Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nap attempts and hiking

I've not been publishing so much.  Its not because there is nothing to say. Its because I am trying (thought not always succeeding) in getting to bed earlier.  I read that they think the blue light (that's bluer in the spectrum), keeps you more awake and alert.  It messed up your melatonin signaling its time for bed.  That is, when I'm at the computer I seem to have a hard time going to bed and falling asleep.  I believe this.  It fits me perfectly.

Anyway, so I found on my trip to Ithaca, and before that, that I can get my little star to nap by taking him out in the car around nap time and he'll fall asleep before or after the errand or whatever we do.  Or a stroller ride might work.  Asleep in his bed hasn't worked in a really long time. My alternative strategy has been working... to a point.  Its been really hot, so sleeping in a stroller or car seat, even in the shade is still pretty hot, but I can usually get an hour out of it.  The hour is better than nothing, though not as good at the two hours he usually gets at playcare.   Recently the days with no nap have been utter disasters at the end, rather than he's a little extra cranky and I'll just put child to bed early.

Thursday we went hiking at a nearby wild area.  It was pretty nearby, so I wasn't completely surprised he didn't fall asleep on the way there.   I was a little surprised though, because he was really least I thought he was.  We had a very pleasant walk in the woods almost a mile with some hills.  It was blessedly shady, and thus cool enough to not be miserable.  Actually I was really pleased with it- I didn't even know we had that much continuous woodland so close to us.  Its very broken up around here with farm fields and such.  Usually natural areas are a very narrow strip near a river.  The strip is usually so narrow, you can see beyond the woods in some places.  Additionally, although I definitely saw some poison ivy, it was not ubiquitous like it is every where else around here.

In any case little star had no trouble with the hike.  The area had the advantage that the trail was often bordered by logs- perfect "balance beams", so that made it extra fun.  We also talked about mommy, daddy, and baby trees... well I'm a forester so I had to say that some trees were both mommies and daddies- hermaphrodites.  The truth is, I really have no idea which species are hermaprhoditic, so we spent the time speculating, and I mistakenly gave him the idea that multistemmed trees had a mommy stem and a daddy stem... and then he decided that each branch might be a mommy or a daddy... well, I let it go.  It was kind of fun to have look at each tree and speculate.

He did fall asleep on the way home that day.  Today we walked all the way to "daddy's office" and back in the morning.  Usually the walk TO Daddie's office is enough to tire him- its almost 3/4 mile to get there, but he has been walking a lot further lately, so I decided to try going both ways, and he managed it with some rests, but without any dragging.  He also managed to use the potty at the office and stay dry the rest of the time.  Yay. On the way we did discuss more mommy and daddy trees, and we also counted 78 cracks in one block with a sidewalk.  Yes, he's really into math recently.  He seems to get addition in a very concrete sort of way- you can give him groups of objects and he will count the groups and then count all of them together.  He can subtract things too, and then recount.

Today after our walk and after lunch I figured, he NEEDED a nap, but he was showing no signs of nap readiness.  I put him in the car and headed to a park I had never been to... to see what was there of course.  I figured it was far enough away that anybody who had just walked a mile and half would fall ASLEEP.  No.  I think he was excited about the trip.  Well, it turned out to be not as far as expected.  I took a road I figured would take longer, since was a back road, and I wasn't really exactly sure how it connected up, but it turned out to be a short cut.

I wanted to see this particular park because the city has some big plan to develop the park further as some kind of nice green space next to the river.  Well, I was curious as to what exactly was there now.  As expected, there was no playground.  Unexpectedly, you couldn't see the river, but there were two pond/lake bodies of water that looked quite beautiful in color.  There was a nice pavilion, some dock type things, some picnic areas, and a little shade- though we never got quite that far.  Unfortunately, just like one of the parks in Ithaca, the place was unpleasantly covered with goose droppings.  You couldn't avoid them if you TRIED.  And I only saw one little family of geese.  We walked around a little in the hot sun, and I finally decided to go try another park.  I didn't want my little star to touch ANYTHING, and you could not avoid the droppings.  Also it was HOT in the sun.

On the plus side, my little star said he needed to use the potty and did (his little one which I brought).  He's improving with the potty training, but I still don't completely trust him- and he rarely asks to go. Twice this week he managed to use the potty at playcare.  Thank goodness!

So we visited another city park that happened to be on the way.  I had always seen this park as a big baseball field, but noticed it had a playground on the way over.  Little star was pretty happy on this playground for quite a while.  It was geared well for his age, but it wasn't very big.  He again used the potty before I made him come home.  He was starting to act tired.

Finally halfway home he fell asleep- I was driving about 20 mph on this back road since no cars were behind me.  I only needed to go about five miles, so that sleeping window wasn't very long if I went at the speed limit.

We got home, I parked in the shade, opened the windows... he slept about fifteen more minutes.  So much for a reasonable nap in the car.  Maybe I'll try to get him to sleep at home again.  Of course I tried that last weekend.  I even got him a story on tape hoping that would help because that's what they have in school.  It didn't.  He just kept blabbering and I couldn't get him to be quiet and relax long enough to fall asleep.  If he could just make it through dinner without melting down, I'd let him not take a nap.

No comments:

Post a Comment