Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Always have a plan B

I've heard this quote in reference to golf and it is so true: "the only thing consistent about golf, is inconsistency."  I think most parents of babies would agree that it could also be applied to a baby's daily schedule, even babies like Griffin who do stick to a fairly predictable schedule.

Without fail, when something is planned and as a parent, you go to great lengths to work your schedule to fit whatever it is you have planned, that is the day the baby's schedule changes.  Therefore it is has been so important for me to always have a plan B.

Example: Griffin usually naps from 1:00-3:00 (ish) and eats his "dinner" around 4.  If I try to plan a project/craft during his nap time, like making him some new big butt pants, without fail he will wake up 45 minutes into his nap, refusing to go back to sleep.  Enter Plan B.  Depending on the weather, my first choice for a Plan B would be a walk.  This is a great way to spend time with a baby who is refusing to sleep because the motion of the stroller may put him back to sleep, but he will at least stay content and enjoy looking around at everything outside while I get a little exercise.  If the weather is not ideal for a nap, I always have a to-do list ready of errands that need to be run.  Errands are not the most fun thing to do in Griffin's book, but hey-you woke up early from your nap, so heading to the grocery store is your consequence:).

Another example.  Lots of mornings we have things planned for us to do together: playgroups, playdates, etc.  They usually begin at about 9:30 which is on the tail end of his morning nap.  So on a morning like this Plan A is to get a nap in a little earlier, then get up and go have some fun.  On days when a morning nap is a little harder to come by, I just leave a little earlier than planned and hope he falls asleep in the car.  Which by the way, is a great way to get some drive-thru errands done; mail some bills and snail mail letters, return a redbox, go to the ATM for $ and stamps (yes the Wells Fargo ATM sells stamps!), and of course stop at a drive-thru Caribou for a coffee.  On a side-note, every parent should know where all of the drive-thru coffee shops are located so that in case of an emergency there is one in any direction your route may take you, and your baby can continue sleeping in the car.

In any situation, it has been so helpful to be prepared if he sleeps less than normal, more than normal, gets hungry earlier, gets hungry later, or throws any other type of curve ball at me.  As long as I have a plan B for each situation, I never feel too thrown off track and have managed to stay flexible in making all kinds of last minute plans.  And if I've learned anything about parenting so far, it is that being flexible will allow you to continue to do the things you did before you had kids, with your kids.

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