Monday, May 10, 2010

A Rainy Day

Smiley and I spent a lot of time at parks last Summer, so he was with many other children.

I was worried that when the rainy days of Winter and Spring arrived we would both be very bored.  Other househusbands of one- and two-year-olds shared this worry.  I would give them my business card, with Smiley's name and age written on it as a reminder to arrange rainy day play dates.  Most of them shared their contact information with me as well.

But I never called them.  The three families with little kids whom we already knew well were sufficient for about one play date per week, which was enough.  Rainy days were not boring after all.  This still seems strange in retrospect.

Today was a rainy day, probably the last one this week.  So I thought I might as well make it a typical rainy day and then blog about what what we did throughout the day.

(Note that having an entire day in the house is only a Mon/Wed/Fri phenomenon, for I teach at LCC on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning and afternoon.)

7:30 am Smiley wakes up.  Since he is happy being in his crib I let him play there while I catch up on processing photos and write a blog post.  On other mornings I might use my time before he wakes and when he is content in his crib to read scripture, pray, shower, have breakfast, etc.

8:00 am He begins to get fussy, so I go get him.  He gets his diaper change and then we play with toys in the sitting room for a bit.  Then he has breakfast (today it's some cereal and a cup of orange juice).  While he eats I make phone calls to arrange play dates for this week.

9:00 am Mommy leaves for work.  We hug and wave good-bye.  Then he does more playing with toys while I wash some dishes.

9:15 am We make graham crackers.  While we do this I also empty the top rack of dishwasher, and wash the new dirty dishes we make.  Baking is a nice rainy day chore.  On weeks with more than one rainy day this half hour break from toys and books would probably be spent cleaning the house.  A friend calls back to ask if 11 am today would work for a play date.

9:45 am We process some videos, including one we just made of his rolling flat graham cracker dough.  Catching up on photos and videos is a great rainy day activity.

10:00 am I change his diaper.  His pajamas smell of sweat, so I change him into to shirt and pants.  I also put goop in hair so his bangs are not in his eyes.  Then I empty bottom rack of dishwasher.  Then we play with toys together, until he picks out a book to read.

10:45 am We read The Fire Station by Robert Munsch.  Then he does most of the "reading" for Where Does it Park? by Susan Canizares. 

11:00 am Blake and and two-year-old Liam arrive.  The boys eat graham crackers and milk, then play with toys.  Everyone helps bake spice cookies.  Then more playing with toys.  Just before they leave Smiley wants to everyone to read The Fire Station together.

On a rainy day with no play date we would go shopping, to the library, visit a place in a currently popular book (post office, fire station, hardware store, airport), or so forth, for a chance to see other people.

12:20 am Blake and Liam depart.  Smiley and I read lots of books: The Fire Station and Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch, Big Rigs by Hope Irvin Marston, The Ox-Cart Man by Donal Hall.  After we read The Ox-Cart Man we find two nice YouTube videos about sheep shearing, since as we read he commented for the first time "the sheep get a hair cut".  (We describe what happens in his books' pictures, but usually do not try to teach him about things until he produces the words.)

1:00 pm I do laundry.  Smiley wants more "movies" so I let him watch a recent video of himself.  He uses the space bar to restart it a few times.

1:10 pm Lunch time.  Smiley eats fish (both of our leftovers from yesterday) from while I put away cookies and clean up the kitchen a little.  After he is done with the fish, I try other options in decreasing order of sweetness.  He eats olives off pieces of leftover pizza and then strawberries.  I eat the pizza as he finishes his strawberries.

1:40 pm I claim a 10-minute break to read online comics and read news (interesting bits about internet regulation, diet, gender, and fantasy mountain terrain).  Smiley plays with toys.

1:50 pm We read again: Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett

2:00 pm We play with toys again.  Since nap time approaches, I become busy making tea as an excuse that he needs to by himself: he switches from marbles and duplos to tower building and sliding beads along his bead maze.

2:20 pm Smiley finally has his after lunch poopy diaper, and thus is ready for his nap.  I change his diaper and then squeeze in some laundry (move the washer load to the dryer and start a third load).  Then we start nap time routine: we read two books in the nursery while he drinks milk (today Baby Happy Baby Sad by Leslie Patricelli and The Alphabet Room by Sara Pinto).  Then I tell him stories or sing while he finishes the cup of milk.  Then I put him in his crib with a binky and cover him with blankets.

I should note that up until The Alphabet Room every book we have read today has been a library book.

Today, as often, he does not want to go to sleep right away and refuses to lie down to get covered by the blankets.  So I leave the room and let him fuss.  After I rinse and refill the milk sippy cup I return to the nursery, where he has decided to lie down and be covered.

2:45 pm His nap begins.  I do this blogging up to this point, and read more news.

3:10 pm Confident that Smiley is fast asleep and not just quiet, I start things that are annoying to have interrupted.  I eat more lunch, make phone calls, and work on my current computer chore (currently mapping out the Navigator's District for my role-playing game).

4:30 pm I go sit in the spa and enjoy some relaxing prayer time.

5:00 pm He might wake up any time, so I come inside and do e-mail and math teaching preparations.

5:30 pm He is still asleep.  I don't want a 10:30 pm bedtime tonight, so I go to wake him up.  I start by opening the blinds in the nursery to let in more light, then doing more laundry while singing.  He stirs but does not wake up.

5:50 pm I really wake up Smiley.  My wife arrives home from work.  We play, make dinner, eat dinner, do more laundry, talk on Skype with Grandpa Lee and Grandma Dena, and then play more.  When we are making dinner the pressure cooker steam frightens him, so I take him to the nursery and we read The Alphabet Room again.  During his Skype chat he "reads" Where Does it Park? again, and also Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

8:30 pm Smiley is not acting tired yet, but it is getting late.  Bath time for him!

9:30 pm My wife goes to the spa.  I put Smiley to bed.  He did not each much at dinner, so we stop and he finishes off his plate of beans and cheese on the way back to the nursery after getting his milk.  Normally he gets two books, but I also took a string cheese for him to eat while we read, which takes more time.  So we read Baby Happy Baby Sad again.  He also helps with Peter Rabbit's Touch and Feel Book (from when my wife was little), Pup's Supper (from the Monterey Aquarium), and two Sandra Boynton books he has not heard for a while which are now more meaningful to him: Opposites and Blue Hat, Green Hat.

So we bake two treats.  I do four loads of laundry.  We catch up on processing photos and videos.  Smiley hears a book read to him (and often helps "read") seventeen times.  He has a nice video chat with family.  He plays a whole lot, with me or a friend or alone.

UPDATE: The glaring lack is exercise.  I have a goal of doing one round of reps with the weight bench and dumbbells  before he wakes up in the morning and a second after he falls asleep for his nap.  But many days I fail this goal.  I also would like to go running early in the mornings when it is not raining too hard for this to be pleasant, but have lost this routine also because during most of April either Smiley or my wife was sick, so I needed all the morning sleep I could manage.  However, I do get to do some worship dance or tai chi in the sitting room while he plays, and following a toddler all day long is a bit of exercise in itself.

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