Thursday, May 03, 2007

A day in the life of Miss Baby

We're going to Cuba on Saturday, for a week. My sister and mother are taking care of Miss Baby. In another fit of sleeplessness last night, I wrote them up a 'day in the life' narrative, in the hopes that by following the same routine, everything will go more smoothly.

It occurs to me that this document may someday have historical value, at least for us and Miss Baby, and that perhaps you might enjoy it too. Or maybe I figured since I spent so much time writing it and my sister and mother are almost certain to pay it no heed at all, I could make it do double-duty as a post. At least someone would read it then.

So. A day in the life of Miss Baby.
Dear Mom and S,

This is the routine here, and it works very well for us. This is what [Miss Baby] is used to and what she expects. Please please do not go changing everything all at once: we really do know what we’re doing, and would appreciate if you do not try to replace her doudou with something you like better, or abandon the half-swaddle because you think it’s silly.

A note on sleep: she usually goes down for daytime naps with a minimum of fuss – usually a token 15 seconds of squawking, if that. If she cries long and loud (ie, five minutes) at naptime, you might be in trouble. Conversely, at goodnight time, she can sometimes cry for a good deal longer, but then fall asleep for the night.

A note on bottles: she really varies in what she drinks. Sometimes she guzzles the whole 6 oz in a mere moment, and sometimes she dawdles for 20 minutes to barely drink 1 oz. Don’t force it. It all works out in the end.

6:40 – 7:30 : Good morning! She usually wakes up in this range. She gets a snuggle and some kisses, and then a six ounce bottle of formula and a pants-changing. Beware the breakfast poop! It can be there lurking …

8:00-ish: Breakfast: usually start with 5 or so cut up grapes, or a whole banana, cut into slices, or about half and apple cut into ‘sticks’. This will get you some peace and quiet while you get her some jarred veggie in a bowl and find a yogurt for her. Give her half a jar of a veggie, then a yogurt. She obviously likes the yogurt best: good idea to keep it out of her sight until the veggie gets eaten. If she’s looking really hungry, give her a graham cracker afterwards. She likes to feed you sometimes, too: take a bite of the gooey cookie, already!

8:30 – 10:00: Playtime: let her dump toys out of the container, or plunk her on the floor near the bathroom to watch you put makeup on. Fun! She enjoys watching the morning routines with her doudou and her suck-suck. Move her around as she gets bored and she’ll keep on playing by herself. FYI: when she raises her arms and flaps her doudou at you, it doesn’t mean, “look at my awesome doudou,” it means “pick me up in the next 30 seconds or I’m going to freak out.”

10:00-ish: Wind-down. Put the doudou over your shoulder and pick her up: she’ll snuggle both you and the doudou and generally act adorable/pitiful.

10:30 – 12:00: Nap. Swaddle her from the chest down. Carry her and her doudou and her suck-suck around for five or six minutes. Sing. Feel her melt. She might rub her eyes or ram her head into your shoulder. Put her in her bed, tuck her in, kiss her head, and walk away. She’ll likely pull the doudou over her face and check out immediately.

12:00: Food! 6 oz. bottle, and a pants-changing. Flap a diaper over her and yell 'Air out yer bum!' and she will laugh like crazy. But she might also pee on you. Also a good time to pinch her little legs and make her giggle.

12:30 – 2:30: Activity time! Do whatever you want, but she needs some lunch—generally half a jar of fruit, half a jar of veggie, plus some cheese cut up small and a graham cracker.

2:45-ish: Wind-down.

3:00 – 4:30: Nap. Same as the morning, only she’s even tireder now.

4:30: Food! 6 oz bottle, and a pants-changing.

4:45 – 6:00: Activity time! If she gets crabby, take her for a stroller ride and let her scowl at passers-by. It keeps her quiet. She also likes to sit in the Bumbo chair and watch you cook. Don’t let her play with the knives. Beware also the suppertime poop: don’t say I didn’t warn you.

6:00: Supper: more cut up pieces of fruit, or a microwaved frozen veggie ([Miss Baby] is particularly fond of cauliflower and peas). About ½ cup of baby-cereal mixed with formula, and then mixed with a half-jar of baby food. Give her cheese if she still looks hungry. She often looks hungry.

6:40: Bath: put her in the sink, with some plastic spoons and a tupperware and her rubber duck, and she’ll gladly stay in until she is pruney. Watch out: she splashes with great zest. Be sure to put her cream on after her bath.

7:00: Bed time: swaddle her. Sit in the dark with her and feed her another 6 oz bottle. Let her hold her doudou. If she pulls away, plug her up with the suck-suck and put her to bed. That should be the end of it, by around 7:15-7:30.

She rarely gets up at night: usually she just wants to be reswaddled, carried for a minute or two, and put back to bed. If that doesn’t work, she’s hungry: feed her and then put her down awake. She might make a squawk or two, but then stop. If full-throated yelling ensues, she needs a rescue.

Have fun! She’s really at a good age—silly and loving and getting a little smarter every day. It’s amazing to watch and I’m a little sorry to be missing a whole week of it! I will want the full report of any and all cute behavious when I return! Take notes!


bubandpie said...

I've got a few of these "instruction sheets" lying around on my hard drive myself. They decrease in length with the second child. ;)

nomotherearth said...

I've done a few of these myself, though not so well thought out. I usually write them by hand, and my hand gets tired, so I start doing point form.

slouching mom said...

There is so much mother love contained in your notes. So much.

cinnamon gurl said...

Have a great trip! I enjoyed the peak into another new parent's routine...

Beck said...

I've never written one of these and now I am KICKING MYSELF! It's hard to imagine now, but every part of infancy slips away from you eventually.

Jenifer said...

Oh I have done this several times over the years for the girls, even when it was just for a day out - not even overnight. I always thought my detailed lists (mine included more if you can believe it) were largely ignored, but they sure made me feel better.

Be sure to post about all the stuff they did different that worked. ;)

I hope I still have them somewhere, they sure are a glimpse of life you are not likely to remember.

Thanks for sharing.

Omaha Mama said...

Is it nerve-racking? The leaving of the baby? We're going to a neighboring state sans kids in July for 4 days. Haven't done it, ever. Brenna will be 4 in July! I hope you enjoy every minute of it!!! Try to remember that while time means nothing to her, it could ruin your trip. So do not worry, and have a ton of fun. When you get back it will seem like either a decade or just an overnight to her. And either way, she'll forget 10 minutes after you're back. So it's all good.

Love the note. I've also written a few of those myself!

Mad Hatter said...

I've never had to write one of these. What a wonderful bit of the day-to-day to tuck inside the baby book.

Have a great time in Cuba. Drink a mojito for me.

ewe are here said...

wow. what a routine!

Mine tends to vary, so I'm not sure what my instruction sheet would look like.