52 week program - weeks 2 and 3
So I've been away for awhile (just bought a new home and have been out of town), but I thought I'd update you on the last 2 weeks of the "52 week program" I started with my kids.
Week 1 went great with the easy (but usually forgotten) task of brushing my 2 year old's teeth. Since making it a priority to do it every night for a week, I'm glad to say it has become habit (he is actually reminding me some of the nights). Success!
In Week 2, I focused on cutting out a little TV time with our toddler. We don't really use the TV as a babysitter for our 2 year old, but it has become so easy (especially with the DVR) to pop on one of his recorded "Little Einsteins" or "Blues Clues" shows while we're making dinner, or getting ready in the morning, etc. I guess this week I was trying to undo a habit. While I'm not an anti TV zealot, I also don't want my child to be parked in front of the tube for 3 - 6 hours a day. So, I just cut out his dinner time TV. Without fail, every night right before dinner, we let him watch one or two shows while we made dinner and winded down from work. The first night, he threw a fit, but we didn't relent. The second and third night got a little better, and then he started helping us make dinner (which has been some fun). His favorite thing is stirring. While it has made dinner a little more difficult to make, it has made it a lot more fun too (how do you say no to a little guy saying 'I stir please daddy?' Success!
In Week 3, I realized that I had been focusing all this on our 2 year old, with nothing for our infant. I've also been doing a little reflection on the fact that it seems I attempt to spend as much time with our 2 year old and as little time with our infant. I'm not sure why that is ... but after recognizing it, I needed to change it. So, my habit for week 3 was to spend an hour with our infant right when I got home from work. This one was tougher for me to do. When I get home, the first person to greet me is my 2 year old, and he wants all the attention right away. The first day, I made it about 10 minutes with our infant, before succumbing to our toddler and playing with him and his tool set downstairs. The second day didn't fair much better. The third day I didn't even make it home until around 9pm (we were getting ready to put together a purchase agreement for a house). The fourth day I forced myself to comply and it was a great time. The next day, I played with him for around a half-hour before he fell asleep and I put him in his seat. I don't want to sound like an absent dad to my youngest (I spend a good 2-5 hours during the day with both him and my toddler on Mondays and Wednesdays as well as the whole days on weekends), but I really felt (and still feel) like I wasn't really spending any 'quality' time with him. I wouldn't consider this habit a Success ... it is something I still have to focus on and I will add it to go with my Week 4 habit. I may try to change the time, as it seems my erratic schedule is in part my problem for the after work time.
On to week 4...