A Day in the Life: New Routine

6:28 PM

Now that Oliver is in FDK (full day kindergarten) our daily routine has changed a lot. We do still have (a modified version of) the same child care situation - Calvin and I each have set days that we make sure we aren't working, the two that overlap which we both do work are covered by my mom and his mom - but now only Dakota is home during the day. There is nothing crazier than the difference between having 2 kids at home, and only having 1.

Oliver and I have always had one-on-one time
a) We both wake up at the bum-crack of dawn each day
b) Dakota sleeps like a tank during daytime naps
c) She goes down for bed after dinner and doesn't make a peep til morning
but Dakota and I have typically spent our time together in the company of the rest of the family. Now, on my days home, the boys go off to school and work and it's just us ladies. We have so much fun. I feel like I know her on a deeper level. And we have so many new inside jokes. Right now our best one is when we're both laughing really, really hard, one of us will make a scared face, like when your eyes are really wide and your mouth is a big "o". It's a hard face to make when you're laughing hard. And once one of us does it, the other has to copy, and we try to hold that face as long as possible (which is max 2 seconds) before we burst out laughing again. It's something she made up one night when we were laughing during her bedtime routine and we heard a noise (Calvin coming up the stairs) and she made that startled face, just to get me laughing again. She truly is a future SNL cast-member, no doubt about it. She's pure hilarity.

I also feel like Oliver has changed so much. He's always been incredibly mature for his age, but now he's exercising his independence. It's weird to me that he has this whole big life outside of our family. Social cliques, morning routines, songs I don't know, pictures he's drawn and not brought home, conflicts he's resolved, friends he's wished to make but hasn't, lunch items he pretended to eat but really just threw in the garbage - who knows! Until now I basically knew everything about him. It's a real change.

So on a day that I'm not going in to work, our day looks roughly like this:

7am: Oliver and I have likely already been up for half an hour, just whispering quietly or using my phone in the dark. I try to convince him not to go walking around the house yet. I let him lay next to me and we wait until it's 7. Then we sneak out of the room in case Calvin wants to sleep longer and we go downstairs. We make sure his lunch is packed (I typically do it the night before) and his backpack is ready to go. We'll put on some cartoons and get some eggs cooking.
8am: At this point Calvin and Dakota are usually up. The four of us will spend some time together eating breakfast and talking about the day. After all the ketchup/ maple syrup/ orange smoothie messes have landed on the kids' PJs, I'll take them upstairs for face-washing, clothes picking, Dakota's diaper changing, and basically getting ready for the day. If Cal has time he'll wrangle the kids while I get myself ready to, or some days just stay in a naked face and yoga pants at this point.
8:30am: Usually when we say goodbye to Daddy. Hugs and kisses all around.
8:35am: Dakota and I walk Oliver to his bus stop, down the street. We battle the bees. We catch up with the other parents and students. Sometimes we bring the driver a flower for her dash. Oliver greets his "girlfriend" with a hug and makes sure she gets on the bus safely (I'm serious).
8:45-10am: Dakota and I play toys, go down the slide, listen to music, clean up breakfast. Maybe we'll unload the dishwasher, put on laundry. If I've made it this far without coffee, a pot will be put on now. Make any social plans for the day.
10-11am: Dakota's down for a nap. Now is when I catch up with - a shower, cleaning, getting myself ready, work emails, blogging, tougher tasks to do with a kid around your feet like steaming carpets/ washing windows, etc. Folding laundry comes to mind.
11am-1pm: Dakota and I always take a long walk around the neighbourhood. We'll feed the ducks and geese. Pick some apples. Say hi to all the usual dogs.
1pm: Lunch and watching the Food Network.
2-3:30pm: Dakota naps again. I continue on my to do list. Put up a shelf. Replace the current candles with fall ones. Throw out that toy that broke last week but I know the kids would be mad if they saw me dispose of it. Bring the recycling bins into the garage. Water the flowers at the front. Go through the mail. Usual things. On a day that we have plans with friends this nap will sometimes be pushed to whenever we're heading home from plans (like after 3pm) and she'll just sleep later into the dinner hour.
3:45pm: We pick up Oliver from his bus. We all eat an afterschool snack together (it's been cheese, crackers and pickles lately). We'll kind of hear about Oliver's day - but seriously, 4 year olds are so bad at relaying the happenings of their day to their mothers. I'll go through his bag for any forms to sign or special information, We'll read his library book. I'll empty out his lunch pail and get it ready to pack for the next day.
4:30pm: Sometimes Cal will be home by now and I can begin making dinner, especially handy on the days that I'm starving at this hour. We'll usually have dinner between 5:30 and 6. Not long after 6 Oliver will say something like "I just need a quick rest" and he'll lay on the couch and then fall asleep. This is becoming a real problem.
8:00pm: Time to get Dakota ready for bed. Bath. PJs. Brush teeth. Take out any hair elastics (let's be honest, they'd never last this long). Sing a song, make some jokes, tickle her til she stops saying "Mo' Please" and then lights out. If Oliver has been sleeping since dinner I'll wake him up to have a bath, maybe eat a small snack, and get himself ready for bed.
8:15pm-late: Free time! Between us two parents our only to-do list will be pack Ollie's lunch and clean up dinner, which we're good at double-teaming. Run the dishwasher. And, if Calvin has his way, tuck into a good marathon of "Flipping Out" episodes, or worse: Dog the Bounty Hunter.

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