Once naptime goes out the window, it's amazing how many hours there remain in the day to keep a little boy entertained. My son is not one to go quietly to a corner and play with his toys by himself. He demands company and active participation. His preferred method of play involves running, roughhousing and the upending of couch cushions and various items of furniture.
As you can imagine, with the cold weather forcing us to remain cooped up in the house, Dylan was not the only one climbing the walls! I decided to take action, so in January, I signed Dylan up for a whole bunch of activities.
Our mornings were already booked five days a week: playgroup on Mondays, then preschool from Tuesday through Friday, so we were all set there. But afternoons were wide open, and I remedied that pretty quickly, taking full advantage of our local Park District classes.
Thus began our new weekly routine. Around 3 pm Monday through Wednesday, Dylan and I would head out to the Park District facility and hang out at the playroom for about an hour. Then, Dylan would go to the Day Care by himself (first time ever!) while I headed to the gym to work out for an hour before picking him up to head for his classes.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, Dylan had swimming lessons, which he has taken before and absolutely loves. He was thrilled to get back in the pool although, for the first time ever I refused to get in with him for a few minutes of free swimming before class. Then there was Tuesday art class, which I though he would really enjoy since he loves colors and painting so much. They were also a big hit. Dylan took gymnastics at another facility on Thursdays, which left only Friday afternoon open.
Since Bill was traveling so much in January, it was perfect for me to have a full schedule of weekday activities. That way I didn't have to think too much about what I could do to entertain the boy. However, all this structure did not sit too well with Dylan. He enjoyed all his activities while he was doing them, but come Wednesday or Thursday nights, he would start getting crabby, out of sorts, and not sleeping well at night.
I came to the conclusion that I had overbooked the boy, and would have to cut back on the activities, so with a heavy heart (because I strongly feel that children should be exposed to more than just sports) I decided to take Dylan out of art classes, leaving us with both Tuesday and Friday afternoons free.
It worked like a charm! We seem to have struck the perfect balance of free days and activity days for Dylan. It makes him happy to have such fun classes to look forward to, it makes me happy that he is learning and socializing, and we are all much more comfortable with our new weekly routine. Of course, Spring is just around the corner, and I always wanted to sign Dylan up for soccer lessons...