Oh the nightlife in my household. It is so hectic, crazy, and full of awesome. We pack so much into the approximately 2 hours we have with Leo after work that I'm surprised we don't fall down in exhaustion as soon as he is asleep. Sometimes Leo is in a great mood, sometimes he is a cranky toddler. Sometimes I'm in a great mood, sometimes I'm a cranky mess. Often times we get both sides in one night.
We started tonight with whining for mama's phone. To think that I was worried at one point because I didn't have an iphone or ipad and "omg would he be the only kindergartner who didn't know how to use any technology?" I worry too much.
I got him happily contained in his highchair with playdoh and crayons while I cooked dinner. This worked relatively well. There were only a few moments of whining when he couldn't get the playdoh out of the can (that stuff seriously creates some kind of mad vacuum seal in those stupid little cans). Obviously cooking dinner is a difficult part of the night. I don't want to ignore him but I also need to pay attention to what I am doing. I'm trying to think of more ideas to keep him occupied because him dumping out the contents of my pantry is driving me crazy.
Dinner can go in many different directions. Sometimes he eats. Sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he dips his bananas in ketchup. Toddler eating is so confusing. I have given up on trying to understand it. I'm proud to say that most nights the three of us eat together as a family. Some nights it is just me and the little man. Even then I try to make sure I talk to him throughout the meal and not just stare into space out of exhaustion. I try my best to make sure he has a balanced meal but there has been more than one night where he ate goldfish for dinner.
The best part of our nights is after dinner when we just play. This is the time where I get to really experience my son and see the amazing little person he is becoming. I bought Leo an old school Mr. Potato Head this week and it has been a huge hit. Best $8 spent ever.
The husband got me an ipod and speakers for my birthday and we have been having dance parties on the regular. Tonight's dance party included a lesson on how we don't use our instruments on the dog. I honestly do not understand why Frank doesn't just walk away. He just stands there and takes it.
Another favorite right now is the tunnel. Which had to be put away after Leo insisted on trying to walk while standing up in the tunnel which caused all sorts of visions in my head of how he was going to trip and crack his head open. In related news, Leo has a scratch on his forehead that sort of makes him look like Harry Potter. I need to find little glasses and a Hogwarts scarf asap.
After playtime, it's bath, last drink of milk, saying goodnight to poor daddy who is working late again, books and bedtime.
I hate to think about the time I spend with Leo during the week in terms of hours because if you look at it that way it seems like I don't see him very much. I pack so much into the time after work because that is the quality time I get with him. I want to teach him things, see him grow, and show him that I am there for him even if I am at work during the day. I really do feel that our time during the week is quality time. When I do stay home during the week I am not at all this engaged with Leo from 6 to 8pm because I am so done with dealing with a toddler all day.
I'll admit, some nights, when I am too tired or emotionally spent from work, I just hang out while Leo plays with his toys. Other nights, I'm actively engaged with him every minute until he goes to bed. Most nights include a lecture on how we don't stand on the dog or we don't ride the dog, or for the love of baby Jesus don't touch the dog's butthole!
Our nights have evolved so much from when he was infant and the focus was just on nursing, bath, and bedtime because he went to sleep so early. I am interested to see how they change over time as he becomes older and more independent. I hope the terrible twos do not take away my happy toddler playtime.
I definitely end every night in exhaustion but it is (usually) a happy exhaustion. I'm not exactly sure why these two are so tired.