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Busy Bea

Busy Bea

I’m not sure why the word “schedule” is used in relation to babies. Ever. All it takes is one growth spurt, one sprouting tooth or one nighttime bout with gas for the idea of sticking to an agenda to implode completely. Even on the best of days, Bea isn’t interested in setting her internal clock...

I’m not sure why the word “schedule” is used in relation to babies. Ever. All it takes is one growth spurt, one sprouting tooth or one nighttime bout with gas for the idea of sticking to an agenda to implode completely.
McKinley_BusyBea_10-22-14Even on the best of days, Bea isn’t interested in setting her internal clock to waking, sleeping or eating at specific times. Although we don’t rely on an entirely baby-led schedule (I’m still feeding her every 2.5 hours on the dot), each day is slightly different than the last depending on when she wakes up and how long she naps.
We work around these windows as best as we can, but when there are deadlines and appointments and responsibilities, things tend to get a little crazy. Even though I try to schedule our to-dos based around Bea’s general daily fluctuations, it’s pretty much impossible to get it right.
Typically, the night before an event I am left trying to figure out some sort of sleep/feed schedule that will allow us to be as close to on time as possible. I’ll try feeding her a little early or stretching a nap to make sure we can get across town without having to stop somewhere along the way for a baby lunch break. However, despite all my planning, Bea always has different ideas about how the day should go. The second I start counting on her sleeping until 7 a.m. it’s pretty much guaranteed that she’ll wake up at 5:30 a.m., which also means I have to shift my expectations from looking “put-together” to “not wearing my robe” to our early morning appointments.
This shifting schedule is truer than ever right now. Bea is a busybody. She’s wiggly and giggly and resists napping in her car seat. The struggle to get stuff done outside the house (and inside the house, for that matter) is only getting more strenuous.
Yet, somehow, it always works out. We haven’t missed an appointment yet, and, by some miracle of God, I seem to always get my assignments in on time. I think it’s because I’ve started subconsciously creating a hierarchy of what’s important: Bea, sleep, food, deadlines, appointments, mascara, clean underpants. And as this list probably implies, I’ve also lowered my standards.
Sometimes I do more, and sometimes I do a whole lot less. I’m getting better at identifying what absolutely has to get accomplished, and taking advantage of the hours before sun-up and sundown to check off all the bare minimums from my cluttered to-do list. And, above all else, I’m getting a good old-fashioned lesson in flexibility.
It’s tiring, but it’s fun too. Bea may not wake up or go to sleep at the same time every day, but she fills all that extra time with a whole lot of joy. And although I may not be able to rely on any sort of schedule, I’ll take a happy baby over a steadfast itinerary any day.

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