couple things you might try..
Check the cable linkage arm that bolts onto the clutch release fork shaft.
Sometimes the pinch bolt can loosen and it can shift position on the
splines. If you wipe it clean and look from above, make sure
the dots are lined up. There is a dot on the top of the cable linkage
arm, that should line up with the dot on the clutch fork shaft.
Inspect your shifter linkage from underneath and make sure everything
is intact and the bolts are tight, and that there is no play or worn
bushings and that it is firmly bolted to the shifter shaft on the transmission.
You could have some linkage bushings close to the exhaust, that are
becoming spongy as they heat up.
You may need a new clutch cable as it may have worn or stretched,
or just loosened up on the clutch fork shaft arm. Chances are you
might just get away with a simple cable adjustment. Tug on the cable
where it meets the arm and determine if there is too much slack.
Or measure the play (just feel it with your foot) on the clutch
pedal. How much play is there before you actually feel tension?
There’s a spec in the FSM, but you might just know by feel if it doesn’t
feel right, or loose before actually engaging.
Since you are a new daddy, and letting your car idle 30mins to charge
the battery, this says the car is sitting for days or weeks at a time.
The clutch gets funny when not used. These cars like to be driven
on a regular basis. When I start driving a car that’s been sitting for
months, it takes a day or two of daily driving to work that clutch
back in to where it feels more or less normal.
Now if the clutch is toast, of course you will have issues getting
it into gear, but it was probably fine before and you can milk a
worn clutch for a long time. My bet is a simple cable adjustment.
You can also try different fluid. I’ve never used synchromesh,
well maybe a couple times. I got 800k on a transmission and
still haven’t cracked the case, just change the fluid every couple oil
changes. That’s the cause of the failures, nobody services
the transmission, it takes like 5 mins. I’ve run 5w30 and never
had a problem. Also used the teflon additives when they were popular
back in the day. Now in my daily driver I’m running about 50/50
5w30 and Lucas Oil stabilizer in my rebuilt transmission with a
gear driven torsen LSD and it shifts like butter. Sure I have the very
occasional couple tries to get it into first gear at the stop light
on a 34 year old transmission, but for the most part she’s perfect.