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Jan 09

Paper towels

Marc’s job has grown to include nights.  Not all the time, but mostly, at night, he’s not home until nine or even  later (all this week, he’s been working until midnight).  So I’ve had to develop my own new routines for putting all three kids to bed.  Since they’re all different ages, with different sleep needs – I put them to bed one at a time.

Sam is my boy who requires the most nighttime sleep.  So I make sure to get him asleep by eight thirty at the latest.  Lately, he’s been reading to me at night before bed.  After dinner, I clean up and putter around, trying to find lunch boxes and make sure homework is in the right folder and backpack.  Sam and Julie usually play together in the living room, while Jessie does…  stuff.  She’s usually busy in her bedroom, rearranging her treasures, or curled up on my bed, watching television.  The two little ones play so well together most of the time, they get a little (okay, a lot) loud at times, but mostly they get along and can really play together on the same level.

Then I’ll holler that it’s time to get ready for bed, and Sam always bops into his jammies and brushes his teeth, gets a cup of water.  Then he’ll come and sit with me, sometimes Julie will come and listen to him read as well.  His reading skills are improving so much – sometimes he struggles with trying to guess what the word is based on the picture, and I’m always surprised that he doesn’t just LOOK at the word before blurting something out there, but he’s getting better every night.   And the best part is that it’s all self directed – he WANTS to read to me each night and I love it.

After reading, we switch it up.  This is the time when Sam and I go lay down and snuggle, chat about the day, watch Iron Chef together while he drifts off to sleep.  Jessie takes over with Julie – they get ready for bed together, sometimes they’ll brush their teeth together, and sometimes she’ll sit and read with her.  It’s wonderful – Jessie is such a great big sister to Julie.  She dotes on her, taking care of her and Julie loves every minute of it.  Julie loves Sam like a playmate, he’s her go-to sibling for playing – but Jessie really is like a second mother to her.  And the time when I’m alone, hanging with Sam, is the time when they really get to spend together.

Once Sam’s asleep, I’ll usually fix Julie her “second supper” because she normally skips the first one.  She got into the habit of waiting to eat with Marc at night, and more often than not, she’ll just play with dinner while the rest of us eat and then she’ll eat with Yaya when he comes home.   Only lately, he’s not coming home until so late – so I try and get her to eat a little something while I’m putting Jessie down, or I’ll eat with her after both the older two are asleep.  Jessie doesn’t require a lot, in terms of putting her to bed.   A quick snuggle, a little chat, and usually several reminders that she needs to actually close her eyes to go to sleep…

Ah – to my original point.  While I was putting Jessie to bed, Julie was in the living room.  I had put on a show for her (her current favorites are Team Umizoomi and Dora/Diego) and when I came out of the bedroom, she was sitting in her little rocking chair, completely absorbed in ripping off paper towels off the roll.  One at a time, it was one of those rolls that has the little six inch long strips, so you can take as much or as little as you’d like.  Apparently, Julie wanted a lot of little pieces.  I looked at her, and she looked at me, and I asked what she was doing.  She blithely answered (as though it should have been obvious because it brought her enormous satisfaction) “I ripping dem.”  So now I’ve got paper towels all over the floor, because, honestly, it didn’t hurt anyone, and stopping her would have really bothered her.  Pick your battles, as they say, and now if you need a paper towel at my house – no worries, I’ve got a bunch pre-ripped waiting for you.

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