If you read my last blog, you will remember that I wrote about some trying evenings with my son. Long story, short – he was coming home from child care very tired and very hungry which adds up to being very unhappy. It was frustrating not only because we value that time we have to spend as a family but also because it wasn’t the Ev we were used to and we knew something wasn’t right. He is generally a happy toddler.
One thing I was right about was transitioning to another room at child care and the anxiety that was causing. He was adjusting to new friends, a new teacher and new things to do. Now that he has spent some time in the new room, he is much more content. I can tell by the morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups. His days are better and it’s making for better evenings.
Upon talking with a co-worker about some of the struggles we were having with Ev, she mentioned that his sleep cycle might be the problem. At home, on the weekends, Ev was taking two naps, one in the morning and one in the evening. At child care he is taking 1 nap, after lunch. One of the reasons Ev was so tired was because he wasn’t napping much at nap time; 1 hour at most. I was very confused by this because I was thinking he would sleep longer because of the naps he usually takes at home. (He wasn’t being waked by the other children; he was doing the waking up). My co-worker suggested putting him in the same sleep routine at home. For the past two weekends he has taken just one nap at home and he is actually sleeping much better at child care.
I also think it’s important to say that shortly after my last blog, I got a call from Ev’s childcare saying he had a bad rash all over his torso. I picked him up as soon as possible and took him to the doctor. He was fine. It turns out, the rash was signaling the end of a virus and by that point he was better. But it did explain some of Ev’s behavior. He wasn’t feeling well, obviously. This really showed me that I know my son. When he was so unhappy during the evening, I knew in my heart something was up. I don’t necessarily think that anytime Ev acts up or isn’t behaving normally that I take him to the doctor. I am saying that when he is acting out of character, so to speak, it’s time for some observations and problem solving. It’s important to track things like, diet, routines, and changes. All of these things can be reasons for a change in behavior. And if none of those are the reason, maybe it’s illness.
Now, when we pick Ev up from child care, he is happy (for the most part). We talk about cars and trucks or sing songs on the way home. He enjoys playing with his toys while one of us prepares dinner. We get to interact at dinner — as a family. Ev has been using eating utensils and he is getting quite good at it. Soft foods like mashed potatoes and apple sauce are most entertaining. I feel good knowing that when we put Ev to bed, we really got the most out of the short time we had together.