Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A New Day

There was a lot of ridiculous about my morning this morning.  I've been No Cry Sleep Solutioning, as I mentioned previously, and as such am trying to fix naptime.  Apparently nighttime waking is directly affected by naps, and good solid two naps for 3 to 4 hours total can make night waking minimal.

Backing up a bit, today was a busy morning.  I had an excellent Matthew helper; he got cereal and milk out for him and Riley, and 'did' breakfast while I had a shower and Amarys screeched like a velocoraptor in the exersaucer.  Ayden refused to get out of bed.  Ayden frequently refuses to get out of bed, and then refuses to get dressed or sit at the table or get his backpack ready....
It's a bit of an issue, and has been since he started school several years ago.  He has greatly improved, but still sometimes in the morning he can be a bit of an ass and refuse to get up and going.  Lately when I encounter this I tell him he's responsible for his own body and for getting ready on time, and that if he doesn't take this responsibility seriously, I will no longer nag him, but if he is not ready when we leave for school, we will leave and he will either go to school in pyjamas, without breakfast, or he will miss us completely and we will leave without him.

He has gone to school a couple of times without breakfast.

This morning, I left without him.  I am sick of Matthew getting late slips and missing out on the beginning of his first lessons (which he desperately needs every single moment of) because Ayden can't move his ass in the morning, so I piled all the other kids in the van and drove Matthew to school alone.  I then drove directly back and got Ayden, who I was assuming would be crying but was instead playing lego (RAWR).  I had a few errands: the bank, the drug store, etc, and Ayden had to come along with us until I had another time which was convenient for me to drop him off at school.  Very late.

Hopefully (cross my fingers) this will drive home the need to pick up the pace in the morning, and not lie in bed during breakfast, and then play lego in his pyjamas while everyone else is loading up into the van to go to school.  *EYEROLL*  He wasn't contrite, but he nodded knowingly when I mentioned he would need a late slip.  I think he got the picture~I don't mind reminding my kids to focus, but when they are willingly lackadaisy lazy, I'm not going to nag.  But I will drop them off in their pyjamas; or not at all, like today.

We then went to Strong Start; always a big hit with Riley!  He's suuuuuper cuuuuuute these days, and I just can't get over his long, dark, spidery eyelashes.  And the double whammy dimples.  And the SAYINGS!  Oh jeepers, he's so cute.
What happens when you get a polar bear and a flashlight?
I'm cherishing him as much as I can, whenever I'm not scratching my own eyeballs in frustration over his long tearful tirades or insistent nagging for milk.

Now the Amarys nap thing: I need some troubleshooting ideas.  My book says to put her down as soon as she shows signs of being tired.  This morning this was 9 a.m.  Strong Start begins at 9 a.m. and fills up by 9:30.  If we stay home Riley is disappointed and bored.  If we go, Amarys can't sleep.  What do I do??
She fell asleep at 11:15, totally exhausted, beyond ridiculous.  She slept through a transfer to her carseat, which she NEVER does, and then slept for over 2 hours.  Now she's not tired (5 pm), but she might be in an hour or so.  A nap that late will make her stay up til 10, destroying my Brent and Me time, but no nap is bad for night waking.  What do I do?!?!!  What do you think?


Props for this book, though; it is very flexible, open, and positive, applicable to bottle and breast feeders, demand feeders, soother babies, nurse to sleep babies, co sleepers, and crib sleepers.  It's awesome.  If you need help getting your baby to sleep, the No Cry Sleep Solution is the book for you, if you are just about anyone.  I wish I had had it with Ayden.  My 3 biological babies all went through a stage at around 6 months when they are learning to crawl where they wake up at night constantly.  Literally, every hour.  And they need to nurse back to sleep, and it lasts three to four weeks, and it drives me batty.  When Ayden hit this stage I didn't know it was temporary and I mentioned it to the public health nurse when we went for his 6 month shots.  She leant me a book and VHS video about crying it out (!!!) and since I knew little and was the first of anyone I knew to have a baby, I figured she knew what she was talking about.  Can you believe it?!  I mean, at least give me a range of options, but all she did was give me a book and video on how to get your kid to cry themselves to sleep.  I think about that now and I get so angry.  I was clueless and struggling, but I didn't know where to get info on how to manage.  So I asked an expert and got some really horrible, archaic advice, and not enough information to make an informed choice.

Anyways, I let him cry for naptime one day, and he cried for 45 minutes until he fell asleep.  Then at bedtime that night, he cried for about 10 minutes.  I figured he would wake up hungry at night, but I got Brent to go in and comfort him for the first few times Ayden woke up (I couldn't just not respond in the dark of night, that was too awful) and nursed him at 1 a.m. and then again at 4 or 5.  The next day he fell asleep quickly without crying, and that night we did the same thing as the previous night.  By day 3, he had figured out the 'schedule' and slept without waking except for the 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. feeds, and fell asleep easily for naps and at night.  I always nursed him sleepy so it didn't take too much.  After this adjustment, he didn't stick with the 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. forever, and nor did we have him cry it out for nap or nighttime: it was just to teach him he could fall asleep again on his own if he came up out of a sleep cycle.  But it makes me mad to remember how awful that first 45 minutes was, and how hard it was on both of us, and how I didn't know anything better and was at the end of my rope.

With Matthew he was a clockwork sleeper.  He was a bit of a conundrum when he first arrived; of course you cannot let an adopted child cry it out to sleep when their attachment to you is just developing.  Neither is it appropriate to incorporate time outs or other forms of separation or possibly perceived rejection.  Anyways, he was on guard around us, and if we were in the room he would not fall asleep but rather watch us with very alert, sparkly eyes.  But if we left, he would cry.  We tried lots of different things, including me climbing in the crib with Matthew (Fortunately it did not break), until my aunt suggested the Ferber Method.  Not having heard of any option other than CIO or live with it, I jumped on a method which could help Matthew sleep without feeling abandoned.  In fact, this worked like magic because it would take one time per night of sticking our head in through the door (after about 5 to 10 seconds of crying) to reassure him, and then he would stop crying and go to sleep.  So we would do the bedtime routine: bath, teeth, story, cuddle~and then put him in his crib, turn his lullaby CD on, and leave the room.  Five to ten seconds of crying.  Poke a head in the door;
It's okay Matthew, mommy and daddy are here.  We love you.  Go to sleep!
Instantly he stopped crying, and within minutes he would be asleep.

By the time Riley came along I pretty much knew he wouldn't be tiny forever, and weathered through the six month night waking by swaddling him and just living with it.  But see, Riley was really easy.  And I had post partum anxiety so bad that I was always running on full speed ahead, no matter how little sleep I had.  And my other kids were four and five, so I wasn't so physically drained.

Now, I can't function if I am waking up every hour.  Especially with that whole up for an hour or two in the middle of the night thing Amarys has been pulling lately, and then Riley on top of that, and then nursing 2 (and pumping for another), and then running after a three year old and fulfilling the needs of a six month old during the day.  Nothing makes me feel old quite like being kept up at night.  And my anxiety is very well controlled so I no longer operate at full speed.  I'm not against a baby crying if you're there to comfort them and respond, but Amarys is not the lie there and be comforted type.  She's apt to choke on her own spit if you don't do what she wants.  So a book with the title No Cry Sleep Solution sounds like just what we need.

I say as she plays with my toes, screeching like a velocoraptor and decidedly not sleeping.  At 9:00 p.m. This child is a bundle of contradictions!  Much like Matthew.  In fact, she reminds me a lot of Matthew, in a lot of ways.  Fortunately we have lots of experience to draw from.  The #1 technique in dealing with Matthew types is patience.  Patience, patience, patience.  And combing books for tips to apply to Spirited Children.

Riley spent an hour crying this afternoon because he forgot his stick at the boys' school and I wouldn't turn around and go pick it up (we were about a half kilometer away).  Gosh, three year olds are persistent.  Today was not one of his more charming days.  He also cried for a half hour before dinner because I wouldn't let him eat chips.  And then after dinner because I made him have a bath.

And then Brent worked overtime.  What a day.

BUT; it was sunny today!  =)  And the baby has been sleeping in the playpen for three days now.  The crawling thing means she's apt to crawl right off our bed if left to sleep on it alone, so after an hour of encouragement, back patting, nursing, pick up/put down (as per the Baby Whisperer), nursing again, back rubs, bum pats, nursing again, and singing lullabies til I lost my voice, the first night she fell asleep in the playpen, and since then she has been much more comfortable in it.  I nurse her to sleep in my arms, and then put her down.  So, between the sunshine and the playpen sleeping baby I'm pretty happy.  The breastfeeding highs help, too.  I can be sitting at the table with shrieking children running around with forbidden food in the livingroom, and if I'm nursing I'll be thinking,
I love my kids, I love my babies, they're such wonderful kids.  I have beautiful kids.  They are so sweet, they mean so well.  I love my house, I'm so grateful for my house, Brent works so hard to take good care of us, I'm so lucky....
All of which is true.
Hooray for breastfeeding oxytocin euphoria!


Caryn Ouwehand said...

ensI totally think ditching Ayden when he is being a sloth was the best thing to do... even with the lego-lack-of-remorse-response. Nice. I was a slow-poke in the morning too, and my Mom would give me a 5 minute warning and then leave (once I was about 8 or 9), and then there would be $1.20 at my spot at the breakfast table to take the city bus. Hahaha, oh my parents... (granted the city bus today is much more sketchy than it was 1992).
...but I survived, and I stopped being so pokey.

I want some bottled oxytocin to take in large doses when my child is screaming. I like the description of bliss at the end of this post. Damn that I am not nursing something right now.

lori said...

"Nothing makes me feel old quite like being kept up at night." You and me both, sister. I think horrid night time sleep was the biggest adjustment to motherhood for me. Thank GOD Ziah is a better sleeper. Zoralee still wakes up once in the night and wants milk (and has some before bed, and a bit first thing in the morn). I'm trying to wean her, because now nearly every time I nurse her, I feel irritated and grouchy toward her, unlike Ziah where I have those same blissful feelings you described.

And I agree with what you said (maybe in another post) that it's so great to run across helpful books, or books with helpful bits that don't make blanket retarded statements like "sleeping with your baby is bad." Hello - humanity appears to have always slept with its babies until the advent of huge homes with individual rooms.