Q has developed new bedtime rituals. I don't know all the rules yet, but some of them are very important and he will tear up and start sobbing if thwarted. A week and a few days into Noodle's new schedule, we are starting to get a rhythm. All of which is liable for modification on any given night.
4:15 Noodle eats her solid food dinner.
5:00 Noodle takes her pre bath nap. Sometimes. Q and I eat dinner. If J is here, all the schedule goes awry, but at least there are two of us to endure the tantrums. If Q remembers, he begs for a piece of his Halloween candy. Yep. He still has some. I'm not sure if it's because I'm mean and didn't let him have free rein, or if it's because J and I decided to try to lose weight this fall. Of course, many nights he doesn't remember it exists. He's only three. It won't last.
Tonight, because I managed to feed us all before 5 (this might have been desperate or sensible, I'm not sure which), I let Q watch 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'.
Q informed me, "He's not being polite to that dog!" Noodle smiled gleefully as I rocked her side to side with the Christmas choir that transforms the Grinch's heart just by singing.
5:30 We go upstairs for Noodle's bath. Often I lug both children because Q has gotten sad and manipulative. Or, alternately, because he is melting down.
5:35 Noodle's bath. She now must be bathed in the bigger tub, although I have a small tub to set inside it. She'd still fit into the sink, but she is capable of turning on the hot water faucet, not to mention that all her splashing was starting to deteriorate the wood siding of the sink.
This is one of the most delightful activities of the day. Noodle grins and chortles throughout, splashing now with her hands as well as her feet. Q often comes over and makes loud obnoxious noises which she finds endlessly amusing, and sometimes even giggles at.
5:40 Noodle is dried off, Q hops into her bathwater. I don't know why, but he really wants to bathe in her bath. Noodle is dressed in her jammies and read a couple of books while Q sits in the water and hypothetically gets clean. Realistically he's taking a washcloth and commenting on how the tub needs cleaning and applying vast quantities of liquid baby soap to all tub surfaces he can reach. Noodle gets nursed or a bottle or both.
5:50 (or earlier) Q hops out of the tub after draining it. He gets his own towel. If he is not allowed to do these two tasks, there is a meltdown. He comes to our bed where I am feeding Noodle, making loud noises and then begs to be picked up and put on the bed. He is dried off and assisted into his jammies, usually with only a few threatening noises.
5:55 We read as many books or stories as Q can persuade me is necessary. Q is now a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh so some of the stories are quite long and Q loses interest. And luckily for me, doesn't follow quite well enough to notice when I read only one sentence on a page and move on.
6:25 I put Noodle down somewhere safe (like the bassinet she's outgrown) and carry Q to bed, singing his sleepy little baby song. I give him ten kisses and tell him I love him and good night. If I somehow miss an important statement, there will be tears immediately after the door is shut. If the ocean is not on, there will be wails. If Q forgets to say I love you and good night and air kiss at me, there will be sobbing.
6:38 I pick up the wailing Noodle and go downstairs to put her to bed, singing the Noodley N Song.
6:38 and 30 seconds Q opens his door and announces he has to use the potty.
6:45 I return upstairs to find a naked Q wandering around the bathroom, unrepentant. I help him onto the potty. I fix up his toothbrush, and heck, one for me. He washes his hands and brushes his teeth. He is reinserted into his jammies. He runs to his bed and begs me to bring Blankie, abandoned in the bathroom. Blankie is absolutely necessary, and if Blankie is not evident, for some unknown reason, like it is hiding by his feet, there will be heart wrenching wails.
7:00 There is an odd silence in the house. Yesterday, when J and I were both home for once, we turned to each other puzzled. How late is it? It feels like it must be 9 or 10. Suddenly I have hours of solo adult time open before my own bed time to do grown up activities, like, empty the dishwasher. Hunt for the address book. Pay the oil bill. Update my blog before my father comments that I'm slacking.