Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sanity Savers when you're extra tired

Here's what works for me when:

*toddler didn't sleep through the night,
*toddler won't nap today,
*it's raining, and
*I have a headache (or any other symptom that reduces my patience level to minimum)

1. Clean something. Specifically vacuum cleaning is recommended, but mopping will work nicely too. The trick is to do something that requires you to keep moving. If you take a breather on the couch, you may never get up again. And with luck, the whiny kid will enjoy "helping" with the broom or duster or vacuum cleaner. You can take turns.

2. Bathe said toddler PRIOR to supper. Put him in trackpants so he won't get the pjs full of doghair and then let him play or watch a video. (Or stick him behind a gate and let him whine it out while the droning of the vacuum cleaner tunes out the whine. Hey, you do what you have to do to make it to bedtime...)

3. If you suspect he will fall asleep significantly earlier than is desireable (you do after all still want him to sleep through the night and not wake up at 3 am) then prep some yoghurt with berries, put some cheerios and raisins in a bowl, slice up an apple, give him some milk, and hope to prolonge the quiet/awake time until at least not too much earlier than the regular bedtime. Leftovers work too. The point is to make sure he does have something in his tummy. Try not to miss that precious window of opportunity where he will go to sleep a tad earlier than usual, like say an hour prior to the regular bedtime (rather than three hours prior).

Note: none of the above is a guarantee that it'll work. I have found that it does most of the time for our situation, but there are days/nights when meltdowns occur and the entire plan goes up shit's creek. Those nights I simply take the cranky toddler to bed with me, even if it's only 7 pm, turn off the light, and get an extra hour or two of well-deserved sleep myself. It'll be up to daddy to move the child from his spot when he arrives from wherever he was.

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