Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our morning routine - Will (5), Barrett (3), Neva (18 months)

(Mac is sleeping in the guest room right now, with me. I have done this with new babies until their night time normalizes. Then I'll move him into the kids' room and nurse him there at night.)

Every morning, when I hear the kids on the monitor (around 7 AM), I usually let them "wake up" for twenty minutes or so.  They rest in bed and go from sleepy (and cranky, in Neva's case) to happy before I barge in there and open up the shades. (William is usually still sleeping at this point! He's getting older! If we didn't have babies sleeping in there, I bet I wouldn't hear from him until 8:30 AM.) Before I go up, I cut up some fruit. When I enter, Neva immediately asks for it. "Bopple? Nana?" If we happen to have bananas, that's my go-to, but apples work as well. If I have neither (unusual), I resort to either nothing (disappointment!!!) or buttered bread, folded in half. I used to do this because I was nursing a baby and couldn't always get the kids down for breakfast quickly. I figured something in their bellies would stabilize their blood sugar and help them be patient for breakfast. And it does! A little bit of fruit is the perfect holdover.

So this is how the morning goes:
-- Enter, distribute fruit and open shades: "Good morning, you guys!" (insert other positive comments)
-- Get Neva out of bed so she can walk around with her fruit and look at books
-- Barrett: "Where's Daddy?" "He's at work, buddy." "Awwww."
-- William rouses and usually issues a complaint of sorts ("my leg is hurting," "that was a short night," "I want some banana!" ..... I reply, "Good morning to you, Will!" Then a smile, "Good morning, Mom.")
-- Barrett: "Can we play pets?!" (EVERY morning) ("pets" are stuffed animals)
-- I usually concede, knowing he won't always ask me to play pets. Imaginative play is not my strong suit but it is getting LOTS easier the older they grow. (When I was pregnant, I could not sit on the bed to play pets without falling asleep. So often this resulted in a little nap unless I fetched the stepstool from the bathroom and sat on that, NEXT to the bed. Still tired, but able to play. Now, not pregnant, playing pets is SO EASY.)
-- Before playing pets, I change Neva's diaper and get her dressed.
-- Then I check Barrett's diaper. "Did you keep your diaper dry, buddy?" He'll have stretches of success that make me think he's nearly done with nighttime diapers (he's been day-potty-trained since a month after his second birthday). But then he'll have stretches of wetting that make me rethink it.
-- "Go potty, Barrett, before we play pets."
-- Will: "Wait, wait, wait for me! Don't play pets without me!" "We won't, Will - make your bed and come on down to play."
-- I usually get the boys in their clothes before playing
-- We start playing pets. Each week they have me be a new favorite character. Lately it's Mrs. Kaboom, the big blue elephant. ("Here, you be Mrs. Kaboom, Mom.") William is ALWAYS his Beanie Baby puppy, Jack (a relic of my childhood that has now become his favorite stuffed animal). Barrett changes his cast of characters and uses this opportunity to fetch as many pets out of the bin in the corner until there is a large pile on the bed (my rule is only six pets per bed, but Barrett loves having them ALL).
-- William's "Jack" regales all the animals with incredible feats of strength, engineering, and magic. There's nothing that dog can't do. I spend most of this play session saying, "Wow!"
-- Shortly after we begin, Neva is at my side with a book. "Gook? Gook?" she implores.
-- Torn, I usually read the book in Mrs. Kaboom's voice. Neva LOVES books. I LOVE reading books. How can I turn her away? But the boys are always: "Mom, play pets with us!"
-- When everything dissolves and the boys aren't playing anymore and Neva is creating a big book pile, it's time to head downstairs for breakfast.
-- We clean up the room, everyone grabs their blankets, and we leave.

How Mac is going to fit into all of this remains to be seen, as Brian is still on paternity leave so our new morning routine isn't established yet. I suspect "playing pets" is going to be a useful diversion while I nurse Mac, once he starts sleeping in their room and waking up with them.

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