Saturday was the day of birthday parties. My four year-old daughter came through a day of two parties pretty well. She was not unusually difficult at bath and bed time which is the real indicator of how tired she is. The day started at 5:00 A.M. when my son decisively awoke and would not get quiet again. I finally gave in and got him up at 6:00. Luckily, my daughter and wife slept through it. Otherwise, I don’t think the day would have unfolded quite as smoothly. I ended up taking my son for a walk because he was so loud. Being out in the cool morning air settled him down.
By 7:00, my daughter came down the stairs on her own. This is a great step for her. She used to not get out of her bed but would yell for us to come get her. Then at 8:00 my son was ready for his morning nap. Down he went, and down he stayed until a little past 10:30. This allowed my wife to get a really good sleep which was important as I was tuckered out by then.
At 10:30 we mustered the troops to walk across the street to our friends’ house for the first party. Well, the party started at 10:30. Mustering our troops is a long process, so we got there around 11:15. There were some good friends there for my daughter to play with, and my son is finally at a stage where we don’t have to worry about him putting small things in his mouth. He roamed around the space playing with toys. My wife handled more of the kid watching as I was really beginning to fade. Toward the end of the party, so were both kids. We decided to take them home before cake as there would be another party coming. We didn’t want to hit that one coming off a sugar high.
My wife took them back home and got my son in bed by the time I got back. My daughter asked to nap, a rarity, and had a solid quiet time. She then went with my wife to party #2 while I stayed home with napping son. I promptly fell asleep on the couch and was only woken up by very insistent, high-pitched notifications of his wakefulness. I don’t know how long he was awake before I got to him. I hauled myself upstairs, changed him, and liberated him from his crib. For a while, I sat comatose while he distributed the clean clothes from the kids’ dresser all about the floor. Finally, I got him and me downstairs, did the dishes, and got dinner started. My son is eating avocados like they are crack.
When my wife got back, my daughter was in pretty good spirits, and dinner/bath/bed went fine.
One take away from the day that I am pondering is how to handle present opening. At her recent birthday party, my daughter did not open presents. We have been dolling them out over time on days when there is not too much going on. At the morning’s party, the presents sat unopened, too. Evidently, at the afternoon party the present opening frenzy happened. I think eventually, she will open presents at her party, but I don’t think my daughter is quiet ready to handle the excitement that comes with that. However, I don’t have a strong opinion one way or another. What do others think?