For the second week in a row, HP and I have had lunch with Henry. Last week we met him at the office so he could introduce HP to his coworkers. He was an angel the whole bus ride there. Before we went up to his floor I nursed him and changed him to try and prevent any unnecessary meltdowns.
Turns out there was no stopping the meltdown train.
As soon as we walked into the building, he started crying. I tried to feed him again, but he wasn't interested since he was already full. My theory is that he hated going into the cold building after being sweaty from being pressed up against me in the wrap in the heat of the day. Regardless, he made quite the scene. His screams echoed throughout the stairwell as we made our exit. When I put him in the wrap so we could head to the park across the street to eat lunch, he immediately quieted down. I should have thought to try that sooner, but it's hard to think straight with a crying child in your ear. Once we left the building and arrived in the park he was sweet as could be, cooing and smiling on the blanket. Little stinker.
Take two of "operation eat lunch with dad" happened yesterday. I was headed to Whole Foods to get ingredients for Henry's birthday cookies. (I hate making cookies. Hate it. I find the whole process incredibly tedious. But Henry loves cookies, so for his birthday every year I make them.) I had the bright idea to have Henry meet us at Whole Foods for lunch since his office is nearby and there's a nice place to sit outside and dine.
Once again, HP was on his best behavior the whole bus ride and while we shopped before his dad arrived. When we were ready to eat lunch? Nothing could stop the crying/fussing. We had to take turns holding him and walking him as the other diners looked on. Not exactly what I had in mind in terms of quality family time. As we left I told him that maybe we probably shouldn't try and have lunch together again until HP is 12. Or older.
When we arrived at the bus stop the kid fell asleep, slept most of the ride home, then was alert and happy. I think he was overstimulated, tired, and couldn't put himself to sleep. We left for Whole Foods right after he woke up from a nap so I thought we'd be safe, but clearly it was still too much.
I want to respect his need to nap at home and get the rest he needs, but I also need to leave the house on occasion. It's been a challenge for me to find the balance of meeting both his needs for sleep and my need for social interaction. I know it will be easier when he's older and on a more regular nap schedule, but for now? It's hard. He is currently in a pattern of taking several short naps instead of a few long ones, which makes it even more difficult to find those windows of opportunity to leave the house. We're working on it.
I remind myself that this phase will be gone in the blink of an eye. For now, we'll eat lunch with Henry on the weekends.