Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tricks of the trade

There are certain things only I know about. Secrets, tricks, that keep everything ticking along around here. Strategies that ensure people eat their food with minimal fuss, naps are had, tantrums don't go on for four days. It's a result of me being home with the boys all the time, that I've come to know all these things. And I'm guessing other mums and dads have a collection of tricks that they use to keep things together too.

And I was thinking the other night, as I was doing the nightly ritual to get Oliver off to sleep - what if someone other than me had to look after the boys for a few days? They wouldn't know all the secret things that are needed for things to not fall apart.

Okay so nothing wouldn't actually fall apart, but part of me would like to think they would.

And then I remembered, I AM going away, in September, for the weekend with some girlfriends. Wahoo! But. The thing is, J will be in charge while I'm away and he doesn't know the secrets.

I decided a list of at least some of the tricks needs to be disclosed.

1. When putting Oliver down for a nap, don't for a second think you'll be able to put him in the crib awake and hope he'll fall asleep on his own. You'll need to follow these steps carefully: First, feed him from the bottle until his eyelids become heavy. Next hold him horizontally facing into your chest. Bounce up and down for about five minutes, whispering "shhhhh... shhhhh". If he startles or begins to squirm, immediately begin lunges (they must be REALLY big lunges in order for the technique to work). When his breathing pattern tells you he's asleep, gently lower him into the crib at the EXACT angle you are holding him. Once his body reaches the bed, stay there - bent over in the most awkward, back breaking position for two minutes, in case he wakes up. Then very slowly remove your arms from around him without disturbing him. Creep out of the room and hope like hell he doesn't wake up. Because if he does, the entire procedure will need to be repeated.

2. When the laundry needs to be done, you must swiftly and quietly move downstairs to the laundry room without Matthew hearing a thing, because he doesn't like when you're downstairs and he's upstairs. Load the washing machine, then note: From the time you close the washer door, you'll have approximately seven seconds before he starts calling your name and comes looking for you. Be warned, if you take more than seven seconds to get back up the stairs (you'll need to sprint), Matthew will already be halfway down, and the meltdown will have begun.

3. If Oliver begins to pull the grumpy face - the one that indicates he's about to let rip, quickly approach, singing anything that involves the words clip, clop, tip, top, flip, flop, pip, pop. That should delay the crying for at least 30 seconds while you hurry and get a bottle ready.

4. If all fails, if nap time has been and gone without anyone napping, if everyone is simultaneously beginning a tantrum, simply put on Cars and crack open the goldfish crackers.
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18 comments:

Canadian Bald Guy said...

I think all parents develop little "tricks" when it comes to certain things we want our kids to do (ex: sleeping).

I know I've got a routine for helping the Ankle Biter get to sleep without much fuss, even when it's still daylight and beautiful outside in the summer.

And as much as I want to tell others about my routines and tricks, I just feel like I want to keep them all to myself.

Maria Rose said...

I am expecting my first and I was just wondering what kind of tricks my hubby and I would develop. Looks like there will be many!

Loukia said...

LOVE this post! Especially the ritual of number 1! The back breaking position we have to be in to put our children in the crib and quietly try to walk out of the room... can you believe we do this type of thing every single day? Wow. I love how you wrote all this down! So funny, so true!

Mwa said...

I always think things need to be done just so. And they do, when I'm around. When the kids are left alone with someone else? They don't need their rituals. That I find freaky.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Piece of cake.

Don't get me wrong, that sounds idfficult. I just wanted a piece of cake while I was reading it.

The Knutson Klan said...

What a fantastic post! Even though it can be stressful when others don't know all the "secrets", it's comforting that mommy does. It makes me feel special! Just wanted to stop by and say happy VGNO!

~Angie
MyFourMonkeys.com

Kristen said...

lmao! If your hubby reads this he just might cancel your trip. Just make sure you are stocked up on goldfish.

Susan Campbell Cross said...

Very funny! I hope you get what sounds like a MUCH deserved vacay. Enjoy the time away in September. Have a great VGNO and a wonderful weekend. I'm going to have a little getaway myself (kids are at camp). My husband and I are escaping to Vegas baby! I wrote a little post about it, but probably there will be a way more interesting one when I'm back. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...but may end up in a post. :)

Shop with Me Mama said...

Great post! Happy VGNO! :)

Lola said...

Stopping by for VGNO. Hope you have a great weekend!

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I’m also guest posting today at http://sassyirishlassie.blogspot.com

Gena said...

What a wonderful post. Happy VGNO

Elizabeth said...

Those are some stellar tricks - glad you shared them with your hubby! I think all of us moms have a few tricks up our sleeves. I've tried to share many of them with my husband, but I inevitably forget the really good ones. Happy belated VGNO!

Lady Mama said...

SeattleDad you crack me up.

JulieChats said...

I definitely have MY way of putting my little 17 mo old back to sleep when he wakes up and I can't do it any other way or he won't go back down. My husband has his own way of doing it, which works just as well, even though it's different. I'm sure you're husband will figure something out, but he should probably start his routine before you leave so he's ready for it!

Happy VGNO...stopping by a little late!

Maternal Tales said...

Oh I sooooo remember this...I used to have to rock my first to sleep for about half an hour every friggin' night including singing about 10 nursery rhymes and if I happened to step on the creaky floorboard just as I was lowering her into her cot..Alas..I had to start right from the beginning again. Strange thing though, when my second came along I was so ready with all my little techniques and I didn't need any of them - I used to put her in her cot, she'd suck her thumb and fall straight to sleep. Amazing! Second child syndrome I think!! Great post x

Karen said...

I am carefully writing these all down

Lil said...

LOL I almost choked on my pasta while I read your bedtime routine with Oli. J is going to have his work cut out for him when you leave.

That Girl said...

I'm SO glad it's not just me who has a whole number of rituals that I go through with Small Child to make life a bit easier! Other Half doesn't do most of them (and I've given up telling him!) but nonetheless, the world as I know it does not fall apart! Great post!