Throw Scheduling Out the Window.

Months ago we were thrilled to hammer down a schedule for the Wee Baby T.  Feedings, naps, bed time, everything seemed to mesh; but then the invites started flooding in.  We were thrilled to be invited to social gatherings: “What, speak with other adults?  YES!!!”  Birthday parties, footie matches, even coffee with friends.  We eagerly accepted them all with open arms.

The first night was a breeze.  We had tickets to see the local footie team play an evening match, so we bundled the Wee Baby T up in the carrier, put his noise canceling headphones on and we were off to the game.  While he initially seemed confused as to why he wasn’t in bed, T slowly settled down and eventually his eyes shut.  Of course it was a manic game with more goals than you would expect, but still T stayed calm and relaxed, waking up and settling back down to sleep each time.  Game done, we head home to put him into the crib and he was out like a light.  Easy. Clearly he is flexible with his scheduling and is willing to cooperate when we want to head out for a little social time.

The next day we had a birthday to celebrate.  The event spanned 2 scheduled feeds and a nap, but we figured we could find a dark corner to let him snooze.  Feeding time was a disaster – with 20 people around, many of whom were complete strangers to this guy, there was too much distraction.  Getting fussy we cut lunch short, went to a bedroom and shut the curtains.  What would typically be an hour and a half nap was about 45 minutes before he woke up hungry.  A quick bottle and he was content for the rest of the evening, until we started the drive home.  T would drift off to sleep only to wake up with a start, clearly confused.

We got home and put him to bed, but this time it took considerable effort.  While he would usually sleep through the night with only 1 or 2 interventions from us, he seemed to have a difficult time drifting off, and staying asleep.

On Monday we fell back into his regular routine, unfortunately T seemed to have adapted to the chaos.  He suddenly didn’t want to take his afternoon nap and lunch time was more of a suggestion.  The buffet stayed open for about an hour as he picked his way through cheerios, veggies, and chicken bites, and by 5:30 he was ready for bed.  This of course threw Tuesday off as he woke up before the sun.

By Thursday we had settled him back into his schedule.  To be fair, it really isn’t his fault – we made these plans without consulting his calendar and the conflicting appointments were clearly not approved by management.

So how flexible can we be?  Let me know in the comments if your little one has a schedule, and if so, how exact are you with it?


1 thought on “Throw Scheduling Out the Window.”

  • I love your blog! It’s so “real” to parents going through similar experiences.
    Though Schedules are good for the parents, and help with sanity in keeping our lives on a bit of a predictable plotline, they can stifle the creative opportunities that life presents. For example: bedtime. For years I thought that to be good parents we had to keep to a strict(ish) bedtime of 7pm. Without this, we feared our child would somehow become a werewolf all of sudden. Or mealtimes. They must attend the weekly “mom and tots” musical program. Afterall, how else will they increase social interaction with their peers, not to mention tap into their musical potential. We. Only. Have. So. Much. Time.

    But that’s just the point. Time. What’s the end goal? What’s most important? And is sanity worth the monotony of life that a schedule can create? If there’s a night constellation or campfire to experience, so what? If your little one is awake, why push it? It doesn’t always have to be about them, either. If you feel like spending the day at the Art Museum, even though it’s “Future-Mensa-Members-of-World-(for ages 1-2)-Day” at the science museum, do it. If they want to eat extra cheerios for a late breakfast and don’t eat their pre-planned organic kale lunch, so what? You’ll be happier, which in turn will positively influence your son/daughter.

    Naturally, kids are needy, yes. They are demanding of our time and our resources. We’d be irresponsible not to take their needs into consideration and plan in advance for them. They will be hungry, they will be tired, they will want to play, and we must work this somehow into a convenient, predictable program at times. But, they won’t become werewolfs, I assure you. And, some of the best memories and experiences in life are created in those moments of flexibility and spontaneity.

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