Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Routine Worry

It must be Christmas, because we've just found out it's Party Time next week at Trinty Tots. Instead of the normal Wednesday morning session there's a two hour Christmas knees up starting at 11a.m and finishing at 1 o'clock. And that's the problem. Charlie's never one to miss a party (nor am I) but this is precisely the time he has his daily nap. I should point out we don't really 'do' routine (in the Gina Ford sense). I’ve had enough of following daily timetables to last for years. But life does follow something of a pattern: breakfast, lunch and tea (obviously) interspersed with milk and sleep; the school run (sometimes literally) and 'wind-down' time before a bath and bed. I have to have my own routine to get things done as well. After breakfast, it's prepare the bottles and sort lunch; after lunch (while Charlie has a play) prepare his tea and supper for the rest of us, that sort of thing. But the timings, quantities and duration of each activity varies. And Charlie’s day-to-day needs vary, too. He seems to have a pattern which repeats itself over about a week: there's at least one grumpy day when he can’t settle easily to anything and finds it hard to smile; a sleepy day, when his mid-day nap will last an hour or more longer; a busy day when he has boundless energy and won’t (or rather, can’t) sit still. And there are quiet days when he will sit and ‘read’ (or chew) his books and look out of the window at the trees. It all seems perfectly normal, and it does recur in an irregular sort of way. Thankfully, we never seem to get more than one grumpy day a week. But each day is different, and one of the most rewarding pleasures is watching closely for the signs of what’s to come. But I've found his middle-of-the-day sleep so useful personally, that I'm loathe to break the cycle. Irrationally, I'm worried that he'll think he's missing out on something and I'll never be able to get him to have a nap again. Sally was always reluctant to go to bed (and still is) - she seemed to think we had a party every night once she was tucked up and asleep (and she was right, of course!). I've said we'll go next week; we'll have a great time, and I'll tell you all about it. But if Charlie thinks it's all balloons and carols and jelly when he's fast asleep in future, I'll regret it.
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