Lately I’ve been thinking that I have this stay at home dad thing all figured out. It’s easy, just make sure everything is scheduled, pay attention, be creative, no problem. I was wrong. He’s growing so fast that his daily schedule changes faster than I can keep up with him.
Take the daily nap for example. I usually try to make sure Mr. C takes a nap sometime during the day. Usually sometime around 2:00 pm, and he’ll sleep for maybe an hour and a half, sometimes two hours. Lately though he’s been fighting the need to sleep, he just does not like the transition from playing all out to sleeping. Reading a book used to help. I would read in a slow monotone voice, mumbling the words to the point where I was falling asleep myself. This isn’t really working anymore. He’s getting very involved in story telling now, he really does want to know what happens on the next page. If anything, reading a book makes him more alert. Most days he tries to stay wake as long as possible, to the point where he’s exhausted in the late afternoon and having a tantrum when ever anything does not go as expected. Sometimes he’ll not have a nap until 4:00 pm. This is not so good since he’ll then be awake until 10:00pm, or even later.
At this age, I’ve heard that he’s on the verge of giving up the nap entirely, so some days he’s just fine with no nap. Wide awake the whole day, and fully wound up still when Ms. J comes home. No nap days though do mean that I end up completely exhausted and zombified by the time Ms J comes home. I spend my days trying to figure out if today is a no nap day, or a late nap day. If it gets to be about 4:00 pm and he hasn’t had a nap, I then switch gears, and instead of trying to see if he needs a nap to trying to make sure he’s ok without a nap.
Today he was clearly completely exhausted by 3:00 pm and in need of a rest. I tried reading a book but that did not work. We were reading ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers, about a boy who gets his kite stuck in a tree and then, in attempting to get it out, gets all sorts of other things stuck in the tree as well. He thought this was completely hilarious and decided to act it out with the bed being the tree and a variety of household items being thrown onto the bed. My shoes, books, pillows, stuffed animals, other books, blocks. Anything he could find. But I know him well enough to know that he was working on fumes, because by this time it was 6:00 pm, he had not had any nap yet, and his eyes were all red and he was stopping to rub them every few minutes.
I was so intently trying to make sure he didn’t grab something that could break as he was throwing things on the bed that I didn’t pay much attention as he said ‘What’s that smell?’ The smell turned out to be cat throw up, which was all over his bedspread. Apparently one of the cats had just gotten sick while napping on his bed. ‘Ok, Ok, lets calm down’ I said and I picked him up and carried him over to his bed. Sometimes on days like this, when it gets this late, he can fall asleep instantly. And that’s what he did. He grabbed onto my neck, and slumped down onto my shoulder, and I could tell that he was just about falling asleep as I was about to drop him on the bed, into a huge pile of cat throw up.
I was able to put him on the bed in our spare room, while I cleaned up the mess on his bed. Usually, when he goes to sleep that early, he will wake up at about 9:00pm and then stay awake for another hour or two until falling asleep for the night. Makes for a long night. It’s 10:30 now, and he’s still asleep. Hopefully, he can sleep through the night. If he does, that was one exhausted toddler.
One exhausted dad too after doing three loads of laundry tonight to clean up the mess.
Oh yeah, and the toilet was clogged all day too.