This is what life looked like for T at age two. Here is the document which I foolishly believed would help me have some control over her day!
First and foremost we are so grateful to have you watching T for us. This is a big adjustment for all of us and having you with T is helping immensely. I have put together an itinerary that should help you know how our day usually goes. I hope it helps! T really seems to thrive on her routine – and she has come to expect it – so hopefully this will keep things as stable as possible for her.
T usually wakes up between 7:30 and 8:30. If she wakes up before 7:30 she will probably need some tender loving care. If she wakes up crying then she needs to be held or rocked, or may even want to lay in my bed (if she isn’t there already!). She wakes up very slowly…she is not usually raring to go right away – she likes some quiet time and snuggling. We have also been watching the Disney channel in my bed for about half an hour after she wakes up – with her binky in, just snuggling.
Then I change her diaper, leave her binky and carry her downstairs.
T likes to eat breakfast on the couch, with a blanket on, watching Mickey Mouse. Generally, I give her either a waffle or a Pop Tart (broken into four pieces), on a plate. She also gets a sippy cup of milk. On the side table I have a bowl of cereal (usually Cheerios or Lucky Charms) – when she asks for them I give the bowl to her, but I like her to start with the waffle or Pop Tart. When she seems to have lost interest in the waffle or Pop Tart, I start feeding her prunes. She usually eats them well – pretty quickly too! She will let you know when she is done (she usually throws any toys that she has on the floor one at a time – to make sure she has all of them with her!!); then she climbs down herself.
Playtime after Breakfast
During this time T usually likes to play on her own. She goes around and takes out what she wants; she also watches some TV too. This was usually the time when I would shower so she is used to entertaining herself for a while. I think it is good for her to amuse herself – she gets to explore and be creative! Keep her breakfast accessible to her so she can snack on it throughout the morning. Keep encouraging her to drink milk too!
Around 9:30 or later it is time to brush T’s teeth. She stands on the stool while I brush her teeth (I usually sing “Brush brush brush your teeth every day and night brush them really good so you can have great teeth” – to the “Row, row, row your boat” tune). Then I have T walk upstairs to get dressed. I will try to have an outfit laid out for you – if not feel free to dig around in her dresser and closet! Then I change her diaper and get her dressed, and then we walk downstairs – she climbs down backwards (go ahead of her and guide her bottom).
I generally take T’s lead throughout the course of the day as far as playing goes. I do try to make sure she engages in various types of play – creative, active, constructive, etc. Climbing, squatting, walking, and running are all important for her to do. If you think she has been sedentary for too long then ask her to play something else – she likes to do Mickey shapes or the other sorting toys – we throw the pieces and then she goes around and picks them up and brings them back to the toy. She knows where her toys are and I am sure she will express to you what she wants to do!!
At about 12:45 or 12:50 (depending on how many toys are out), T helps pick up her toys. It is good for her to walk around and pick up her toys – plus it is teaching her to be responsible for her things!
T eats her lunch at the table in her seat. If you think she would eat better sometimes if front of the TV on the couch – go for it! I try to give her some sort of carbohydrate, yogurt, and fruit. Crackers, pretzels, graham crackers, yogurt, raisins, etc. If she has drank most of her cup of milk then I give her juice or water. Feel free to try anything you want. I will try to keep the cabinets and fridge stocked! I have attempted sandwiches with no luck, but our goal is to keep offering her all sorts of food. Lunch usually lasts about half an hour – she will let you know when she is done!
At 1:00 T and I sit down to read for a while. We rock downstairs and she picks which books she wants to read. She usually lets me know when she wants to go upstairs, but if she doesn’t we go up around 1:15. T walks up the stairs with me holding under her armpits, or she crawls/climbs (I just support her bottom).
When we go upstairs I turn on the heater and the humidifier. Then I change T’s diaper and she has her binky. I take her shoes off and we talk quietly. Then I turn on the noise machine and the monitor. We rock in the rocker with a blanket on and I ask her what she wants me to sing. Generally she falls asleep within five or ten minutes. This may not work for you (as it does not work for Hubby). Hubby puts her in the crib and lets her put herself to sleep. I am sure this will be the hardest part of T’s day so you will have to determine what will work for her.
Something else that sometimes works is rocking her for about fifteen minutes, and then if that is not working put her in her crib and go downstairs. Leave her for about fifteen minutes and then go up and try again. She does not like a lot of eye contact while she is going to sleep. At this time I usually hold her close, but do not engage in conversation!
If she wakes up before I get home and is happy let her play in her crib for a few minutes (again she wakes up slowly). If not you may need to rock and snuggle for a few minutes and then head downstairs (leave the binky upstairs!). She gets her vitamin at this time too (it is in the medicine cabinet – middle – fill it up to the 1). She stands on her stool while I give it to her (with a tissue under her chin!).
C - the dog
You can keep C locked in his room or you can let him be out. He generally stays in his room, even with the gate open. T likes to play with him, so if the gate is up make sure it is secured. You won’t need to let him out at all – I never do during the day.I will call when I am leaving the school, so if T is napping around then please let C out about 12 – 15 minutes after I call.
Wow that seems like a million years ago. Her day is so different and it seems like her day has lost structure since then. I am proud of how T Bear and I spent our days together. It feels like I don't have as much organization now as I did then (maybe having two changes that!). Let me say that this helicopter mommy does not like handing over her precious children to anyone, but I know I literally could not have gone back to work without my mother and mother-in-law. That first day back at work was the worst day of my life, and I am certainly not looking forward to doing it again.
High: Having this document to remind me of how amazing our days were together!
Low: Reliving the pain and angst I (and T) felt when I returned to work.