Today marked the first day of a pretty big house project: a new deck! Missus Scooter and I have been really excited about the start of this endeavor because the deck we had before was really small and a bit janky. We couldn’t imagine letting Baby O crawl around on it (flaking paint, uneven boards, nails coming up), not to mention it was very small and very high, meaning we would be constantly running around after her. Beyond the deck is a lot of grass, but unless it’s totally dry this would be a total nightmare with a crawling baby – the outfit would probably need to be thrown out!
We designed a deck that is easily 3 times bigger than our existing one, and we bit the bullet and splurged on a composite material so we don’t ever have to worry about splinters or upkeep. There will be lots of room for dining and playing. So yah, we are excited!
But last night Missus Scooter asked, “I wonder what we will do about naps.” Oh. Yes. Baby O’s room backs up to the backyard and she has a nice big window out back. The project is anticipated to take about a week and a half. Part of this job includes laying new concrete which means jack hammering out old concrete. Demo of the existing deck and building the new includes a lot of hammering. Builders will be in and out of the gate hauling materials and such. It will be noisy.
day 1 of construction
It’s interesting. Missus and I like to think of ourselves as go-with-the-flow parents, and for the most part, we really are. However, we have also found our household runs much better and everyone is much happier with some semblance of a schedule and routine. So naturally thinking about how naps will go during this construction is of concern. We have a great guest room at the front of the house, but Baby O’s crib is too big to fit through her bedroom door intact. It would be a real pain to take apart the crib and move it, especially since we would still like her to sleep in her own room at night. Putting her on the bed with mounds of pillows around her is just too dangerous – she can clear the pillows in 30 seconds flat.
Missus Scooter thought we should put her down in the spare room in our Phil and Ted’s traveling crib. But every time we’ve tried using this crib in the past, she’s absolutely hated it. I worried this would not work, especially if someone other than Missus Scooter was trying to put her down (my parents come over on Mondays and we have a babysitter come in a few times throughout the week so Missus can have some time to herself). My idea was to put her crib mattress on the floor in the spare room but Missus thought this wouldn’t work because she would just crawl around and never fall asleep, especially since she would be stimulated by a new location. We talked about the fall back being she could sleep in the arms of whomever she was with. But this sounded like a bad idea – she wouldn’t be getting great sleep and it may start a bad pattern.
I wondered if we were making too much of this? I really wanted to say something breezy like “well, it will all work out” but then I realized it wouldn’t all work out unless we made it work out. It is our responsibility as Baby O’s parents to make sure that we thought it through and offered the best alternative for her nap arrangements. That’s what being a parent is about. We want our babies to be adaptable and flexible, but we also want them to thrive in predictability and regularity. Is it fair to want both? Is it realistic? I think it is, but with small deviations.
In the end, Missus Scooter and I agreed to try the traveling crib in the spare room and if that wouldn’t work, try laying with her on the spare bed or couch. We came to accept that she may only have minimal naps during the next week and a half, but if she got at least 45 minutes, she would be fine. The other people who care for Baby O are also very familiar with her and her routines so getting them on board would be easy.
This got me thinking about the other ways that we will introduce flexibility to her routines now that she’s older and more aware of her surroundings. Traveling, having overnight guests at our house, or even leaving her overnight are all wild cards for us at this stage of the game. I can’t say I have the answers, but I am thinking about it.
Do you stick to a strict routine/schedule, or are you more go with the flow?