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March 16, 2003 - Sunday
We took the boys to a St. Patrick's Day parade in a city about 45 minutes from our house. Harry's marveling at the big buildings as we drove in reminded me that he's been in a true city very few times. Our regular trips to the nearby "city" for shopping don't count in this regard, because that's really just a very long and crowded road of malls, strip malls, and other shopping establishments, with none of the office buildings, side streets, and trains and tracks. It was a last minute decision to go to this parade; the result of scouring the web for somewhere new to take two boys on what was to be a lovely day to be outside. The interesting this is that the parade started at noon and would probably last an hour, putting our arrival back home at something like 2:00pm, or an hour after the usual naptime.

I think a year ago we would have taken a different approach to this potential scheduling issue. We either wouldn't have gone (I still believe we've been right about rigid nap schedules) or we would have tried to get the boys to take their naps on the way home in the car. However, napping in the car has proved erratic and surely the boys would not have had much of a nap during a 45 minute ride, since they would clearly not fall asleep immediately. Instead, we banked on the fact that of late Jeremy has become increasingly resistant to napping, in true second-year toddler form. On weekends he regularly bangs around in his crib, often hooting out so we have to go in and tell him to be quiet, for an hour before falling asleep. Harry, too, doesn't seem to fall asleep right away, but at least he's quiet about it. We planned a late "picnic" lunch in the car that would probably last for at least half the ride and figured that if we could keep them awake for the rest of the time, they'd take good naps at home. And, that's just how it worked out, with Harry being the one who came closest to falling sleep. Sure, they were both a little testy getting out of the car, but going straight to bed minimized the negativity.

On the similar topic of sleeping, two boys in the bath had me putting Jeremy to bed tonight, too. His little plump body is so comfortable to hold (his mother calls him "snugglebug") as he rests in my lap and chest in these situations with his nunny and thumb in his mouth. His mother mentioned that since I sang to him before he's become more demanding about songs, shaking his head back and forth with "no" until he gets one he likes. I think he's starting to be more that way about everything, from food to fancies, just because he's realizing he can and that if you kind of ignore the first wave he'll reevaluate and let things go. And, it kind of played out that way tonight. I did abort a couple, but had great success with "Golden Slumbers" after an initial rejection, even including a nod of approval at the end when I asked if he like it. "To Know Him is to Love Him" was a solid hit. Then, as his mother says typically happens, Jeremy pointed to the crib to say he was ready for sleeping. He waved good-bye to the outside (his' mother's told me about this, too, but I'd not yet seen it) as I went to close the shades so he doesn't wake up too early now that the days are getting longer. I asked if I should fill his sippy cup with water and he nodded. I think his mother just does it regularly now, but I asked anyway for one more bit of communication. Then, he waved goodnight to me and settled in; no whining, no crying.

On a side note, each of the two or three times I've sung to Jeremy before going in to see and sing to Harry at bedtime, Harry has been quite interested in what songs I sang to his brother and seems to want to hear the same ones. I'm not sure of the reason for this inquiry, but my suspicion is some kind of jealousy in not wanting his little brother to get anything special that he doesn't get. ...More evidence is needed on this.

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