Most nights C and I tackle bedtime together, tag teaming it to get Juju’s teeth brushed and pajamas on and Jelly’s diaper changed and sound machine/night light/baby monitor/blankets arranged just so. But lately I’ve been trying to get C to go work out a bit earlier so we can actually spend some time together once the kids are asleep! But that means I have to tackle solo bedtime. Dum dum dum! Probably lots of you do this all the time like it ain’t no thang, but I always feel super victorious when I pull it off so I thought I’d share.
6:00 p.m. (Our kids go to bed at the same time, and super early, because that’s the only way I maintain my sanity. They do get up around 5:00, or certainly by 6:00 a.m., but IMO the evenings are worth it.) Bring both kids upstairs, attempt to get Juju to pee and get in pajamas while simultaneously changing Jelly’s diaper and getting his pajamas on. Put Jelly in the crib and attempt to get Juju’s teeth brushed. Turn on sound machine and fan, get Jelly’s crib ready with extra pacifiers and all his favorite stuffed animals (the kid looooves stuffed animals).
6:15 p.m. Maybe read a board book or two to Jelly depending on our collective mood. Turn on a nightlight for Juju and set her up in her bed with a basket of books. Remind her to please be quiet when I bring sleeping Jelly back in. Take Jelly in to our room and nurse him until he falls asleep/until I’m caught up on Insta.gram.
6:45 p.m. Plop sleeping Jelly in crib. If Juju is still awake bring her into our room for a story and snuggles.
7:00 p.m. Smuggle Juju as quietly as possible back into the kids’ room. Tuck her in just as she likes (this is a real trick because it changes pretty often and she’ll shriek that she doesn’t want her blanket over her head even though yesterday she liked it that way), make sure Juju has pink stuffed cat, turn on CD of Beat.les music played on glockenspiel and Twi.light Tur.tle, listen to whatever random thing Juju is insistent on telling me 16 times, tiptoe from room.
Then I shower, clean up the dinner dishes, wash the god darn freaking pump parts and bottles, pack my pumping bag for the next day, make my lunch and Juju’s, feed the cats, grade papers, and listen to NPR news on itunes radio. And maybe have a glass of wine and watch House Hun.ters. Parenthood is not for the weak! Solo parents, you have my utmost admiration. I only do this maybe twice a week and it wears.me.out.
I did this survey thingy for Juju at this age so I decided to do it again. The kids are so different I was tempted to compare them but I really want this to be about what Jelly is doing at this age so I refrained from comparisons. It was hard to do! Poor little second child deserves his own spotlight.
* Describe what and how your child eats: Still nursing in the morning and at night, and drinking 8-12 oz of pumped milk during the day when I’m at work. He eats most everything and likes pretty much all of it. We’re doing a mix of jar purees and table food. He likes pretty much any purees, yogurt and cottage cheese. Steamed slices of pear and apples are faves. He loves savory things and will mow down on egg rolls, slices of pizza, french fries, and pasta.
* Where and how much does your child sleep? He sleeps in his crib in the bedroom with Juju all night– from about 6:00 p.m. until perhaps 4:45 or 5:00, when I bring him into bed to nurse. He takes two naps. The morning nap is from about 8:30 until 10:00, afternoon varies more but is maybe from 1:00 until 2:30, though it’s often shorter.
* Does your child have any sleep problems? No. I wish he wouldn’t wake up quite to early but I’m sure he’ll outgrow it eventually, right? Like, at age 12 maybe?
Physical Development and Health
* What is your child’s current size/weight: I believe he was 18 lbs and 27 inches at his 6 month appointment? 50th percentile for both weight and height.
* What about pee and poop? He’s had some occasional constipation, especially when we started solid food, but his digestive system seems more used to it now. He was leaking out of all of the diapers but we had the elastic replaced and that fixed the problem, huzzah.
* How many teeth? 0. The top ones actually seem primed to pop through first but are taking their sweet time about it.
* What, if any, health issues are apparent: None so far, thankfully.
Activity and Motor Development
* Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how she moves around, grabs things, etc.): He can roll back to front and front to back, sit unassisted and pivot in a circle when on his tummy. He’s sort of thinking about learning to crawl (halfheartedly) but when he lunges for things he goes backward, to his great dismay.
* What can your child do for himself? He can feed himself finger shaped foods well. He can grab at toys (or anything else) within reach.
Language and Communication
* Describe your child’s language abilities: He babbles lots of consonant sounds– g’s and b’s are most common. “Gee! Gee!” denotes great excitement, usually about nursing. He knows his name and turns when you call him. He gets excited when I ask if he wants milk.
Social Development and Environment
* Can your child follow simple directions? No. :)
* How does your child react to family outings and visitors? Totally depends on his mood. He absolutely needs time to warm up to people. If he’s tired having anyone other than us hold him is a no-go. If he’s awake and has a bit of time to warm up he tolerates other people but isn’t what I’d call friendly with strangers.
* Does your child play with other children? He and Juju love each other so much, it’s so sweet to see. He doesn’t really have any other baby playmates so far.
* In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others? He’s such a scratcher. Like sometimes he just grabs your whole head and claws at your neck. I think he might be part werewolf. This isn’t aggressive, though, just baby silliness.
* Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? You know, not really. If he’s hungry then of course he prefers me, but he and C are home all day and he just lights up when he sees her.
Toys and Play
* List your child’s favorite toys and describe how he plays with them: Hmm. He like the remotes– to put in his mouth. He has a rattle with bells on it that he always grabs for first. He likes any teether. Oh, and he loves his exersaucer, and good thing because it’s super nice to have someplace to put him.
* What are your child’s favorite games? He loves to be bounced up and down. He likes peekaboo. Not a lot of games happening at this age.
* Does your child have a lovey? Oh gosh, he loves stuffed animals. His favorite is his black and white dog, Pup Pup. He sleeps with an arm around him, dissolving my heart into a warm and splashy puddle.
Feelings and Moods
* Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression / sadness) and how he expresses them: He is almost always happy. He does get angry sometimes– especially in the car seat or if he’s not getting fed fast enough– and lets out a Hulk growl that makes us laugh. He pouts and whimpers if he’s sad, which turns into the most devastating wail. Oh, the last baby. Their cries will break your heart.
* What is likely to upset your child? Being strapped into the car seat, not being fed quickly enough, being left alone too long (though he’s pretty patient with his unless he’s tired).
* Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: Crying.
* What makes her feel better? Snuggles, pacifiers, drinks of water.
Best baby award. A+ :) (Don’t tell Juju.)
I’m always curious what everyone’s days look like. Here’s how are days are shaping up with Jelly (7 months) and Juju (3 and a half). C stays home full time with Jelly, I work full time, and Juju is at preschool all day. It just seemed best for our family to have Juju at preschool. We thought about half days, but she loves it and it gives Jelly the undivided attention that Juju had when she was his age. I am glad that financially this is working for us and that our little social butterfly is able to be around people which is best for her.
Here’s a typical day:
5:00 a.m. Jelly wakes up, I bring him into bed to nurse and perhaps catch another few minutes of sleep.
6:00 a.m. I’m up for the day. Sometimes Jelly will sleep a bit longer in bed with C, sometimes not.
6:30 a.m. Juju is up. Breakfast, ready for school, stories on the couch, etc.
7:00 a.m. I leave for work.
8:00 a.m. Juju gets picked up by grandparents. C drives her sometimes as well.
8:30 a.m. My students arrive.
8:45 a.m. The kids go to music or gym and I pump in my classroom. Isn’t that a horrible time for specials? We have our break first thing in the morning and then nothing for the rest of the day. I really hate it but am stuck with it.
12:30 p.m. The kids go to recess and C brings Jelly in to nurse. We used to do this every day. Now we’re down to 2 or 3 times a week. I feel beyond lucky to be able to have this time. I also engage C in slave labor grading things for me and sorting papers. :D
2:45 p.m. An aide covers my class while the children dress to go home and I go pump in a storage closet. It’s the most relaxing part of my day, haha. After 7 hours with little kids it’s not an unwelcome break.
3:00 p.m. School is dismissed.
3:30 p.m. I leave to pick up Juju from preschool.
4:00 p.m. Home, nurse the baby, start dinner, general chaos.
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:00 p.m. Bedtime for Jelly
6:30 p.m. Bedtime for Juju
7:00 p.m. Shower, make lunches, grade papers, lesson planning, watch TV, etc.
9:00 p.m. I pry my eyes open and read for a half hour, and then bedtime for me and C. We’re pretty well rested for parents of a preschooler and a baby. I feel grateful that our kids are good sleepers, and I also am glad we put in the time to sleep train them very early. I know it’s not for everyone but it sure worked out great for us– and good thing because the kids share a room.
How does your average day look?