Ethan's Age

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Toddler Town Volume II

Once again my suicidal In-Laws are taking Ethan for a weekend next week.  I scripted his general care into his Toddler Times email.  You get to read it.  If you missed it, there is a Volume I HERE.

Dear Chris and Steve,
When operating a Toddler, it's great to have an informational manual guiding you along. 

First off:  His schedule is the same-ish.  But here's a "Brief" Recap.

WAKE UP: Ethan wakes at between 8-9.  He vacillates between being thrilled to be in his crib and being angry like a swarm of bees.  The tone of your day will be decided between Bees or Happiness.  Obviously, hope is for happy. Recovery is slightly possible with Breakfast. Change him and get him dressed in a gorgeous outfit. We want our son looking sharp at all times.  He has quite a few talent scouts following his progress and they need to know that he is a sophisticated and advance toddler that maintains a spotless appearance when in public.

BREAKFAST- Ethan loves to eat waffles.  He will generally eat two.  Sometimes he will humor me and eat some oatmeal first.  So, if you are in the mood to eat oatmeal yourself, feel free to offer it.  Odds are slightly higher of getting the Powerball Jackpot than him eating a lot of oatmeal... but I know I tend to purchase a ticket from time to time.  If you feel as though he hasn't had a lot (a lot = at least two waffles.) then feel free to throw some fruit at him.  Not in the Italian tomato way.  That's child abuse. And a waste of tomatoes.  He drinks milk at breakfast in his sippy cup.  I have nothing clever to say here, but assume I made some sort of cow reference and move along.  Have a water/juice sippy available for his part time job of playing. (See next section.)

PLAYTIME- He likes to play.  This is his primary job. (He loafs around while I do laundry, clean, change his pants... he's truly a drain on our resources.)   Some of his favorite activities currently include putting poker chips in coffee cans (or wipes boxes, of which I'll include in your collection of toys, or his mouth, which we tend to discourage.)  His latest feats include climbing on top of tables, sofas, and ceiling fans.) I've discouraged this very sternly, but his grinning face seems to contradict the impact I think I'm having. Feel free to advise with any strategies that may work for you.  I'm currently looking into a straight-jacket lease. He also likes walking.  So, anywhere you can walk (playgrounds, parking lots, malls, large abandoned fields, swamps) will be a win for him.  He does like going to our local playground and climbing the structures and going down slides.  Your guess is as good as mine as to what will amuse this toddler.  Self deprecating humor liking falling down and/or hitting your head will always be successful.

PRENAPTIME SNACK: Once you've worn yourself out, it will be time for his pre-nap snack. Sippy cup of water with a splash of Apple Juice. Whatever sounds good for food is fine.  (Our Mary Poppins bag of snacks include: Graham Cracker, Fruit Cups, Bananas, Goldfish, Hotdogs, cereal bars, cherrios, tatertots etc.)  He will try most anything IF you eat it first.  I'm sure this ritual dates back to the ancient times where the King had official testers for the food.  Ethan will wait to see if you die, then eat the food. He's very sophisticated like that.  I've given up all attempts to poison him (poison= any green veggie) long ago. Once he spends a half an hour or so putting off the inevitable nap, feel free to place him in his jail of horrors where he will lose consciousness. Often times, consciousness will be fleeting and it will sounds remarkably like a bunch of cats are being murdered in there.  Don't worry... this, for the most part, is normal.  Unless of course there are cats in there.  I always suspected that you two were cat hoarders, but have yet to prove it.

NAPTIME lasts NEVERENOUGHTIME.  Somewhere between 1-3 hours, usually about 4ish hours after he gets up.  It tends to be around noon/1.  He wakes up angry, typically.  (See WAKE UP for strategies and explanations.) Start countdown clock to bed time.  (NEVERCLOSEENOUGH.)  There are no jokes for this section.  Naptime is very serious.  Make yourself a lunch, and when you sit down to it, Ethan will awaken.  He's like a bear, smelling fear, food, and tired grandparents.  ...Don't let him see you cry.
POSTNAP SNACK: Same bag of tricks as the PRENAP Snack.  He's really at a 2 large meals a day routine.  So the pre/post nap snacks are just that.  His main meals are Breakfast and Dinner.

PLAYTIME: See PLAYTIME. Obviously.  His post nap playtime is when he will reveal his interest in drawers (nothing new here.)   He also will decide that he has not seen the view of your kitchen table from above.  He will seek out and exploit any way to get to the proper vantage point.  Throw pillows have been safety rated.  I will undoubtedly forget his bubble wrap suit and helmet, I can't always be a perfect mom.  Consider it a test.  Return my son in one piece, or at least with casts on. 

DINNER- Usually around 5/5:30.  He eats anything really.  He likes meat, noodles, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, potato, carrots, hot dogs, fruit, yogurt, apple sauce.  He also has his last milk sippy cup. 

PLAYTIME- Really?  Do I have I have to spell it out? He likes to read books at this time too.

YO GABBA GABBA- at 6:30.  He will dance.  Watch out.  He flails. (Give him an option of more water/juice or martinis.)

BATH/BED- 7 PM.  Drink wine.  Not with Ethan.  After he goes to bed.  (Or give it to Ethan, whatever. He will sleep like a dream.)  He will want his rain CD playing and the monitor on the computer on.  He's very demanding.  I blame Jon.

Rinse and Repeat. Survival rate decreases daily from Typhoid Fever to the equivalent of Ebola.

Other Notes:

Swimming: Feel free to take him!  I've packed his swim diaper.  He just needs that under his swim trunks, and he's good to go.  I'd recommend having him wear one of his water shirts (kinda nylon-y) as you can keep a better grasp on him.  Since the pool isn't heated (Or is it?) he may get cold quickly.  Please remember that the swim diaper CAN be washed, but can't be put in the dryer.  (It will melt, like his hopes and dreams of being able to swim again.)

Tantrums:  Yup.  He has them.  These usually occur when he's frustrated, or can't put off nap any longer. I tend to ignore him, or remind him to "ask" for help.  I also video record them.  I plan to use these in my future child-neglect trial, and/or play them for his prom date later on.  At a minimum, I laugh at his tantrums, as he is the most pathetic kid EVER. I will be awaiting your "Mom of the Year" award.  Make it out to Cash.