Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Evening Walk

I'll start off by clarifying that Macie is a "good" sleeper.  She loves her afternoon nap in a cool room, with a fan blowing for air and noise.  Most nights she sleeps all the way through or wakes to nurse once, going back to her bed as soon as she's done.  She went through a brief phase (thankfully!) when she thought 5 am was an acceptable wake time, but we're back to a more workable 6:30 or 7. However, bedtime is our kryponite.  

She gets tired and falls asleep by 7:30, but then she wakes up and wants to stay awake until we go to bed.  She's often cranky, and it's frustrating to a mama and daddy who are also tired at the end of the day. We've tried cutting her afternoon nap short, giving her a quick power nap in the early evening, or postponing her bedtime until a little later.  None of it has solved the problem.  We're still working on finding a pleasing that gives all of us the rest and down time we need in the evenings.  

Until then, we're choosing another way to combat the frustrations without twiddling our thumbs and counting the minutes until we can attempt to put her to bed again.  

It started one Saturday evening.  The older kids had settled into watching a movie... and Macie woke up, raring to go for another couple of hours.  The humidity was low, the temperature was mild, and there was a light breeze so Brian and I put on our shoes and I popped Macie into the sling for a walk.

We walked and walked and talked and talked.  We covered three slow leisurely miles as we discussed jobs, parenting, movies, the past, the future, church, and the scenery.   Macie hummed as we strolled.  We took a phone call from the kids wondering why we were still outside.  When we returned home, Macie snuggled into bed with zero issues, and both Brian and I benefited from the fresh air and felt renewed from the conversation and exercise.

A few nights later, Brian was working late, and Macie repeated her late nap ritual.  Ben was feeling discouraged from an argument with a sibling so this time I asked him to put on his shoes and take a walk with me.  We didn't go as far, but the walk opened him up to conversation.  He shared his hurt and moved on to happy topics, too, like the birds he could see and the objects discarded along the road.  (A fork?!) 

Now everyone is waiting for their chance to be asked to take the evening walk. 

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