After 5 weeks of school (for both tehpeng and Nat), I think we have somewhat settled into a comfortable routine.
The initial days were not easy, as I was trying to sort out a workable schedule. And most days, I felt it was just going with the flow, which usually means a lot of TV time for Nat (not ideal!). Not to mention, Nat was also testing boundaries and throwing tantrums/melt downs when not getting what he wanted. On hindsight, I think it was his way of adjusting to a new place. Unfortunately, I have a short fuse and low tolerance for nonsense. Now, however, I have learnt to manage his nonsensical requests with humor (it somehow works, but I need to be firm as well). If he asks for something to eat on a short drive home and I have nothing for him, I will ask if he wants to nom on tissue paper or the paper bags. After awhile, he gives up. He might whine here and there, but it does not escalate into a meltdown. And it takes a lot of reasoning and explaining, to get him to understand why his requests are unreasonable at that point in time.
Ah, parenting. It’s definitely a skill to manoeuvre our ways around possible meltdown traps. And to have great foresight to prevent meltdown-triggers.
So anyway, I have somewhat sorted out a schooldays routine for us and also my personal goal (how do I make it seem less…KPI-ish) to get Nat to do some edu-tivities at home, instead of just random play or TV watching. I will likely post more on this separately.
Nat currently goes for a 3-day preschool programme. Yes, lucky him gets a super long weekend from Fri-Mon. But it also means I have to think of more activities to keep him occupied on Mon & Fri.
I consider it a good day when there’s no meltdown, from me or Nat. Haha.
I thought to share how our regular weekday/school day is like…
8am :: We wake around this time, as Min usually rouses awake at this time. Tehpeng heads out of home by about 820am to catch the shuttle bus to school.
8 – 930am :: I bathe Min while Nat washes up. I have since foregone bathing Nat in the morning. After dressing the children (thankfully, Nat is quite independent in this!), I then prepare simple breakfast (cereal with milk/toast/whatever items I’ve baked) and we sit down to eat. I gobble my breakfast and then prepare Nat’s snackbox for school, which is usually 3 items – a sandwich/muffin item, a fruit and snacks/biscuits.
I then quickly change and get the children ready to head out by putting on their jackets and shoes. By now, I might need to change Min again as she usually does her morning poop. I have been tardy in putting her to the toilet. :/ It’s a 15 min drive to Nat’s school but I like to try to get out of the house by 930am, as it takes time to bundle everyone out of the house and to strap them both into the car. By the time we are ready to drive off, I do a victory dance in my head. YAY! And we will likely reach school at about 5 minutes before it starts.
10 – 11 :: I do some grocery shopping at either Trader Joe’s or Wholefoods. There are days I get some stuff done.
11 – 12.30pm :: I try to get home by 11am, give Min her mid morning bottle and settle her for a nap. She usually naps by about 1130am, and I will then prepare a simple lunch. At around 1235pm, I usually scoop her up (sorry baby!Got to fetch brother!) and bring her drowsy to the car. She is all awake and cheery when we arrive at Nat’s school as she knows she will see gor-gor soon.
1 – 1.30pm :: Nat has some playground time with his classmates, while Min and I sit around in the hot sun and chilly winds, (It’s spring and temp hovers around 13-15 degC during the day and down to 10 at night) and watch. Haha.
2 – 330pm :: We reach home and we have our lunch (note that Nat has a snack at around noon in school while Min had her bottle at around 11, so mummy me is usually very very hungry by now!). After lunch, I let the children have free play while I wash the dishes from breakfast and lunch. I get interrupted a million times with requests for more water, more fruits, more snacks in between.
330 – 5pm :: I try to settle Nat down for some edu-tivities. I recently sat down and did some planning on some edu-tivities, to nudge him towards reading, writing and coloring. Activities which he does not like. Again, I will share more on this in a separate post. This is worthy of a post but I want to see how it progresses.
Anyway, while he’s at it, I have to entertain Min at the same time, so that she doesn’t disturb Nat. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to play on her own. I tried sitting her down with a basket of things for her to explore and play with and walk away but she will eventually run towards me and Nat and wants to be a part of the action. So, I resulted in drawing/doodling to her. Because if I read to her, Nat will get distracted. Haha. After much practice, I think my copy-sketching is getting better.
We usually head out to pick tehpeng at about 5pm. If Nat manages to finish the activities early, they get some playground time (again) before picking daddy.
5 – 6pm :: Tehpeng entertains the children while I prepare a simple dinner. If the weather is good (aka not too cold. Haha) prior, he will bring them out for playground or cycling.
6 – 8pm :: We have dinner around 630pm, we talk about our day – we show tehpeng what Nat has written/drawn/coloured etc. After dinner, one of us bathe the children while the other will do the dishes. We have some family time of either singing or story reading or at times, just goofing around. Oh, we also FaceTime with our family around this time.
By 830pm, I’m all ready for the children to go to bed. Nat has since skipped naps and unfortunately, it was too frustrating to settle Min for her #2 nap as she will always point towards the door and wants to be with Nat and I just thought it was a waste of time trying to settle her while Nat is watching TV outside. We settle both into their beds – Tehpeng will sleep with Nat and I will pat Min to sleep in her bed. I have since successfully weaned her off from needing me to rock her to sleep. She’s getting heavier and for the sake of my poor aching back, I bit the bullet and trained her to sleep in bed with my slowly rocking/patting her to zzz-land.
The children are usually knocked out by 9pm. We quietly peel ourselves away from the sleeping children and exit their room and give each other a HIGH5. HAHa. I love my children but I really look forward to their bedtime, as this is when I get my own time. Tehpeng heads to the study room to do tuts (heeheehee). He’s been quite consistent in this. Ah well, this is my 3 glorious hours of me-time (I try to sleep by midnight!) where I shower, I read, I catch up on blogs/twitter/fb, I blog and recently, I bake too!
As I turn in, I say a word of thanks for the day and pray that both the children will have a good rest and sleep for longer stretch. Haha.
Nat and Min take turns to wake throughout the night. For Nat, he will climb into bed and snuggle to sleep with us if he wakes in the middle of the night (this has somehow became a habit and I am trying to wean him off). Min will usually wake at around 2-3am – I’ve grown lazy from rocking her back to sleep (there are nights where this seems to take forever and at this time I am soo sleepy!) and have resorted to giving her a bottle (though I know she is not hungry) and this has again, become a habit. There are nights where she will wake later at about 5am(oh, glorious 5 hrs of sleep for me).
And so the day begins again, at 8am.