I am a little concerned about our evening routine. Our evenings haven’t been very pleasant. Stressful, actually. Let me back up just a bit. Our family is used to Ev falling asleep on the way home from child care. Ev doesn’t and hasn’t ever napped well at child care. He only sleeps for about an hour. (When he is not at child care, he takes about a two-hour nap in the morning and a one-hour nap in the afternoon.) Once we’d get home, Ev would either play with some toys or with one of us, while the other made dinner and then we’d all eat together. We would then head upstairs for bath and/or pajama time, and then one of us would read a couple books before laying him in his crib where he would fall fast asleep. This evening routine is so treasured because of the time we spend together and the great interactions we have with Ev.
For about the past two weeks it has been a totally different story. Ev has gone through a few transitions. First of all, he transitioned out of the infant room and into the room with children ages 1 to 2. He also grew out of his car seat facing backwards, so he now faces forward. So, he has new children to adjust to (who are bigger) and new care-givers and more interesting sights to see then the back seat of the car.
Now when we pick up Ev, he seems dog-tired. I don’t know if he is exerting more energy and, therefore, is more tired or what. He does not, however, fall asleep on the way home. As soon as we get home, Ev starts pointing to his eating chair or to the cabinet he knows has his snacks in it. If we don’t immediately give him food, he cries, wants to be held, does a little kicking and hitting. This is so hard because we feel like it’s a lose/lose situation. Ev is obviously hungry and tired, so we want to do whatever we can to fix that. We put him in his chair and make him something that we can prepare really fast. But it’s frustrating because we don’t get to spend the time talking with him and each other, which is something we cherish. I already feel guilty sometimes that we both work full-time, so we try really hard to make the evening rituals and routines meaningful.
Needless to say, this isn’t working for our family and we are in the process of trying new things so that we can get back to a win/win situation. With our evenings being the most time the three of us spend together during the work week, this time is very precious.