I've started and stopped a number of posts recently. Things have been...well, they've been mixed, really. There's been some good, some bad, some AWESOME, and some meh.
There have been a bunch of behavioral issues with Alastair, but those are being directly addressed. He'd spent too many nights and weekends being passed from one set of hands to the next, and while it made for a dynamic summer for both of us, it also made it tough for us to find time to enjoy each others' company.
For 2.5 weeks, however, he's not sleeping anywhere else than home; he's not going to bed late; he's not watching anything with a screen after 7pm; he's getting to nap at 1pm; and he's eating what he's served, which is generally healthful. It might sound totalitarian, but we're actually having a ton of fun:
Last night we trekked down to World of Mirth (a fantastic local toy store), where we found some really cool dinosaurs. We bought a big spinosaurus--with articulating jaw--and a pachyrhinosaurus (which he initially misidentified as a styracosaurus). We also bought a bitchin' marble roller coaster thing, and I can't wait to start building it with him.
We also introduced the "clean plate club" at home. Members get dessert at dinner. Holla!
We've gone to King's Dominion in the evenings.
And this weekend is gonna be a non-stop action fest! First up, as usual, is Saturday morning Special Breakfast and The Little Gym. Then there's the Filipino Festival right across the street from my house. After nap is the Richmond Kickers' final game of the season, and it's gonna be a big ol' party lasting into the evening hours.
Sunday starts off with brunch at the Jefferson Hotel, which is like Special Breakfast times eleventy. This will lead directly to nap (for both of us), hopefully followed by either a mess o' karting or Maymont or, if it's raining a movie.
I'm keeping him occupied at all times, keeping him focused on productive activities, and trying my hardest to guide him positively and not negatively.
I'm a little bit bummed that our experiment can't last a full month, but I'm pre-paid for a track weekend right before my bday. After that, though, we're gonna get lots more time of focused and dedicated daddy/boy time, with a week-long trip to the beach in early September.
It's only been 4 days since I started working on his habits, and we're already making some serious progress. The first two nights, he was up over and over again 'til way past 11pm. For the past two nights, though: he's dropped right off to sleep. When he goes to sleep earlier, he also stays asleep longer, making him much more pleasant in the morning. With the "clean plate club", we've had much better success at not only eating, but eating at a reasonable pace. And most importantly, the smart-talk has dwindled. He had been floating in a state of either 100% bliss or foul mood, with almost no transition time. Emotional extremes. That is evening out--thank God.
We're gonna keep driving the party bus and beating the routine into his head until it clicks, and minimize the interruptions to that routine to less than half what they had been. I'm through putting up with impediments to my child's development--he is all that matters.