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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quiet Time

Now that the two older boys have started up school, I have been trying to get Soren and I into some sort of routine for the passing hours. And while I have tried to instill a time for Soren to rest, it has only been this year that I stumbled across the perfect way to get Soren to nap. He stopped napping the moment he turned two, and over the past two years, every time I tried to get him to lie down, it has been met with fierce resistance. This causes him to either get grumpier the later it gets, creating a maelstrom of attitude and tantrums in the later day, or for him to pass out once in a blue moon, comatose until dinner. I hate when this happens because it means that he won't sleep at bed time.

But I have finally found the combination that works for both of us. And let me tell you, oddly enough, we both look forward to this part of the day.

With Xavier arriving home much earlier than before, Soren and I have less time in the day to go out and do things. This actually makes things easier for the both of us, as we can fit stuff in without getting bored, or having too much time to waste in front of the tv while I try to get things done. So now, every morning after carpool, Soren and I go out. We go to the library once a week, hit the playground when the weather allows, go kayaking, hiking, head over to G-rents and swim, or just run a few errands with the promise of a treat.

Once we get home, we pick a crafty thing to do: paint together, color, draw, play dough. We have fun sitting at the table, making our own crazy creations. Then we have lunch together. And after lunch we have Quiet Time.

For Soren, Quiet Time is the only time during the day that he gets a chance to watch something on tv. He picks a show or movie, grabs his Angry Birds blanket, a few stuffed animals, and cuddles up on the couch. My three rules for Quiet time are: no food, he must lie down, and we try to keep as quiet as possible. I'll sit down on the recliner beside him and use that time to blog, read emails, or surf the web. And so far, most of the time, Soren falls asleep within 30 minutes. If he doesn't we keep it going for 90 minutes, but it's only been once a week that he has stayed awake.

He's usually still napping when Xavier arrives home, giving me time to help with homework or talk about my oldest son's day without interruption. By the time Soren does wake up, he's refreshed, happy, and didn't sleep so late that it affects bed time.

Sometimes you find yourself fighting tooth and nail to find a quiet moment in the middle of the day. And sometimes, if you're really lucky, you find a technique that works for a child. Trust me when I say that I have tried this before and it did not work for Xavier or Ashe. But for Soren and I, this scheduled Quiet Time is working to both of us.

Soren after 20 minutes into Quiet Time this week.

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