Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trialing the new "normal"

This week is only two days old and already I'm exhausted and wondering how quickly my entire head is going to turn grey. While I really love being in the new house, life is not without its stresses! This is the first week in three where we are hopefully operating on "normal" terms - with Blake in nursery for full days, and both Matt and me back at work - me for the first time really in about three weeks!

Blake did well at nursery yesterday, but it was my day to work from home so it was a little more relaxed in the morning and I even let him watch a quick CBeebies program before we headed out. Today was then the real test, of what I am calling Operation Up Early. One major downside of the new location, despite the fact that I really love the neighborhood and the community feel, is that like in a lot of South London, there are no tubes. We are reliant on overland trains to get us into work, and that represents a pretty big change for both me and Matt. The length of my commute is in theory about the same, but it means I have to be much more prompt and aim for a specific train, as opposed to just rolling up at a station and hopping on the next tube. Matt's commute is unfortunately quite a lot longer, so one of the new arrangements associated with the move is that I really need to do both the morning and evening drop-offs and pick-ups at nursery so that Matt can get into work and home in the evening at decent times.
Today I was in the shower by 6:30 so that I could be pretty much ready by the time Blake woke up. That worked ok as for some reason he slept til 7:00 - he has been waking up most days between 6:32 and 6:37 (if you had to wake up day after day to him as the alarm clock, you would remember the times). We left the house by 7:30 which was the plan, and got to nursery within about 8 minutes or so, and that was not even going at a hurried pace! This is such a welcome change to the previous trip to the nursery. I left him off, crying unfortunately (him, not me!), and headed to the station. The train I had hoped to catch was showing as delayed, which unfortunately can often mean probably not coming within your lifetime, so I went my alternative route into Victoria Station and then got the tube. I made it into the office by 9:00 but not with much time to spare.
The route home is, strangely and to my frustration and dismay, much more convoluted as the train times just aren't as good. But I made it to nursery by 5:25 and we were home by about quarter to 6. I can't wait til warmer weather to avoid the annoying hassle of trying to wrangle his thumbs into his mittens, to then have him promptly take them both off and say "Mommy, cold hands". Delightful, really!
But overall, a general success on the timetabling - let's hope we can keep it up.

Unfortunately, we are basically going through a toddler version of where we were a year ago in terms of sleeping. The little commander has become very bossy and insistent that both of us "lie down" in his room after we do books and his bottle. We were amenable to this in our early days in the house since it was a strange new place, and while he was sick over the week or two around Christmas, but now it has become a habit, and not a good one. The floorboards in his room are very creaky and despite his seeming completely asleep, tonight - like last night - only Matt managed to tiptoe out before Blake bolted upright in his cot like a Jack-in-a-Box and insisted on "Mommy, lie down". This merry song and dance went on quite a few times until I finally escaped from his room at quarter past 10. Life of my own? Evening with hubby? Early to bed? Um, not happening at the moment....sigh.

I am off to the US on Saturday for a week of work but I've said to Matt that when I am back we may need to put our feet down (ha ha, no pun intended) and make Blake cry it out to help him go back to those lovely evenings where we read some stories, had a family "snuggle", and said "Night, night" to him as he waved goodnight to us from his cot with a smile. I can understand why what is happening is having the effect it is - it's essentially the same thing that was often happening when he would wake up when I would try to lay him in his cot after he fell asleep in my arms - he goes to bed with us there, something changes which he detects, and he needs all the pieces to return to as they were before he can try again to go back to sleep. At least this time I know that this is what we will need to do to make things better for everyone.

In the meantime, I am going to go to turn in for the night. Writing this blog post is pretty much the sum total of my evening's productivity, and I have to go make sure my alarm clock is set. The one on my bedside table that is, not the one now sleeping peacefully in his cot.

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