Monday, June 27, 2011
The real reason I'm writing this is my darling daughter, Abigail. She's struggling, poor soul. Please forgive any typos or things that don't make sense in this. It's been a long night.
I have heard from several people that having to retrain a toddler to sleep is fairly common. I just never thought it would happen to me and with a newborn! Whew!
Anyway, I guess the reason I was so self-assured that toddler sleep training would never be a big issue for me is that we have always been very consistent with bedtime and nighttime. The routine has been the same for years (literally) and my daughter has never gotten away with much at bedtime or during the night.
My husband is a little easier on her at night but we've still never let her sleep in our bed or anywhere else but her bed, for that matter. Yet we have spent many nights over the past two or three weeks saying "No, you cannot try to fall asleep in our bed" after she has asked to do this repeatedly. Where do kids get this stuff?
"We" (by that I mean Daddy) have recently told her that if she can't fall asleep right away she can turn on her light and read a book. Big mistake! I knew this and was hesitant to start it but she was having a hard time falling asleep when she napped during the day and I wanted to be sympathetic. When I hear her "reading" at 1:30 am, it's not okay with me. Someday she'll share a room with her sister, hopefully, and she'll need to learn that if she can't sleep, she needs to just lay still and relax and not disturb others.
We are having a hard time explaining the difference between waking us up for an "emergency" (in my definition is blood, poop, or puke) and waking us up for attention. Last night the first visit to our room by Abigail was to tell us that she had falled out of bed. Seriously. The girl walked all the way out of her room, down the hall, up the stairs and into our room to tell us this instead of just getting back in bed. Wow!
Then it was the "potty" break. She does this frequently and during "quiet time" too. She says she has to do #2 and therefore needs our attention to clean up at the end. She and Daddy sat in the bathroom for 15 minutes last night and . . .nothing. I probably could have told you that before she even started but I'd hate to be wrong and have a mess on my hands.
I finally just said to her last night, after her 3 or 4th trip upstairs that she had to stay in her room, with the light off, closing her eyes and not reading. I think my husband thinks I'm harsh but honestly, you can't sleep with your eyes open and turning on lights only stimulates you and makes it harder to fall asleep. She then proceeded to lose her paci and cry for it since she couldn't turn on the light to find it. Manipulate much?! Wow! She's a smart kid.
Anyway, after that episode I told her that if I heard her crying for her paci again, I would take them away . . . for good. No more out of her then.
I have spent the morning, on and off, reading about helping your toddler sleep and sleep training. They are all pretty unified in one thing . . . consistency. Which is great news, actually because that's something I'm good at. We'll see how the next few nights go. I'm also going to try to respond less - and hopefully with less emotion and frustration too.
In the meantime . . .
I'm sleepy! Sitting down anywhere for any length of time is not good because I'll be asleep.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Things I'm learning as a mother of three children who are 3 and under . . .
- It does no good for me to get upset/emotional. Remaining calm when one is misbehaving or whining or crying is much more helpful. It's not always easy and some days I'm better at it than others.
- It's hard when your 3-yr-old who shouldn't be napping does nap. Whew. I'm tired. Got up with her 4+ times last night.
- You have to clean and cook in 5 minute segments because that's all you'll have.
- It does no good to soothe yourself with a box of natural oreos . . . you'll just be annoyed at your fat and out-of-shape self later. (Thanks Weight Watchers).
- It is almost comical how long it takes me just to get the kids ready to go outside to swing. I almost wish I had a witness! :)
- Mommy guilt is a daily battle for me. Am I doing the right activities for each child and their particular age? Are they getting enough social stimulation (when it's so much easier just to stay home?)? Am I parenting in the right way? Do they pick up when I'm just annoyed that there are so many needs to be met?
Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
So . . . I'm going to do just that. Now, which baby do I choose to rock is the question?! :)
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Long ago you came to me,
The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond
The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight,
The last piano lesson, the last vacation to the lake
The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test
My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass
For come some bright fall morning, you’ll be going far away
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I feel great!
Yes, I'm tired and yes, I have three kids 3 and under but physically, I feel great. I can finally carry out what my ambitious mind desires! :)
It's Tuesday at 2:00 pm in the afternoon and I have only one load of laundry left to do and one load of laundry left to fold for the week. The kitchen is clean and mopped and most of the other rooms are in decent shape. It's wonderful!
If I were sleeping all night (or more than 3 hours at a time) I think I would feel like flying! I certainly hope this feeling never goes away but I will probably slack off in time and get used to feeling good again.
But for now . . . can I get a "yeah" for not being pregnant?! Woo hoo!