Image by jen_rab via Flickr
I am thinking that it is time I work on perfecting my babies bedtime routine. Lately, and I revert back to the last post and whole-heartedly blame the time change, I find that I am in search of ways to amuse my baby between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at night. At which time I can acceptably put her to bed without the fear of her waking up wired like a speed strung psychopath an hour or two later.
My daily routine goes something like this;
6:00 – 7:00 a.m. Wake up to a VERY happy baby, which in turn makes sleepy mama a little bit easier to deal with in the wee hours of the morning.
7:30 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast, get dressed, get older brother ready for school. This generally goes without a hitch because happy baby is more than willing to sit and eat at this moment in time.
8:30 a.m. Walk older brother to school, happy baby loves this and usually talks all the way there.
9:00 a.m. On the way home happy baby is starting to show signs of sleepiness and usually within the 15 minutes it takes us to get home, happy baby has become sleeping baby, at which time I take sleeping baby up to her bed and she drifts away into la-la land.
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Happy baby is usually back, although sometimes she is replaced by screaming baby, I don’t much care for screaming baby. I prefer happy baby, just as happy baby prefers happy mama… do you see the connection here??
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Usually consists of happy baby playing with toys or happy mama, puttering around, or trying to figure out how many things she can pull out of how many places. It is a generally content time of day for her, but is quickly replaced by hungry baby.
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Hungry baby has lunch, and since hungry baby has decided that she will not eat food that is fed to her on a spoon this lunch is more often than not made up of itty-bitty pieces of food that she can pick up and force into her ever open mouth. But hungry baby is happy with this and happy baby commonly returns in no time at all.
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Happy baby is usually playing around and getting into trouble where ever possible at this point. This is where annoyed and overwhelmed mama sees that happy baby is actually sleepy baby in disguise and takes charge declaring nap time. Sleepy baby in disguise will often protest to this undesired downtime, loudly! Sometimes this outspoken protest will only last a few minutes, though other times it will last over half an hour. But ordinarily sleepy baby will eventually drift off.
3:00 p.m. Take note that happy, relaxed mama has usually returned by this time and is happily cleaning, writing, or catching up on missed reading, when she looks at the clock and realises that it is time to pick up older brother from school. occasionally happy mama will have to wake sleepy baby, but most often happy baby will be awake and cooing to herself in her bed contentedly. When happy mama does have to wake sleepy baby, sleepy baby is grumpy baby for a few minutes before getting herself together. Happy baby and happy mama will walk to the school to pick up older brother, and grab a much-needed coffee on the way. (Coffee for happy mama, not happy baby, although happy baby does have an absurd attraction to Tim Hortons cups, happy mama thinks it would be inappropriate to give happy baby coffee, no matter how cute happy baby is!!)
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Happy baby, mama, and older brother will walk home and talk…. all is fine at the moment… but this is where it starts to go wrong for happy mama….
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Happy mama becomes busy mama, happy baby will stay happy for a period while she plays with her older brother and busy mama cooks, but happy baby does not like to be far away from any mama and so in time she will putter around and seek out busy mama. Closer to dinner time happy baby begins to show signs of becoming grumpy baby, and often busy mama has to carry grumpy baby while she is cooking. (probably not the safest thing to do, and I am sure if I was a celebrity the photos from the paparazzi would be right up there with Britney Spears driving with child in lap. But a mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do right? and don’t worry I don’t drive anyway so no worries.)
5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Dinner time! Often grumpy baby will calm down enough to eat dinner, often enjoying her time as hungry baby as she shovels whatever her plump little hands can manage to get into her mouth. (BTW hungry baby is a food hoarder!! but I will get to that in a later post, it’s really quite disturbing.)
5:30 p.m. Happy baby bath time!! Happy baby loves the bath, but happy baby has decided she only likes the bath when happy mama is in it too… and so happy baby and happy mama will climb into the happy bath and splash, play, wash, and sing. This usually lasts a short period as happy baby really does not have a long attention span.
Then it all falls apart…..
6:00 p.m. Happy baby is no longer… you may catch glimpses of happy baby but miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby is out in full force. The next hour consists of little split second attempts at amusement in order to keep miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby awake until 7:00 p.m. Miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby will play with the light switch for 3.5 minutes, she will play with the ball for 2.8 minutes, she will look at a picture for 4.3 minutes, she will listen to a story for 3.9 mintues, and she will NOT allow you to put her down for 0.1 mintues! The split second attempts at amusement usually last about a half hour, at which time happy mama has long been replaced with tired, fed-up mama and she ships miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby off to bed……
Sleepy baby will sometimes sleep through the night until morning, she will sometimes cry out lightly and sooth back to sleep on her own, she will even whine at times until a bottle is brought to her mouth (yes another no-no I’m aware, desperate times people!) and drift back into a deep slumber, but sometimes happy baby will awaken as speed induced psychopath baby and terrorize relaxing mama half to death!!!
You can see where the issue lies, I prefer happy baby, I want to keep happy baby at all times, or as much of the time as humanly possible… I don’t like miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby, and I just don’t want to see her if I can avoid it. Happy mama has tried tips from other happy mama’s, happy mama has tried cutting out naps, has tried pushing back dinner, bath, etc… but happy mama really does not like miserable, crying, whining, sleepy baby and so happy mama continues on….. but now happy mama is in search of another solution, a better solution, a solution that will keep happy baby happy and make happy mama even happier… and so the expedition begins…and happy mama is not so happy about this!!!!