July 19, 2018

never wake a sleeping baby vs race to the door

Babysitting for Theo and Carter wasn't all bad.  They listened to me.  Dealing with their folks and their unique 'style' of parenting, again a term I use loosely, was a struggle.

An ongoing issue for YEARS that almost made my eating-their-breakfast-trying-to-mind-their-own-business kids lose their appetite, was the door dilemma.  Once Carter could walk, Theo struggled because Carter might run to the garage door and open it BEFORE Theo.  Imagine the lawlessness of it all!!!

Geraldine and her equally walk-all-over-me-please husband Simon tried to 'fix' Theo's issue.  They promised him that he would open the door the next time.  They would bring him back out to the garage so that he could open it himself.  There were other tactics.  It was mind-blowing.

My approach, since Theo was now over 3 years of age:  'Oh well, that's life.'  This is how I ended up with kids who didn't cry if they didn't get the coveted (insert favorite color here) cup at meals.  Cry all you want, kid.  Not gonna change anything.  This was still happening on one of the last days of this school year when Theo was well over 4 and a half years old!!!!  I thought Coach was going to blow a gasket one morning in June when it happened AGAIN.

Hey, I am NOT a perfect parent.  Remember:  my kids are far from perfectThey keep a gross bathroomThey forget that this isn't a college dorm.  But for heaven's sake.  This toddler stuff is elementary, right?

Of course, Theo could've been crying about the door thing because he was TIRED.  When he was 3 1/2 his folks asked me to start waking him up.  They decided that if his naps at my house went too long, he struggled to go to sleep at night.  I did that.  I started limiting how long his naps were.  He was dazed and confused, and sometimes tearful because he still wanted to sleep when I woke him.  It felt a little nutty. What's that saying, 'Never wake a sleeping baby'?
Joey, Carter, and Theo playing
at an awesome nature center. 
Sometimes it was a struggle to
 keep them awake
 in the car on the way home.
 How do you go from that to no naps?

I wore these kids out.  We did stuff.  The park, the zoo, the forest preserve place with an awesome hands-on nature learning center.  (same place I called when the raccoon issue arose, 'member?)  We kept busy.  Nap time was essential.

In the fall Theo turned 4.  He was a premie, mind you.  A tiny kid.  My Laddie was a huge kid, but napped thru kindergarten.  Eddie was done napping (much to my chagrin) by the time he was about 2 1/2.  They are all different.  No rhyme or reason.

Anyway, Geraldine announced to me one day at pick up that they decided that they didn't want Theo to nap anymore.  My response, 'Oh, well there will always be nap time at my house.  I mean, we can make it quiet time for Theo.  I can give him some quiet toys and books to look at in the room he usually naps in.'

Geraldine had no poker face.  She was NOT in agreement with me on this.  After she left, I called my friend and fellow babysitter, Caroline.  Caroline was on the same page as me.  'I would've said the same thing to her.  Nap time or quiet time.  Call it what you want.  Still part of the program.  No way around it.'

After that, things took an interesting turn.

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