Maybe it's just me, but I LOVE reading about other parents' day-to-day schedules with their kids. Must be the voyeur in me... that same part of me that peeks in people's windows at night if their curtains are open (creeper, I know) and eyes other customers' food at restaurants. I like reading about the similarities in my day and other mothers', and I also tend to take some mental notes on great snack ideas, playdates, and meltdown-aversion-techniques. Seeing a day all listed out is at once comforting and eye-opening. Is it just me?
Well, even if it is... I'm gonna go ahead and go ahead. Here's a "typical" (ha. haha) day in MooHooVille with Natalie.
Truly, each day is different in our house, and not just because having a toddler is the biggest wild card you can throw into domestic life. Because I work part-time, some days I'm rushing Natalie out the door to daycare, other days she's home with her Nana while I'm at work, the weekends are full-on family time, and some days (like the one I'll describe here) are our Mommy-and-Me days when it's just us girls.
In any case, mornings are usually really predictable. Mike is up at 5:30 and out the door at 6:15 to start his hourlong commute to work. Even on my days off I like to get up before he leaves so we can have a little morning kissy-face and I can definitely get a shower in before the budgie wakes up. 6:30 is Natalie's normal wake-up time, which gives me just enough wiggle room to get showered, empty the dishwasher, wolf down some breakfast, and prepare myself for the cuteness that awaits me.
Usually I'll hear her chirping away upstairs, where she's rolling her way out of sleep, kicking back her blanket and flipping through one of her board books. She loves to linger in her crib a bit, or come into bed with me to snuggle for a few minutes--I think it's just too much for her to leap awake and start her day (I can't blame her on that one). She gets a little back scratch, lots of hugs, and then a diaper change before heading downstairs for breakfast.
Breakfast is almost always bananas, waffles, and milk. Her faves. Somewhere along the line chunks of banana end up thrown all over the floor--just her way of letting me know she's full, I guess.
Mornings can be stressful on the days that I have to get to work--I just haven't quite figured out how to best dry my hair, get dressed, get her dressed, and be ready to be out the door. On the days when we are home together, though, we can have more leisurely paced mornings. Lots of books, a walk around the neighborhood, and a little Elmo's World. Less cramming flailing arms into t-shirts and trapping her in a pack'n'play while I fly up and down the stairs retrieving the stuff she needs for daycare.
We almost always have a morning outing together, which keeps her happy and me sane. She's just recently made the big switch from two naps a day to one, and keeping her awake through lunchtime can be a struggle. If we're out and about, she is much less likely to let the morning crankies take over. On this particular day, we headed to the library in the next town over for their baby story hour. We arrived a little early so she had time to run around the grassy amphitheater before settling in for songs and stories. It was such a gorgeous day, another thing that makes our days off together go much more smoothly--Natalie, like most kids, loves to be outside, and a sunny day is a little gift from the weather gods that keeps her spirits high all day long.
A big part of our day is food. Seriously, this kid can eat. Her morning snack is her most empty caloric intake of the day--usually just some Cheerios and yogurt melts in a to-go cup while we're off running errands or finding new places to play. Lunch, however, is probably her favorite meal of the day. This day, it was Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets, avocado, a little fruit salad, and a couple of bites of the salmon leftovers I was having for lunch. Plus milk. Oh my word do we go through a lot of milk in this house. I was unprepared for the 2-gallon-a-week habit that would be a part of her turning one.
The after-lunch sleepies usually take over at this point. I do my best to keep her awake until 12:30 or 1, when she goes down for a nap. It's mostly bribing her into keeping her eyes open with some more Elmo's World (Instant Netflix, have I mentioned how much I love you?).
Her afternoon nap lasts somewhere between 2 and 3 hours, which gives me a nice chunk of time to myself on my days off. This day it meant laundrylaundrylaundry, an episode of Californication (again, thank-you Instant Netflix), giving our bathroom a quick clean, perusing Facebook and catching up on other blogs, and getting some of Natalie's food prepared for the next day.
After she wakes up, we tend to have a nice slow afternoon together. Playing in the backyard (where is is mostly obsessed with saying "CAT!" and pointing emphatically at the kitties snoozing in the window of our tenants' apartment), walking downtown to look at the boats in the harbor or visit the playground, or just chilling in her playroom while she wiggles to her musical toys and brings me book after book to read her.
Oh, and, of course, there is an afternoon snack in there. Who could expect my bottomless pit to go more than 3 hours without eating? On this day it was cottage cheese and pineapple, along with some spoon practice. She's getting so good at feeding herself!
Once we've exhausted all of our options for excursions and play, we both get antsy for Mike to get home from work. He's home around 4 every day, and just the sound of the car door slamming makes Natalie jump up from whatever she's doing and race to the kitchen to greet him as he walks in. He's able to give me a bit of relief, sometimes taking her to run an errand or two, reading her a book, or we'll all go for another walk together.
Suppertime for Natalie (and sometimes us) is around 5. On this day she scarfed down pasta with tomatoes in a kidney bean and green pea pureed sauce, some sliced peaches, and milk. The kid packs. it. away.
The hours between supper and bedtime are the most difficult. We'll play outside a bit, read more books, and just generally try to keep the kid happy until her 7 o'clock snack and bathtime. When Natalie's tired, it's all eye-rubbing, throwing herself on the floor crying, clinging and whining. She just can't keep it together at all when she's sleepy. Poor thing. It's hard on us, but I know it's hardest on her. We do our best to get through to her bedtime snack (more milk, and usually a little toast or cereal with fruit), and then it's bathtime.
Bathtime is the best time. Mike runs the water while I get out her jammies and set up her room (with white noise machine, nightlight, bedtime stories, and musical Seahorse). Natalie gets a bit of naked time before being plopped in the tub. She is getting really into splashing now, and insists on standing up and stomping in the water while we get her all clean. She squeals with laughter, chews on her bath toys, and fiddles with the faucet. When it's time to get out she kicks and giggles while we dry her off (our drying-off routine has become a rather strange combination of blowing air on her to give her the shivers, which she loves, and peekaboo, which she REALLY loves).
Her bedtime routine is pretty consistent--bath, nighttime lotion, the same stories, and a little rocking with daddy. Mike puts her down while I tend to get the house cleaned up from our little tornado's mess-making, and then we get to sit down to dinner and wine. Almost always wine.
On a good night, like the one that followed this day, Natalie is in bed at 7:30. We watch Jeopardy while she falls asleep (by around 8), and then have a couple of hours for the two of us. Those hours are pretty much definitely spent catching up on network TV on Hulu, or Instant Netflix-ed Prison Break, or, just this week, True Blood Season 3 on dvd. We are probably addicted to far too many television shows. Oh, well. It's our snuggle time, I usually con Mike into giving me a foot rub, he gets to obsess over his Fantasy Baseball lineup, I often blog a bit, and then we get to crawl into bed before starting the whole thing over again the next day.
It's a good life.
If you love reading other people's hourly breakdowns (heck yes!), here are some others that will fill your Peeping Tom quota: Miss James at Bleubird Vintage, plus Melissa at Dear Baby has had a feature going on all about this very topic which has included BA at Heir to Blair, Mandy at Harper's Happenings, and Emily at Emphasis Added.