Friday, June 20, 2008

Cherishing Routine

I am a routine person. I like structure. I like plans. I like lists. I enjoy having a predictable life. Boring? Perhaps. Me? Absolutely.

Parenting a toddler fits pretty well with this mentality. That being said, for a few months, I felt like I was in the middle of the movie "Ground Hog Day". But I love routine.

With Sam's new job starting and a new baby on the way, I feel like the rug is about to be pulled out from beneath me. And I worry that somehow Seren is sensing the shift.

After over a year of her going to bed at 8 and waking up at 6 or 6:30, now she is going to bed at 8:30 and waking up at 5:30. This, in my opinion, is WAY too little sleep for a two year old. We have been busy during the nights- buying the car, seeing child care providers, etc. So we have been putting her down late. And the sun doesn't help us. So I have been working each night this week to get her back to sleep by 8. For some reason, the late bedtime really upsets me. I worry it makes her cranky, that she isn't getting what she needs and frankly, that it pushes us all back on "our" time together. 8:30 to 5:30am? At age two? What do other moms of two year olds have to say about this? Is a lack of sleep making her grumpy or is she just testy because she has got the whole "two year old thing" going on?

I am a firm believer in routine and we stick to it like you wouldn't believe but Seren's internal alarm clock continues to wake her (us) up at 5:30. We tried an AC to drum out the noise, darkening the windows with blankets to block the light and still, 5:30! I would be almost ok with 5:30 if she was going to bed earlier. My parents had me in bed at 8 until I was at least 9 or 10.

Oh well. I'll continue to work on this. All of parenting is a work in progress.

Sam starts his new job on the 30th of June. For the sake of my own record keeping, I wanted to write down our current routine because it all is about to change! He'll work from 12-9 and I have to make dinner (gasp!). :) [[Boring post to follow unless you like structure as much as I do.]]

5:30-6:00 Seren gets up. Dad and Mom trade on who gets up with her. Whoever greets the lark changes her and reads to her.

6:15 Mom in the shower, Dad continues reading. Mom and Seren play while Mom gets ready.

7:00 Mom and Seren go downstairs for Breakfast. Dad checks internet, jumps in shower.

7:30 Mom helps Seren with her hair while watching videos of sesame street on You Tube.

7:45 Mom leaves for work. Dad dresses(wrangles) Seren in her clothes and they have fun! They go to music class weekly, go to a local class called "Baby Bop", play outside, go hiking, visit museums, do playdoh, laundry and groceries.

2:00-4:30 Seren naps, Dad catches his breath, looks for job (DONE), fixes the house (never done), relaxes.

5:15-5:45 Mom returns from work. Daddy has started dinner. Dad's off Seren duty but on cooking duty. Mom and Seren go upstairs to change out of work clothes, play, go for a walk.

6:30 Dinner as a family.

7:15 Mom bathes Seren. Everynight. Recently, I have had to set a kitchen timer with "two more minutes" to get Seren OUT of the tub.

7:30 Tiding up the room, reading begins. Seren chooses books from the "library".

8-8:30 Mom finishes reading two books, sings three songs, has Seren turn the light out, first with Ducky, then by herself. Seren needs her white blanket over her feet and three books tucked in. Baa-baa the sheep also has to be present.

8 or 8:30 Mom does dishes and cleans the house.

Another day is done! With Sam out of the house in a few weeks until 9 or 9:30, we will miss our time together! And as my belly grows I wonder how I'll do the lifting of the toddler. But single moms do this all of the time and plenty of families work shift work or odd hours or have busy travel schedules. So we'll be fine. But I did mention I like predictability, right?


Laura S said...

A new routine will come, you will just have to work towards it for a few weeks. As for the sleep. I agree, she is getting way too little night sleep. Have you tried moving her nap up to 1pm? Maybe she is not tired because she is sleeping so late in the afternoon.

That being said, I am not a good person to consult on sleep. Joshua can be trying sometimes, although he has been sleeping until 6am and taking a 2 hour nap lately (Praise God!). He has always been put in bed early and sometimes he will practice his counting and ABCs for an hour! At least Andy and I get a little us time :). Let's talk again soon, maybe week after the 4th to see how the new schedule is working out?

Beth said...

William has been doing the 5:00 a.m. wake-up thing, too! And his bedtime got pushed back to 8:00, instead of 7:30 like it used to be. So he's averaging about 9 hours a night, too. Isn't it weird how that just kind of happens? Even when we've made a big effort to get lights out at 7:30 p.m., he'll still wake up at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. So I'm not sure what to tell you. William sleeps at daycare from 1-3, and at home on the weekends, usually at the same time. But with the 5:00 a.m. wakeups, he'll easily go down for a nap earlier--like 11:30 or 12:00. Anyway, there will definitely be some upheaval at first, but new routines will work themselves out. We can chat more about this off-line!