Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Day in the Life, Part 4

The "Rest" of our Day
We go to visit Pake and help him get his lunch.  C and I read the Sunday comics and play with a baby doll while Pake ate.  Then Pake says he is tired and C says she is tired too and wants to go home.  We cross the yard to our place.  It is nap time.

I planned to help C settle in for her nap.  But, IBS attacks and I urgently need to go.  I put C in her room, closed the door and say I will be right back.  I talk to her from the bathroom across the hall, but she is quite upset and cried hard for me to come back.  As soon as I can I do come back and rock her and help her calm down.  Finally she climbs on her bed and falls asleep.

*I probably should not have locked C in her room.  I was afraid she would get involved in something and we'd miss her naptime window.  Keeping her with me in the bathroom could have been another way to handle it.

From 3 to 4:45 she slept and I did my work at home textbook recording job.

When she wakes up C comes wandering out to find me and I hold her on my lap for a while.  She always has trouble transitioning from nap to awake. 

After about 20 minutes, I get up to started dinner.  C fusses because she still wants me to hold her.  I empathize with her and do hold her again as I can between tasks.  Around 5:30, we have to go help Pake get a bag of IV antibiotics out of the refrigerator and then we come right back home since there is a pot of water heating to boil in the stove.  I finish making dinner for both of us and we eat. 

Part way through dinner I feel silly and start talking like a robot.  I pretend that the robot doesn't know anything about human life and ask C lots of questions, like “what is a mama?” “What is an apple?”  “What do you do for bedtime?”  It was interesting to hear her answers.

C's definition of a mama:
A mama is really really really tall (reaches as high as she can), and I run (gets up from the table and runs a circle around the kitchen and comes back) and she catch me, and she cleans and I watch."

She tells the robot that at bedtime we brush and floss our teeth, put on pajamas, pants and a diaper and read a story. 

She requests I talk like a robot more as we finish eating and clean up after dinner together.  I ask her to show the robot where to go to brush teeth and we go together to the bathroom.  I ask her to show the robot how to brush teeth and floss teeth, and she does a better and more thorough job by herself than usual.  She then says it's time for a story.  In my robot voice I remind her she said pajamas and a diaper came before a story. 

She asks for a snack first, so we go back to the kitchen and she eats half an apple, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a bite of cantaloupe.
When she finishes the snack, she asks for me to read the books from the library.  I realize then that we left them at her grandparents’ house.  And, C still doesn't have pajamas or a diaper on.  I tell her to hurry up and get them on so we can go together to visit Pake and Beppe.  I tell her Beppe would be home from work. She cheerfully cooperates with me to get them on because she is excited to see her Beppe. 

I ask her to decide if we will stay 10 minutes or 15 minutes, and showed her I was setting a timer so we would know when to come back home.  She chose 15 minutes.*

*This is a new technique I came up with spur of the moment yesterday.  Going to Pake and Beppe's house can be an ordeal because it is hard to get C to leave.  She loves reading books with Beppe and playing with the special toys they have over there.  I'm happy with how well it worked and will use it again in the future.

Beppe wants to read C the books, and we have time for her to read three stories.  We say our goodnights and goodbyes just as the timer beeps to say the 15 minutes are up.

Back at our house, we climb in bed and read the stories again until it's too dark to read (around 8).

Then it is time to lay down and go to sleep.  But C can't or won't sleep.  Whether because of her later nap or because she's waiting for her Daddy to come home or a little of both, she just keeps flopping around the bed and never relaxing into sleep though I rub her back and sing songs and lay still and play dead.  Eventually, she starts saying, “I want my Daddy back.” 

At 8:55 I hear DH sneeze. C hasn't moved for a while so I think she may be asleep.  I shift my arm out from under her head.  A few moments later, C says, “What was that noise? Daddy sneezed?”  

I tell C I need to check on something and will be right back.  I go to find DH and tell him to go say goodnight to C and help her fall asleep.  He says he got home around 8 but didn’t want to rile her up by interrupting our routine.  

I think in the future, as long as she is awake, it will be better for him to come in.  I could almost feel her strain to keep awake so she could see him before falling asleep.  She was out within 15 minutes once he came in.

Go back and read Parts 1, 2, and 3


  1. These posts are fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing! I love reading your real world application of gentle discipline techniques.

    I also have a question. My little guy is 18 months old and he also has a hard time transitioning from nap to awake time. Right now, we nurse to help him wake up which works great. However, I'm wanting to reduce our sessions because we want to TTC #2 and I don't have a cycle yet. So my question is, what do you do to help C wake up? I've tried a few things - offering cuddles, a drink, reading a book - but it seems to just make him angry. :-/

  2. He's angry because he still wants to nurse, I'm guessing. I kept the nurse upon wakeup until C weaned all together. Sorry I don't have more advice. The things you are doing are great and you can reflect his feelings about it and be consistent if you want to enforce it. I do hold C for a little while, but mostly I accept that she will be whiny and out of sorts until she wakes up all the way. It's a good time to practice the philosophy that "happy is not the only acceptable emotion."


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