Monday started off cloudy and dismal, but by afternoon the sun was shining and it was *thisclose* to being hot out. We went for a long walk around lunchtime, and after Tucker’s second nap (more on that in a moment) we went to the park outside the library, spread out our picnic blanket, and hung out under a tree until we had to head home for dinner. Tucker was so happy—he just sat there taking his toys out of the little bag I store them in inside my tote, chewing on the bag, chewing on the toys, and shaking his new tambourine. We must have been there an hour and a half and it went by in a flash.
The tambourine is worth mentioning: It’s from Early Years, the “Lock ‘n Rock Shaker” (who comes up with these product names??). It’s four different rattles and shakers—a maraca-type shaker, a tambourine, a clacker and jingle bells—that link together or can come apart. My friend Laurie brought one of the pieces to the library last week and literally every kid hanging out in the play area tried to steal it from her poor daughter! I was in the toy store where she’d bought it over the weekend so I picked it up, and sure enough Tucker loves it. I don’t think we’ll link it together for a while, but the individual pieces are a good size and make fun sounds. (By the way, our other favorite noise-maker is a double-egg shaker (looks like this, though it’s currently unavailable on Amazon; I got it for $5 at a local toy store) like the ones we use in music class. It makes a seriously satisfying sound, almost like a rain tube (remember those?). I think the double style is easier for Tucker to hold, and I like that it doesn’t have a thin handle for him to poke himself with.)
Back in the fall I talked about our wonderful picnic blanket, which was a gift right after Tucker was born. I have become a devoted apostle of the JJ Cole “Essentials Blanket.” Everyone needs one of these. To recap what I’m sure I said in the fall, It has seams to show where to fold, and the way it folds up keeps the ground-facing part away from sitting part. There is a piece of cardboard or something inside, which give you an indication of how to roll it up so the velcro closes every time. It takes about 15 seconds and there’s none of the annoying cramming-into-a-tiny-stuff-sack that you sometimes run into with this sort of thing. The sitting surface is a silky-soft polyester that feels really nice, and there is a very light layer of padding. Plus the stripes are cute. LOVE it. And it’s about $30. The quality is so high that I expected it to be about $50 when I looked it up.
I’m just so relieved to finally be seeing some green buds on trees and occasional days when it’s warm enough to sit outside. Spring!
So my post-Ferber meltdown last week led to a renewed focus on fixing nap schedules, as I said. So far, so.....well, ok. I’ve been putting him down around 9—it’s been really hard to keep him up that long, even—and he usually sleeps about an hour. I wish it were longer but I don’t know if I should/could put him down even later? In the afternoon he sleeps anywhere from 35-60 minutes, usually starting around 2. Yesterday he went an hour and ten! We’re down to about 10.5 hours at night because he keeps waking up earlier and earlier, but I’m thinking that if the second tooth (which has been pushing visibly against the gum for weeks now) ever pops through, we might get a slight break in the morning.
Sleep stuff: So all-consuming, so boring. Every mom I talk to is kind of obsessed, and I don’t think any of us have it exactly figured out. (Well, that’s not true. My friends with older kids—age one and up—seem to have really steady schedules.)
Have a great week and cross your fingers for more warm weather...
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.