I’m late in posting this, and bad at blogging in general. I’ll try to be better.
A lot changed very quickly between 12 and 14 months for us. Weaning has begun to happen with a vengeance, and nap time is a question mark every day. Plus, the weather abruptly warmed up, so we are out of the house a lot now. I am beginning to get the impression that these Day in the Life posts, for however long I continue to do them, will get less and less structured. Here’s roughly how our days go, though.
7 AM: Wake up, change diapers, nurse in the chair in the nursery. This is now the only nursing we do; and it will probably be dropped fairly soon (as soon as they seem to be somewhat indifferent about whether we do it or not – we’re almost there). Once that’s gone, they will be fully weaned, which is both nice and sad, as any breastfeeding mom will tell you. After we nurse, we go into our bedroom, where Daddy is still in bed, and spend some time all cuddling and playing in bed together.
8:15 AM: I get dressed and take the kids downstairs while my husband gets up and starts getting ready for work.
8:30 AM: Breakfast. Toaster waffles, fruit, cheese, and a cup of milk for them; cottage cheese or cereal for me. While we’re eating, Daddy comes down and heads out the door, but not before saying goodbye. After breakfast, they take their milk to the living room and play, while I sit at the table with my planner and figure out what the day will hold.
9:30 AM: On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we head upstairs at 9:30 for a pre-nap bath. They climb the stairs themselves (usually) and head straight into the bathroom. And then run right out again. I chase them down and get them into the tub, eventually, and they get soaped and rinsed, then shampooed and rinsed, then their teeth get brushed. Then I fill the tub back up and let them play for a bit until they get bored. One at a time, I get them out, dry and diaper them, and let them go. They run around on the landing for a bit until I corral them into the nursery, where I rub lotion onto each of them and then get them dressed, then put them down in their cribs for a nap.
10 AM: Nap time. On non-bath days, playtime just extends til 10; on bath days, all of the bathing excitement is over by 10. They go into their cribs, and I leave the room. Usually they’re asleep within about fifteen minutes. The length of the nap is always a question mark. The goal is an hour, which they usually do. Sometimes, though, they’ll sleep for almost three hours, right through lunch time. When that happens, it makes the rest of the day difficult, as they won’t want to go down for their second nap – or they’ll want to go down late, and sleep later than I want them to. This is a difficult transition; I’m still struggling with how to get down to one nap, and for that matter when I want that nap to be. Unlike previous transitions, it hasn’t been easy to tell what their natural rhythms are leading them towards, so it’s going to have to be something that we dictate from above, so to speak. More research required.
The other thing making this nap conundrum complicated is that many days, this nap is taken in the car – if social events or errands are happening, they often take place at around 11, so I load the kids into the car at 10 and leave early, and just park somewhere and let them sleep. On those days, obviously, they don’t take a three hour nap!
12 PM: Lunch. In reality, this is anytime between 12 and 1, depending on where we are and what we’re doing. I’ve gotten much more brave about taking them out, though I still won’t go to a ‘sit-down’ restaurant alone with them. But we’ve eaten at all sorts of takeout and food court places, and even had several picnics outdoors. If we’re at home, they get a cup of milk with lunch (also if we’re out someplace that offers it).
After lunch is our longest period of play time, although many days it winds up being out-and-about time.
2-3 PM: Nap. If they’ve taken a long morning nap, this nap doesn’t start until 3. If it was a shorter morning nap, they go down at 2 or 2:30, or just whenever they start to fuss and don’t recover quickly enough.
This nap is always a question mark. Sometimes they’ll stay up in their cribs talking and laughing for an hour, then sleep for two hours. Sometimes they’ll go to sleep right away and only sleep for an hour. Once they slept all the way through dinner time. This is all part of our ongoing nap time dilemma, and we don’t yet have a solution. As a result, my day pretty much ends at the afternoon nap; I don’t plan any outings in the afternoons with them, since I don’t know if they’ll be awake. Most of our outings are in the morning or mid-day. Which is fine. We’re getting into summer, and Baltimore summer afternoons are HOT. Ugh.
6 PM: Dinner. My husband works more now than he has previously, so he is often not home until right at dinner time (and sometimes misses dinner entirely). As a result, dinners tend to be less ambitious than they might otherwise be unless I know for sure he’s going to be home early enough to entertain the kids while I cook (almost never). Fast, easy meals are the key, although I try to make sure they’re at least relatively healthy.
6:30 PM: After dinner, Daddy takes the kids to the living room to play while I clean up (unless he’s not home, in which case I take them to the living room and then tiptoe away to clean up while they’re distracted).
Occasionally, if things have been hectic or the kids have slept overlong in their afternoon nap, dinner and playtime and bedtime all get bumped back a bit, the same amount for each.
7 PM: Bedtime. Daddy changes their diapers and puts them in their PJs while I get cups of milk ready. We all sit on the couch together, and the kids drink their milk while also flinging their bodies about and wiggling. It’s a lot less peaceful than nursing was, but they are certainly having fun. They never drink all their milk, but we keep at it as long as they’re willing. Once they’re clearly finished, Daddy takes them upstairs and puts them to bed. He puts them in their cribs, and then sits down and reads a story or two before finishing with ‘Goodnight Moon.’ They are often still awake when he leaves the room, but they lay quietly and drift off eventually. (Sometimes there’s some talking, giggling, or thumping beforehand, I admit.)