hunting alternately. William had his first ride on a big kid swing and loved it. (He's loved a long swing ride at the park earlier, too). He also spent a lot of time climbing up and going down the slide.
Around 630, we got back home. I quickly got the bath going, and got them both in. I got My Little Pony going on Netflix as they played so that it was ready when Natalie got out. I didn't have to wash hair, so there was no drama there. I even did lotion for Natalie, but she cried a little at that. She might have had a scrap or a tiny bit of sunburn. With some heavy prodding, William helped clean up the bath toys. He was very mad at me for quickly bringing him in to bed, but Natalie freaking out that her night gown was caught on her hair clip distracted him. I got him diapered, lotioned, and dressed without much problem. Then he sat on my lap and laid back on me to read books. His really been excited about books a lot recently, both asking for favorites and choosing his own at the library. We read several, and abandoned a few, too. Then I prompted him to nurse. He was uneasy. He seemed to have trouble getting comfortable, and Ellie kitty scratching at the door really seemed to bother him. He didn't nurse long, before he agreed that he was done and ready to get into bed with out any complaint. He went right down on his tummy and stayed there. Obviously, the activity of the day and lack of nap finally caught up with him.
Getting Natalie down was incredibly easy. We finished watching her second My Little Pony episode, and then while I cleaned up she did her teeth and went potty. Usually, Mike would do her teeth, too, but I let it slide. She then came in to bed and we easily chose two books (Lovabye Dragon and a leveled reader of Cinderella). She seemed quite tired, too. As usual, she was interested in what was happening tomorrow: Was it pancakes for breakfast? Were we going to the library? Was Auntie Jen coming yet?
Both kids were in bed and quiet at ten minutes to 8 (as compared to closer to 815). I'm wishing that we could adjust our regular schedule to make that happen every night, even if it means me waking them up from nap early. In the warm weather, its far easier to keep busy in the afternoon, so its not so bad to have two hours before Mike gets home if we can spend at least an hour of that going on a walk and playing outside.
So, overall, it was a very good day, mostly due to the beautiful spring weather in the 60's. I was left feeling pretty stressed about the day because of William's lack of sleep, but I think writing it all out has helped. I'm happy for another warm day tomorrow. Friday's are usually easy as we go out our earliest, 845, and stay out until afternoon. I might bring them to the small park near the library between Open Gym and story time, and after nap it will be a walk and the backyard. This weekend is extra special because my sister is supposed to visit with her son, as her husband does some work on their house back home. Last time, her visit was cut short because of a blizzard, so I'm happy that she will be staying a little longer. (It would be even better if she came earlier, but she is not a morning person).
Tonight is a night that I wish we had a TV in our bedroom. I'm definitely tired since there was pretty much no down time today. (The hour or so William was in his crib, I cleaned up the kitchen and yard, ate lunch, and maybe read for 15 minutes). I could easily go to sleep now, but it is the season finale for Project Runway, so I'd like to at least try to make it until 11. It doesn't help that last night we stayed up to watch Django Unchained, and didn't get into bed until 1130.