Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

“Happy Hour” at the Toones?

5th April 2007

I need some help.  Not sure who out there might have the answers, but I’m open to any suggestions.  4-6pm are rough hours for us.  Analise usually wakes up needing attention, while I really need to be turning my attention to dinner.  Josiah’s getting tired from a long day, as his bedtime has set itself at about 6:30.  I love it when I have dinner in the slow-cooker early in the day, so there’s not much to be done to get it on the table, but what about the other days?

Tonight was just unbearable, and I even
had a movie on, and Josiah tied in a high chair with finger food. I thought I had
Analise all busy "cleaning" my refrigerator with a spray bottle of water while I created a gourmet
meal of fish-from-a-box and Velveta-Broccoli-Noodles-and-Cheese (this
is as "from-a-box" as I get for an entire dinner – not very often, but
sometimes necessary, since I had an evening home church leadership meeting here at 7:30pm).  Josiah had not had an afternoon nap (not usual, but happens sometimes), so
he was not happy even with food.  And Analise just could not be kept
entertained, even with a spray bottle and a movie playing.  And of course, Brian comes home, and I’m
giving Analise a stern talking to after a time-out, and she’s wailing,
and Josiah’s wailing. He asks what he can do to help, and really, all I
want is for him to take the kids out to dinner by HIMSELF, and I’ll
relax with my fish and noodles.

No really, in the end, we all ended up at the dinner table, though Josiah was still a grump.  The fish and noodles were good, and I’m glad that we set family meal times as a priority in our house.  I’m sure we’ll grow into them as my little ones grow up.  But right now, if you’ve got any suggestions, send them my way!

3 Responses to ““Happy Hour” at the Toones?”

  1. steve Says:

    just have a food fight.

  2. Brian Says:

    i’ve tried to start one a couple times to lighten up the situation, but I always get sent straight to timeout. 🙁

  3. Lyndsey Lewis Says:

    Hey, Kristine! I had a couple thoughts for you… We’ve done blanket training since Jackson was probably 8 months old??? I’m not sure exactly when we started that! It takes a lot of work and each of ours have different struggles with this but in general I can expect them to sit on their seperate blankets for up to an hour. I change what they have to play with, sometimes just books, sometimes just toys, sometimes both, sometimes they color or play puzzles – whatever. They are expected to be semi-quiet, no whining or crying – usually 🙂 The key to this is the discipline reinforcement – if they get off their blanket or throw a fit about something like not wanting to be there, they are “disciplined” and put right back on their blanket until they get it. A lot more of the training part happens in the beginning. If you want me to explain more I definitely will. There are tons of benefits to blanket training.
    I do blanket time in the mornings but sometimes, when it’s absolutely necessary, I put them on again during that dinner time/afternoon chaos.
    Because of the blanket time thing they are able to sit and watch at least a 30 minute show without getting up. Jackson lasts a little longer than Grayson but 45 minutes at least for both of them. I never put the tv on for background – I use it as a restricted time, just like the blanket. It makes them sit there and concentrate on what they are doing and gives them boundaries. So, their usual tv time is while I’m making dinner or finishing dinner – 5 or so – and sometimes they will get a tv time in the morning or right before lunch. I try to keep their tv total to an hour – that doesn’t always happen either! 🙂
    Another thing I TRY to do is prepare what needs to be prepared for dinner while they are taking their naps. Not all meals work like that and not all days i’m motivated to do that but the days that I do make it a priority everything runs much smoother and we eat at a decent time! With dinner ready to go, I just throw it in the oven or whatever it needs and we play outside or play together or whatever.
    Anyway, I hope some of this helps? Let me know if I’ve been clear or completely not! You know, we are all in this together and walking the same road!
    Talk to you later!
    Love Lyndsey

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