Tag Archives: bedtime

I always knew he could do it

(Preface: right now in our temp apartment, we are all sharing a bedroom. Lane’s bed, our bed, and Jake’s crib are all resident in one bedroom.  It’s not ideal, but it’s working well enough, and it’s slightly pertinent to this post to I wanted to make sure you knew.)

I’m sick.  Not like at-death’s-door sick, but death-sent-me-an-email sick.  A bit of nausea (and a lot of revisiting the slice of pizza I had for lunch) and chilly like crazy.  Our thermostat is at 69 and I’m still sitting here in fuzzy pants and slippers and the coziest biggest thickest sweater I own, plus I have a down blanket wrapped around me.  Digestively, something is… happening.  I’m not sure what but my imagination is running rampant and I will spare you the details of that.

I always do Jake’s bedtime.  Always.  The boy is a boob fanatic, and has always nursed to sleep.  Lately though, there’s been a willingness on his part to lay in his crib after nursing and not (constantly) scream his head off.  We have a very flat pillow in there, and I’ve found that rubbing the pillow seems to settle him and convince him it’s a great thing to put his head on.  And, in the absence of most other noise he’ll drift off to sleep.

So, ‘upgrading’ my illness to death-called-and-we-chatted-awhile, I laid a bit of a guilt trip on Frank and he mostly took care of parenting this evening.  He gave Lane a bath after she had a poop accident (because watching Sleeping Beauty with a small interruption is worse than poop in your pants?  I don’t get that) and then I nursed Jake while Lane got her bedtime stories, put him in his crib, and promptly told Frank to take over.

And lo and behold, sleep was achieved… by all of them.  Frank included.

Who said they could grow up?

Lane amazes me nearly every day.

Lately, we’ve found the bedtime ‘routine’ that works best is simply to ask her to get herself into bed, give her permission to turn on her bedside light and tell her she can look at as many books as she likes, then turn off her light whenever she’s ready.

She nearly always picks out about seven or eight books to page through, does this in 10-15 minutes, and then turns the light out and is asleep soon afterwards.

It is just such a grown-up way to do bedtime. It’s how *I* do bedtime most nights. Sigh.

In other news, Jake is 11 months old today. My goodness, where does the time go? He’s got such a vibrant personality, it just makes my heart smile. He is almost constantly happy and giggly. He loves singing, and has started to participate in singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” by saying “ro ro ro ro ro ro”. We also add a second verse:

Rock, rock, rock your boat, gently down the stream.

If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! [scream here]

Jake highly anticipates the scream. Gets downright giddy and acts completely impatient if you sing the second verse but leave out the scream.

And he’s walking. Not as his primary mode of transportation, though I suspect by his first birthday he’ll be tooling around all bipedal. For now, he’s stringing together four or five steps at a time, and is just pleased as punch with himself.

Of course, as generally comes with most developmental milestones – and walking is a biggie – he’s not much interested in going to sleep. He fell asleep at 8:00 p.m., and I erroneously thought he was going to bed a little early. Oh no, silly Mommy, that was just a nap. He’s now sitting awake on the couch with his daddy as I write this. Yeah, it’s 1:00 a.m. I tried getting him to sleep a half-hour ago and he’d have nothing to do with it. He must have thought I was pretty funny to try, because all he did was laugh at me.

Separation Anxiety

Not hers, mine.

We had dinner at the in-laws’ tonight.  All in all a mellow, fun time.  Nearing time to leave, we told Lane (as we nearly always do) that she can come home or stay overnight with Grandma and Grandpa.  This time – a first – she chose to stay there.  I’m sure it had partly to do with Grandma bribing her with playing Candy Land.

And she even made Frank and I completely bust a gut as we said goodbye, because her final wave was one of impatience — pretty much waving us off as she started playing Candy Land with Grandma.  It was REALLY funny.

Despite my slightly heavy heart that she wants to stay there, I can also look at it as a developmentally great thing.  She has a trust in her grandparents, and a trust that I will indeed come to get her tomorrow, as promised.   I’ve heard from a few sources, the goal of parenting is to marginalize yourself, to work yourself out of a job.  I guess that means Frank and I must be doing something right.

It almost seems funny, because I can’t even sit here and say that she’s weaned yet.  She certainly does not nurse with any amount of consistency, but still about once a week she’ll ask to nurse, and she gets to nurse for a count of 10.  Half the time she doesn’t even nurse for the full 10 count, but usually she kisses my boob at the end of it.  🙂

Of course, despite all that, I completely reserve the right to miss her a little (or a lot), even if I’m also feeling freed of putting her to bed for a night.

Experiments in Parenting

Lane, my 3 year-old daughter, can be a little tough to handle sometime.  I’m happy to tell you seven ways from Sunday how awesome she is, she’s tough and brave and energetic and smart and happy and fun.  But a lot of the traits that make her so awesome also make her… well, a minor challenge to parent sometimes.

I’ve finished reading one book – Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child –  and I’m currently starting to read Positive Discipline which is a bit more academic in tone so far but nonetheless interesting.  Both seem to espouse 1) that negativity gets you nowhere and that 2) it’s important to empower our children.  Well, OK, I knew #1, and I thought I was good at #2, but there are areas I need to work on.  Lane is capable of dressing herself, which is proven by the times she’s put on tights and a skirt and a shirt all by herself.  But then sometimes she loses her patience putting socks on and I am usually happy to swoop in and rescue her, rather than take the time to let her persist, or insist that she persist.

Yesterday we had such a situation.  I had plans to go to Target (aka the “Red Store” in our house because, well, it’s all red) and then to Costco and told Alena she could come if she got herself all dressed and ready.  Frank was home and feeling the need to veg, so I thought it would be nice if he hung out with Jake for a couple hours and I would take Lane with me.  She got her shirt and pants on well enough, and then came the socks.  I’m not sure what happened, but her patience wore thin with them very, very quickly.  She insisted I help her, and I refused.  I told her I knew she was a big girl and could do it herself.  She made a couple very feeble attempts and resorted to crying to try to get me to help her.  I continued to refuse, and told her she only had a few more minutes to get those socks and shoes on or I was leaving without her.  I stayed calm, counted down the time she had left, she got one sock on, and then it was time to go and I had my coat on and she had no coat on and only one sock.  So she was left behind, and she was NOT HAPPY.  Setting Limits says that if she doesn’t get something done in a reasonably time frame, then to let her deal with the natural or logical consequences of not finishing.  I think not being able to go with me was a pretty fair consequence.  I guess the truly ‘natural’ consequence would have been to make her go to the car with no socks or shoes or jacket on, and let her experience the cold on her feet and skin.  But it was pretty cold yesterday, and the voice in my head that blabbers on about how cold feet = getting sick simply wouldn’t let me do that.  And she didn’t HAVE to go to Target, it wasn’t like I was taking her to the doctor or school.  So she stayed home.  Frank says she cried for a few minutes but then was OK.

When I got home, I didn’t mention anything about it.  After I had everything put away, she said something to me like “You left without me because I didn’t put my socks on.”  I replied something like “Yes, I did.  I would have liked you to come with me.  You missed out on all the free samples at Costco!”   And I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her I loved her. (That part’s nothing new, I probably do that twenty times a day.)

The other experiment is something from the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution and applies to Jake, who despite closing in on a year old (and OMG how did THAT happen?!?) is not sleeping through the night.  In fact, he’s barely sleeping through an hour.  He generally has a 12 hour period of sleep at night, like 9:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m., but he wakes up a minimum of four times in that period.  Most nights it’s five or six times.  And each time, I find I have to resort to nursing him back to sleep.

So, one of the things I’m doing is called the Gentle Removal Method from No-Cry, which basically amounts to removing my nipple from his mouth before he’s really asleep, to get him used to drifting off without it in his mouth.  The intent is that you remove it gradually earlier in the putting-to-sleep process, so that eventually the baby isn’t really nursing to sleep at all, but might be nursing before going to sleep.  This is a method of real patience, but it paid off handsomely with Alena when she was about this age, so now it’s Jake’s turn.  I’m also trying to introduce a lovey to Jake.  I’ve picked one of the smaller stuffed toys we have – a little bear that also winds up and plays lullaby music.  Starting last night, as I nurse him to sleep at bedtime, I’m letting him snuggle with the bear while he nurses, thus associating the bear with nursing and falling asleep.  I feel conflicted about this.  Is it really the best thing to try to fixate him on an inanimate object, when up until now I’ve been his lovey/pacifier?   But at the same time, I’ve been his lovey/pacifier.  And I’m tired.

We’ll see how it goes.  I’m pretty confident the gentle removal will provide some improvement.  I’m not sure if I’ll persist with the lovey idea, but I’m going to keep with it for the next few nights, too, and see what happens.

Lessons learned

So, yeah, no sex last night, as I stated.

Yeah, I could have woken my husband up, and he probably would have been glad I did.  But at the same time, if he’d woken me up to have sex with me, I’d probably kick him in the taint, so that’s what mostly guided my decision to let him sleep last night.  Lesson learned from the comments from yesterday’s post — it’s OK to wake him up.  🙂  I really already know that… but really, his sleeping was a convenient excuse to use a little free time to do something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks…

There’s a certain baby soap I’ve bought for my kids’ baths, that consistently makes my hands break out in vesicles, a common result of contact dermatitis.  I’ve thought about taking it with me to the doctor to find out what random lotion/soap ingredient is the perpetrator of this annoyance, but in a stealthy swash of wisdom (did that phrase even make sense?) I figured I could cross-reference ingredients from products that don’t cause an allergic reaction and try to figure out this mystery.  Another lesson learned: I was able to narrow the potential culprits down to about a half-dozen different ingredients, so that’s productive.
A completely pathetic activity to pursue in lieu of sex, but productive nonetheless.

To make amends with myself and my husband, who doesn’t know he missed out on the first sex in about two months last night, I’ve alluded that if he puts Lane to bed and gets her to sleep fairly soon, he will totally score.  I figure this accomplishes three things:  1) it will hopefully get Lane to bed at a reasonable hour, AGAIN, and 2) I will get to have sex even though I still would have probably initiated even if *I* put Lane to bed and 3) it buys me some time to sit here and type.  I rarely try to manipulate him with promises of sex, but hell, if it works and we’re both happy with the end result, maybe that’s not a bad thing.  Lesson learned.

And my last lesson learned?  Tagging a post with “sex” brings on an inordinate amount of traffic to my blog.