My friend and I were talking about the relative importance of strict wake-up times, bedtimes, and naptimes. I told her how I had tried so many times to implement this with you, but it just never worked because of our unpredictable schedules. Sometimes we have to get you up at 6:30 am to go to your grandparents’ house. Sometimes daddy doesn’t drop you off until 3 pm, which is right in the middle of naptime. On the weekends, I’m always trying to sleep in as long as possible.
But lately, we have a fairly regular wake-up and bedtime, and naps just depend on who’s babysitting you that day. We usually start getting ready for bed around 7:45. I have to convince you to take your clothes off - you always want to sleep in them. I do this by saying we should have some naked time before we get our pajamas on. I’m trying to be more disciplined about teeth-brushing after horror stories from my cousin, my dentist, and articles I’ve read on NPR and other news sites about toddlers with multiple cavities. They blame juice and all-day snacking, neither of which applies to you, but also lax parenting. And that daddy and I are totally guilty of. My friend said her son lets her because “doctor said so,” but I doubt you even know what a doctor is. My dentist said twice a day is the minimum and to just use water and a regular non-electric toothbrush. I’ve enlisted the help of your grandparents so that between me, daddy, Mimi/Papa, and Meme/Pepe, hopefully we’re hitting at least twice a day.
After teeth-brushing and hand-washing, we do books, diaper, and pajamas in whatever order you’re most cooperative with. We read usually four books, and sometimes we read your favorites twice. Then we turn out the lights by around 8:30 usually. But like I told my friend, kids sometimes aren’t tired at the exact same time every day just like adults. If they had a longer/shorter nap, played a lot/little, they might have extra energy. Sometimes you’re fussy at 7:30 and very obviously ready for bed. We usually end up skipping most of your bedtime routine, and I just end up nursing you ASAP until you’re already conked out and I have to maneuver around your clothes to at least get a diaper on you.
Other times, you’re just not tired, sometimes you’re wide awake past 9 pm, happy as a clam. If daddy’s home, you’ll wander out there, then “I come back” looking for me, then “go see daddy” again. But if daddy’s not home and the house is dark, you like to play “mommy talk about Hawaii.” I did this once after I had run out of songs to sing and other ways to kill time before you fell asleep, and now it’s like a game to you. You make me do most of the talking, but you’ll chime in with “rember bus ah Hawai’i?? Fun, bus.” We name all the things we can remember about our trip. You’ll stop me when you want me to elaborate in more detail, “mommy talk about plane.” It’s cute, and eventually you fall asleep. So while it would be way more convenient and predictable for me if you had regular sleeping and wake times, it just doesn’t fit with daddy’s job or your energy levels.