Take 2

Paddle Power is a benefit to raise awareness for suicide. This two-day canoe trip on the Connecticut River has become a tradition for my sister and wife. It’s a wonderful event that is very near and dear to our hearts.

This year my sister arrived a week early with baby in tow to raise money for the event. Baby Tara will turn 1 in a couple of months. She is a beautiful little girl with the beginnings of curly, light blond hair air jordan 13 femmes and big blue eyes. She’s also quite possibly the squirmiest baby on earth.

My wife and I have been weighing the idea of having a second child and this week’s experience gave me a good look at how things could be. It didn’t take long to see that our day-to-day lifestyle has changed a great deal over the four years that our daughter Lydia has been with us.

People have told me that as time goes on, the day-to-day care becomes easier. In a lot of ways that’s correct, but all the challenging tasks that pass are replaced by new and different challenges and responsibilities. I don’t know if child care gets easier so much as there’s a relief of past stress and the gain of new stress.

From a work perspective, the way I go about completing day-to day tasks is much different than when Lydia was a baby. Then she would take two naps a day that could span as long as two and half hours each, and she would go down for the night around 7:30. Those were all open hours for me to work. But now Lydia doesn’t need a nap most days, so those open hours have substantially dropped.

On the flip side, when Lydia was awake as an infant, she required 100 percent attention. I had to stop everything in order to take care of her needs. Now Lydia’s interests in dolls, shows, books and coloring occupy her during most daylight hours. I don’t have to be involved in her every waking minute (nor should I be). Because of that, powerlins ii if some work thing just has to be done by noon, meeting that deadline is much easier than it was four years ago.

My week with my new niece was packed with reminders of how my wife and I used to run our household. It was a memorable time with family, and a preview of how things may change for us again in the near future. My open hours may not be so open anymore.

The Get-Out-of-Nap Routine

It may be long forgotten but it’s not hard to imagine that we all, as kids, had a get-out-of-nap routine. Lydia will do anything to avoid that time of the day when she has to lie down, stay still and be quiet; it’s the polar opposite of what a 4-year-old wants to do.

Lydia’s natural reaction is not to take no for an answer. In business I admire that philosophy, but at home it’s frustrating. Most days I eventually put my foot down, but today was different. Because today, in her own way, she told me how she views her world.

Lydia picked out a stuffed monkey and decided it was her baby. air jordan 14 Then she put it in a doll rocking chair. She put on a dress and told me that she had to go out to “bring home the bacon,” a term her mother uses when Lydia asks why mom is leaving for work. She asked me if I would take care of the baby while she was gone. Of course, I agreed.

She was gone for a couple of minutes before I tracked her down to check on her. She was at my desk, pretending to work. When she was done she took out a puzzle box and stuffed the pieces into her purse. “This is the money I made from working,” she says. “Now I have to go shopping.”

But first her little hand surfed into her purse and she handed me five puzzle pieces. “We have to save some of this money for later. Can you go back to watching the baby now?” She went off again.

A little while later she returned from her shopping trip with a basket of random items and asked if I would help her put on an apron. “Look at all this stuff I got for us, Daddy. I bought it with the money I made from work.” Then she began making lunch at her Kiddie Kitchen.

When we finished eating, she retrieved her baby out of its chair and hopped into her bed, a place she has refused to sleep for months. “Snug as a bug in a rug,” she says with a smile. “Don’t worry, nike zoom hyperrev Daddy. I am not scared to sleep in here.”

She understands that her mom leaves each day because she has to help provide for the family. She knows we have to make money to buy the things we need and that we also have to save some of it. She feels safe where she is and knows that someone she loves is there with her every day.

For a while it may have simply been a get-out-of-nap routine, but it worked — in many ways.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I’m easy. Change seldom ruffles me. Even with this new parenting job, the dire “your life is no longer yours” warnings mostly have rung unwarranted. I don’t miss much about my pre-fathering days, mostly because I don’t view my new responsibilities as anchors so much as I see them as different sails.

However, one thing I do miss is the mid-day power nap. air jordan 13 Slipping a bit of sleep into my schedule isn’t as easy as it was before.

I didn’t used to nap every afternoon (despite what my wife thought).  Sometimes, though — whether because of a bad night of sleep, or amid some work that was particularly mentally challenging, or “just cuz” — I would lay down for 15 to 20 afternoon minutes in order to recharge. The benefits of power-napping are well researched and reported, and I was somewhat a master of capitalizing on them.

But that’s not so easy while sharing the day with a baby.

One obstacle is that when Maggie is asleep, that’s the most opportune time for me to be productive. I can get much more done when my brain isn’t persistently aware that she could interrupt me at any second with a need that only the nearest adult can fulfill. When she sleeps, I can focus. Maggie’s naps are the marrow of my workday.

Moreover — and maybe this is just a first-time-parent thing — the usually unflappable me is disquieted by the notion of sleeping while Maggie is awake. The caveat to that fear, of course, nike kobe 9 is that it exists only during the day. I don’t know how often Maggie wakes during the night, while my wife and I sleep, and lies there for minutes or hours drooling and watching shadows on the ceiling. I’m sure it happens, but I don’t lose sleep over it.

During the day, however, if I try to nap while Maggie does not, then I can’t close my eyes for more than 20 seconds without being jolted by a deep-seeded paranoia that I am leaving her defenseless from the terrors of daylight.

I have researched this a bit and found a plethora of polarized opinions. Some parents and experts claim that sleeping while the baby is awake is reckless; others say that as long as the baby is secured (such as in a hazard-free playpen) then my midday napping is just as safe as through-the-night slumber.

I’ll do more research, and I’m open to hearing advice. In the meantime, I’m pouring another cup of coffee.