Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bedtime for Little Boys

My son is 3 and a half.  At this age I think the half makes a big difference.  Anyways, some days he naps, and some days he can't so he has rest time.  He reads books quietly in his room for a little while.  I mean it's his version of quiet.  He doesn't speak or sing.  But his feet are very noisy as he runs from his bed to the bookshelf to grab the next treasure, and then back again.

Trying out his sister's big girl bed.

Depending on where we are on the nap cycle, bedtime behavior greatly varies.  The whole cycle is rather fascinating:

Day 1 Nap: Good and long.  The kind where I have to wake him up and he's still groggy.
          Bedtime: His body is going in every direction.  He's trying to test the limits of his muscles and gravity           and the sturdiness of the walls.  He's squealing and grunting and noisy.  He's well behaved but wild.  Sometimes this wildness lands him in trouble.  The trouble is more a consequence of his exuberance than the actual problem.

Day 2 Nap: Short but still counts.
          Bedtime: Probably the best bedtime.  Less wild.  Less trouble.  Still needs lots of reminders to put on his pj's, sit on the pot, quiet down so as not to wake the baby...but he's 3 (and a half).

Day 3 Nap: Non-Existent -it's to be expected
          Bedtime: More unruly.  Louder in an unpleasant, crying, disobedient sort of way.  A little out of control.

Day 4: Nap: Again, no nap.  But today he needed it.  He's tired.
           Bedtime: Very unpleasant for everyone in the home.  Let's just rush him into the bed as fast as possible because any consequences will just make it a million times worse (not that there are no consequences, just that we try to keep him busy enough that he doesn't earn any).

Day 5 (this is SUPER rare)
          Nap: No nap.  WAAAY too overtired.  You know you're in trouble for the afternoon and evening.
          Bedtime: He asks for it early.  He lays on the floor and sucks his thumb.  He doesn't even want a story. He just wants to go to bed.  Bedtime was too easy.  You spend the night checking on him to make sure he's ok because he must be sick.  Only he isn't, he's just finally worn himself out.

So many blurry pictures of this little man.  He's always runnin'.

I have yet to find a way to alter the cycle.  I can run him ragged, but he will sleep or not sleep depending on where he is.  Little boys are amazing.  And exhausting.  But in the best way.  At least most of the time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Little Boys Decorate

My son attached monster trucks to the swing's mobile.  
Considering how much he loves monster trucks I think it was a very loving gesture.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The First Noel

Saturday as I reflected on the Joyful Mysteries, I again marveled at the gift we were given on the first Christmas.  Emmanuel.  God with us.

from flickr by Lawrence OP

In the first decade we remember the Annunciation and pray for humility.  I put myself in the place of Our Lady.  Because God sent Jesus to Mary, and He also sent Christ to us.  To teach us and to save us.  When Mary humbly gave her fiat, she received the gift of God's son in her womb, and so we also received our savior.  I pray for humbleness in receiving such a gift.

In the second decade we remember the Visitation and pray for charity.  Mary brought the gift of Christ to Elizabeth.  She literally brought the baby with her, but she also brought His love to Elizabeth through her service.  Blessed Mother, pray that I may bring the love of your divine son to others.

In the third decade, we remember the Nativity and pray for poverty.  Lord, make me poor in spirit.  Especially at Christmas when we should be focused on Jesus but the world is focused on things.  It really is distracting.   

As I walk through the house and pass piles of new toys and piles of old clothes and toys waiting to be donated it's easy to be frustrated by stuff.  But if I remember that this stuff is not eternal (I can almost imagine it's gone) I can remember God's will and focus on that.  Then I can deal with the stuff.

I am thankful for Christmastide.  I'm thankful it lasts many days.  After all the anticipation and preparation of Advent, I can be still and adore our Lord.