We had a request, so I figured I (Chris) would get on here, I mean, since I know ya'll have missed me, and talk about how my routine differs from Maria's when we have the kids by ourselves.
So, for starters, contrary to what Maria may tell everyone ( :P ), Griffin's a Papa's boy. We share a special bond, I think, since I was the one who he was forced to rely on first. June 5th was when I took him out of the orphanage for good, and from that point till the Saturday before Father's Day, it was me and him... well, aside from the friends and family we were around. I have no idea if this clicks inside his sweet little noggin', but I really like to think that he remembers that special day... the day God gave him his family.
When it's just me & the kiddos, Big G tries her best to play momma. It's really sweet, and Little G plays right into her for this role. For whatever reason, Little G doesn't really want me when Maria leaves. She wants her momma, and there is nothing that will take her momma's place! I know we have had babysitters who have said a cookie works, but I can't force myself to bribe my baby like that. Plus, we don't give into Griffin when he screams, so in all fairness, I cannot give in to Little G when she gets in full on Diva mode! When she gets like this, she has started turning to her big sissy for hugs and comfort. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not every time Maria leaves. I have found that if Little G wakes up and Maria has left, she's fine. If Maria can sneak out without her knowing for a little while, she does good too. When she melts down, she melts down! For example, she cried for like 2 hours the other night. Not just crying, screaming crying. I tried everything to calm her, but she wasn't having any of it! I thing it actually caused her to get a little sick... she wound up throwing up after I put her in bed. We think it was a combination of the crying & a stomach virus that seems to be lurking around our house. :(
One of the things that I think is such an insight into how Griffin was raised in the baby house is that he will sit there and stare at her when she gets like this. I know he is taking it all in too... learning what he sees. If I breakdown and give her a cookie or whatever, he'll expect a cookie when he throws a tantrum. It's interesting to see though, the crying doesn't seem to stress him out or anything. He's as cool as a cucumber (yeah... Chris 1992 called & they want their slang saying back! Lol!). Anyway, he's still content exploring the living room, trying to pull over the lamps, tearing up books & papers, etc.
When it comes time for food, he's usually pretty content with me. It's the girls who have the food issues around here! Lol! Big G & Little G both are very picky eaters... Griffin eats whatever you shovel into his mouth. There are only a very few things that we have found that he doesn't eat. The big chore comes when it's meal time and it's me with the kids. I have been trying to teach Little G to use a spoon independently, so I am always cooking something that is sticky for her to practice with... mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, etc. It never seems like my hands stop. I have both kids pulled close to me in their high-chairs, then I will give one kid a bite of food off their plate, put it down, grab the other plate, give the other kid a bite, then repeat. It's like a workout, twisting & turning. I can't leave the plates on the high-chair tray for Griffin or he will power eat everything on the plate. By power eat, I mean cram every bit of it in his mouth! Lol! I'm sure (read I hope) he will one day learn that his food isn't going to run away or get eaten by anyone else. He doesn't deserve to live life like this.
When it comes time for play, with Maria, he loves Itsy Bitsy Spider... for HOURS! With me, he expects to be thrown up in the air & tickled. He knows I tickle feet, so if he is in a "giggly-bits" mood (one where he just wants to laugh) he'll actually put his feet in my hands. For those of ya'll who have been following for awhile, you know my aversion to feet. I will tickle feet, but beyond that, I am anti-feet! Yes, while I think of Griffin as my son 100%, as much as any biological child, it doesn't change my aversion to the nastiest body part! He desires, more than anything from me I think, to be thrown as high in the air as possible! He loves it and will squeal with sheer delight when I throw him in the air! He will get the biggest smile and throws his arms either way out or brings them directly to his face without covering his eyes. Admittedly, I have nearly fumbled him once, but he immediately laughed it off and was ready to go back into the sky, to slip the surly bonds of Earth as J.G. Magee's old poem says. (Look up High Flight by J.G. Magee if you've never read it... wonderful poem!)
When it comes time for bath & bed, he's as calm as can be. I am still amazed that he can stay awake, sometimes till midnight or later, playing contently & somewhat quietly in his crib that we put him in between 7:30-8:00, yet still be up at 7:00-8:00 in the morning ready to go again! He can stay up past me! I'm spent at 8:00! Lol! He loves bath time and usually washes the bathroom for us with his bath water! My favorite part is right after I get him back to the changing table to get him dressed. His hair will be slightly wet and messy... he's so cute at that point! I think he has learned the bedtime routine. He seems to be expecting each step of the routine and knows it's time to go to bed after we get him clothed & teeth brushed & medicined up. He doesn't fight it, though he will buck a little when we go to put him in the crib, but we think that's because he has gotten used to us throwing him into his crib... a little last second rough-housing before bed. I'm sure he wants more, but we have left it at one to avoid starting an additional step in our nightly wind down gig.
Well, I hope this fulfilled the request. If not, ask some specific questions and I will try my best to answer them!
See ya'll later!