Lock(ed) down with a Toddler

A little over a week before the lock-down 1.0 began was when I took up a full-time corporate job and S was all set to begin his daycare journey. We proposed this, and the virus disposed it!

The initial 3 months went in a breeze. My husband and I would attend to work meetings, sleep a little extra during weekends, gulp down hot food, just sit and do absolutely nothing and so much more without having to worry about ummm… literally anything! Everything was taken care of and we would just lend helping hands to my mom every now and then. She was locked down with us due to the travel bans. Thank God for that! I do not know how she did (does) it but man…IT IS EXHAUSTING! Oh…we also celebrated a huge milestone during lock-down 1.0! It was S turning 1! Though it didn’t happen the way we planned it, it was a day filled with smiles, joy and content :)

Cut to 3 months later is when the real test began! Our day begins at 6.30ish because the little man is an early riser and somehow on weekends, he becomes a super early riser!!! From then till 11 pm, the day is filled with activities, one after another. It is just me, my husband (V) and S at home. The one thing which V and I agreed upon is not let the feeling of loneliness creep into S. Imagine him feeling that and not even able to communicate it to us! Horrible right? Keeping the happiness intact was the prime motive for us. Here’s how we do it!

We work around his timings. We plan our work week during the weekend to ensure our meetings do not clash so that either of us are always available for S, to play, to feed, to change diapers, to read or to just be around him for company. V has learnt to attend to all the needs of S like a pro and I couldn’t be gladder. That is what enables me to sit down for a cup of chai or a short power nap without worrying about S. Equal parenting…DUH!

S usually enjoys being by himself with his favorite tools, the grinder, the mixie and the heavy kadai — I got my very own sous chef and I’m thrilled! He likes to sit with his puzzle and stackers and explore them until he gets bored and moves on to the next book or toy. But not all days go as per plan and that is okay. Like yesterday, he skipped his nap during the day, wanted me to be around him the whole time, read a series of books, be in the balcony with his second favorite tool — the broom and sweep away to glory and got a little restless by 5pm. Appa being there didn’t work the best. So, we decided on V finishing office work and then taking over everything else. On such days, I push my office work to the evenings because the child’s needs supersede everything else. That one puppy face with his sweet voice calling out ammmaaa just cracks my heart and I drop everything else and attend to him. The instant smile on his face knowing I’m always there for him is the most rewarding thing you can see!

Few pointers which have worked for us is

  1. Cleaning the dishes every few hours so that it all doesn’t get piled up! It is truly an Akshaya Patra — while we would have finished cleaning 5 minutes ago only to find 2 spoons and a cup being added. I do not understand where so many come from!
  2. Waking up a little earlier than S to finish off leftover house or office work.
  3. Try your best to not sit with a laptop while the child wants you to play or read with him. Be 100% present at all times. Keep office work to a particular room so that the child also tunes himself to that routine.
  4. Trying to ensure the child falls into the habit of independent play which in turn gives us the time to do our work.
  5. Not falling into a pit of exhaustion. It is okay to take a day off from a particular chore and carry it forward to the next day — personal or professional!
  6. Recognize the feeling of tiredness/exhaustion/fatigue. Take a shut eye, watch a movie, binge eat a bar of chocolate, hydrate yourself and bounce back with a smile. I know it isn’t easy. I’m presently in a state of fatigue while I’m typing this out, but this is what life is. It throws at us challenges after challenges only to make us stronger. Right?
  7. Ensure your meals are had on time. That’ll be the fuel for you to keep up with an energetic toddler who is always looking for new things to climb on, new things to lift, new places to run to and what not! It is like watching a can of red bull running around. LOL!
  8. Children might also be feeling the need to step out, get a breath of fresh air and run around the sprawling gardens and catch a break from us! Be empathetic of that and give them a big hug now and then. Isn’t it our duty to reassure them that this is all going to be okay soon?
  9. Babywearing Cloth Diaper by AToddlerThing is a God sent gift at this crisis hour! Try it and thank me later!

This is definitely tiring. But the way I look at it is as a part of the parenting journey. The lock down has made us all tougher and stronger, ready to face the world in a more empathetic & grateful manner. The best thing about this lock down for me has been all the extra time I’m getting with S before office restarts and that’s keeping me sane and now I’m off to bed before he decides to scratch me and wake me up for his hunger needs!

This is an excerpt from Article Originally Written By Vidya Venkataramani for AToddlerThing. Read the Original article Here