Ever since becoming a mother, I have learned to value different skills. It’s currently the Year End review and goal setting time at my office which has led me to think about my different skills.
The skill of keeping one’s children awake while travelling 3kms home from Little Kickers, after skipping the first nap, is invaluable. I must admit I am still honing this skill. So in the interim I have developed a back-up skill and have included instructions herewith for those who are interested in further developing and broadening their skill set.
The Sleeping Beauty Car Extraction
- Step 1: Eject your toddler quietly and gently from the vehicle (this usually involves conceding to some unreasonable demand along the lines of a DVD, a milkshake or shamefully, a promise you will most likely not follow through with since you want them to have a nap – a chocolate (since we don’t have any in the house, this is a hard one to actually follow through with)).
- Step 2: Once negotiations with toddler are concluded, open boot, remove bags quietly from the vehicle and close the boot without noise.
- Step 3: Release the harness and lift the sleeping beauty onto your shoulder (the key to this step is NOT bumping her head on the door frame) (NB: As the child will need to remain in this position for the entirety of steps 4 thru 9, I cannot stress the importance of ensuring she is situated safely in a position requiring only one hand to hold her).
- Step 4: Unlock and open the garage door (be sure to avoid any obstacles your toddler has left laying around on your path, including tractors, bulldozers, diggers, soccer balls, gym benches (ok that one was probably me from two days ago!) or his rubbish from the car).
- Step 5: Close and lock garage door (for ease, this step can be omitted and repeated at a later, more convenient time).
- Step 6: Arrange toddler into a quiet, yet entertained occupation that will maintain interest for at least 4 minutes, ideally 5 to be on the safe side.
- Step 7: Close blinds in destination bedroom.
- Step 8: Locate sleeping bag and decide if you will insert her into the bag in a flat or upright position. Lay sleeping bag onto change table if the former is selected.
- Step 9: Gently lower the sleeping beauty onto the bag then suddenly notice she is still wearing two jackets.
- Step 10: Decide if it’s worth the risk to remove them simultaneously or separately. In my case, remove separately the outer jacket after unzipping.
- Step 11: Remove the under layer jumper after unzipping (using the elbows down and sleeves of jacket up method.
- Step 12: Realise that both jackets are now in between the sleeping beauty and the sleeping bag.
- Step 13: Question your decision making skills, but find the courage to go on.
- Step 14: Lift up the sleeping beauty back into the former over the shoulder one hand hold position and remove jackets from the table.
- Step 15: Think better of your earlier decision and lift the bag onto the back of the little one, and hoist her legs into the bag (of course it’s a zip front bag, which places the zip between you and the sleeping beauty).
- Step 16: Remember that her shoes have not been removed (curse that this is the one time they actually stayed on for the duration of the outing).
- Step 17: Remove shoes (while saying a silent prayer of thanks to those who invented velcro)
- Step 18: Don’t get ahead of yourself by thinking you’ve done it. The hardest part is yet to come.
- Step 19: Lower sleeping beauty into the cot. Locate her sheepy and place on her hand should she grasp in her sleep. Locate the double zip and gentle close up the zip.
- Step 20: Exit the room.
- Step 21: Take a breath (You have of course been holding your breath since step 3 and by now are looking pretty blue in the face).
- Step 22: Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of hot coffee, tea, chocolate, TV, books or whatever you like since you’ve just worked a miracle it stands to reason that you can of course work a miracle and complete all chores, and toddler management with the snap of your fingers too.
NB: Don’t, under any circumstance, attempt to complete Step 21 before Step 20. It is not advised.
It’s important to preface the above process by noting that it is all dependant on the 50/50 chance that your child will awaken as soon as the car is turned off. If she wakes, it’s all out the window and many more new skills come into play to commence the marathon afternoon session of no sleep (see instructions later to come entitled, The Beauty into the Beast Entertainment Schedule).
It is now 3 hrs past completing the above and the house is peaceful. These skills should never be underestimated. (Though I’m not sure I can include in my year-end self evaluation, no matter how tempting it is to do so!).