Thursday, January 15, 2015

"if they're crabby, put them in water."

...and was she ever. Crabby, that is. We're transitioning from two naps to one nap, and it was going really well for a few weeks. Yes, was. WAS going well. When Rowan does two naps, she'll sleep for one to two hours for each one - but it's really hard to get her down for each one, too. Fifteen to twenty minutes of walking and bouncing and singing with her, which is more frustrating than it might sound (and not kind on the shoulders and back). I was a staunch advocate of putting her down for naps drowsy but awake for months and months, but right before she turned one, she started just playing in her crib instead of going to sleep during the day. She wasn't upset or crying, but she also wasn't sleeping, which meant she'd be exhausted later...so we started helping her fall asleep (just for naps, not bedtime), and that started taking longer and longer. Boo. Anyway, eventually, she was clearly ready to do only one nap on some days, which I dreaded - but it actually makes getting out and about with her a lot easier. And duuude, her falling asleep easily for the one nap, and me having a break from 12-3? I can dig it.

But then the single naps started dwindling from three hours to two and a half hours, and then two, and then one and a half. The other day, she woke up after only an hour just crying and crying, and the rest of her day - from 1:15 until I could reasonably put her to bed at 6:30 - was a mess. In fact, her whole night ended up being a mess of her waking up constantly, thanks to the cruel irony of the baby rule of thumb known as "sleep begets sleep", which essentially means that if they're overtired, then they don't sleep well. I keep telling her that I don't recommend subscribing to this philosophy, but apparently she disagrees.

Anyway, when Rowan woke up crying after such a weeny little nap, I (won't lie) grumbled for a few minutes before pulling myself together and getting her up. We snuggled and played and read stories and played and ate a snack and played...and pretty much ran out of things to do to keep her happy and occupied. At, like, two o'clock in the afternoon. Did I mention that the wind chill was in the negatives, too? As both of us grew increasingly irritable, a quote from SARK about celebrating children suddenly rose to the surface:

"If they're crabby, put them in water."

Water? With snow on the ground and dinner on the horizon? Screw it, I thought. Let's do it.

I used an empty plastic bin (which was chilling in our growing Pile of Doom in the basement) and laid our plastic spill mat underneath it - mostly to keep the area around the water bin less slippery. Then I made two cardinal errors: 1) I put way too much water in the bin (seriously, an inch deep would have been plenty), and 2) I didn't put her IN the bin, but NEXT to it. So she promptly starting dumping all the water on herself...i.e., the floor.

You can actually see the water being poured out of her cup.

I really didn't want to tell her not to pour the water out - wasn't that the whole point?! - so I didn't, but the spillage was getting a little ridiculous. Once the puddles started migrating towards the stove and the hardwood floors, I increased backup (read: MOAR TOWELS) and plopped her in the bin. She was thrilled.

The (soaked and swollen) diaper came off at this point, too. What can I say...we're wild.

Here she's gripping the sides of the bin and swishing her legs back and forth...so, not exactly containing the water any better than before, but she was having the time of her life. (Read: MOAR TOWELS.)

Hey, it wasn't any groundbreaking, Pinterest-mayhem-worthy activity, but it did keep a fifteen-month-old happily occupied for an hour while causing relatively little mess. In fact, that's the closest I've come to cleaning my kitchen floor in recent memory. Score.

In the meantime, I'm trying to come up with more easy, cheap, fun indoor activities while we ride out the rest of winter (so, like...three more months? Gahhh). Open to ideas...what's your favorite indoor toddler entertainment? Spill! (Or, actually, don't spill. Because I don't have any MOAR TOWELS.)

***EDIT: Some ideas I want to remember from my awesome mama group & from all of you:
-- Craft paper rolled out on the floor + box of crayons
-- Freeze little toys in a block of ice + plastic hammer (let ice thaw a little first)
-- Blanket forts, especially with a fun toy inside (baby CD player)...or a snack
-- Dance parties with glow sticks/flashlights
-- Play dough
-- Spiderweb discovery basket
-- Painting snow in a sensory table
-- Painting the bathtub (baby foaming soap + food coloring/watercolor + corn starch)
-- Tupperware drawer!
-- "Clean" the house with a wash cloth
-- Bubble wrap on the floor
-- Contact paper on the window with cotton balls
-- Finger paint in Ziploc bags on the windows
-- Pushing a laundry basket with heavy stuff in it
-- Window crayons
-- FaceTime play dates
-- Hide and seek - but "seeking" a baby doll that you hide somewhere
-- Hang a couple rolls of toilet paper on string from the ceiling (J.J.'s old fave from when he was a toddler teacher)
-- In the sensory table/bin: snow; uncooked rice or pasta; Cool Whip or pudding; Cheerios; cut-up plastic drinking straws; flour; corn starch and water; sand; oats; the foam from dish soap bubbles; shaving cream


  1. Hmm...Matt's totally the better parent at stuff like this, but some things that did keep us busy:
    - paint, she LOVES her Ikea $14.99 easel
    - painting IN water (i.e. in the bathtub. yup, in the middle of the day.) we used foaming baby soap, food coloring and a little bit of cornstarch, mixed in an ice cube tray. just gave her brushes or whatever and she could paint the whole tub
    - playdough - matt's famous homemade so it was edible if necessary
    - dance parties, sometimes with lights out and glowsticks/flashlights
    - dining room table blanket fort - she would go under with her little baby cd player and jam
    - tupperware drawer. empty, stack. fill up. repeat

    Trying to go back in time to the toddler winters...now her activities are a little more involved...will let you know what else I can remember!

    1. Ooh, I love the table blanket fort idea. We don't have a good table for that (the base is down the center), so I'll have to find another place - she loves tunnels and climbing inside of things right now! Matt gave me his secret play dough recipe; haven't tried it out yet, but I need to get on that. Love these ideas! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...