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Hooped

Just when I think I’ve got this kid figured out, he changes. He seems to have stopped napping the day we got back.  Or at least at his regularly scheduled time.  If he naps in the car or on a walk, even if it’s only ten minutes, we’re “hooped”.  That’s a Canadian expression meaning “we’re screwed”.  It means I can give him warm milk and put him in his bed and he screams and sobs for 45 minutes straight or until I can’t take it anymore and let him out.  I’ve tried letting him cry it out.  I’ve tried explaining to him that he needs a little rest and he can play later.  I’ve tried a later nap time.  And though I can see he’s tired – he tends to be more easily frustrated or loses his balance more – he presses through til about 7:30 or 8pm.    This is the kid who just a few weeks ago, went gently into that good nap and still went to bed on time.

Oh, sleep, sweet sleep.  I had a nap this afternoon – a very rare occasion.  I can count on one hand the times I’ve taken an afternoon nap in the past two years.  Even after the kid started yanking my hair and throwing himself on my chest, I went back to sleep.  Don’t worry, hubby was there keeping him company on the couch on a very rainy afternoon.

On the day we left to come back home from our trip, I was feeling absolutely crummy.  I thought it was a hangover but I was really coming down with something.  A cold.  I seem to be over it.  I had the help of Neo Citran and Nyquil.  I love Nyquil when I’m sick.  Seriously.  It’s like an instant coma.  And I get a brief buzz before I slip off into Land of Nod.  What can be better than that?!  I remember when my mum had her stroke and I was visiting her in the hospital at least two or 3 times – a day.  I got insomnia and that went on for 2 years.  I could always fall asleep but I could never stay asleep.  This was why I never minded getting up at 2 or 3am with the kid when he was an infant.   I was up anyway.  These days, I do actually mind quite a bit because once he’s up, the day is busy and if I am to get through it with balance, it helps if I’m well rested.  Now I dream of getting a cold so I can use Nyquil.

Which brings me back to my first point.  The kid is resisting naps with a vengeance.  Now when I make his milk, he runs away from me to close his bedroom door cause he doesn’t want to go IN.  Usually if we’re up early and I keep him busy and active with lots of fresh air, it’s not a problem, but I can’t always spend the mornings simply just playing with him, particularly if it’s cold and miserable outside.  And if I don’t have the car, then we can’t get the community centre.  Oh, it’s within walking distance but if he even catches so much as a ten minute nap in the stroller, then it’s game over.  Of course, it seems as if he’s sleeping through the night better.  But that means I don’t get any time to myself.  Even half an hour would be nice to make phone calls, or do laundry or read. So I’m not sure if he’s truly done with his afternoon nap or just screwing with me.

It’s after midnight and the only reason I’m still up, is because I took a nap.  But the morning will come soon and I’ll be tired again.

I’m hooped.

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Summer days

Summer has finally arrived and by that I mean decent summer weather.  Corona with lime weather.  BBQs and sitting on the deck weather.  Of course, we only have two more weeks of summer left, but what the hey.  We have managed to miss just about every free city festival.  Ah, toddler life, where nap schedules trump all.

We live about 30 driving and parking minutes from “the island” to downtown, so whenever we consider going down there to catch a bit of whatever is going on in the park, we have to factor in drive time there and back, so by the time we are all breakfasted, showered, packed up and ready to go, we figure we can go for about an hour and then have to leave.  And a lot of parades start at 11 or noon and he has to get back to have lunch or have a decent nap and then he wakes up slowly after nap time, he wants a snack and before you know it, it’s time to start thinking about what’s for dinner.    Time has to be built in for the amount of time the Precious refuses to leave his crib or get dressed.  I have spent more than a few minutes chasing him around with various articles of clothing (much to his delight) or trying to figure out which tone of voice will get him to take me seriously.  By the time we get going and get the grocery shopping done,  and grab a coffee, it’s time to get home for lunch or time to get back for naptime or whatever.  So at times, it’s easier to stick close to home and just go to the nearby water park or playground or hang out in the backyard.

We have had many discussions on how to get around this.  If the Precious grabs a quick nap in the car, then he won’t sleep for the rest of the afternoon resulting in a cranky ass kid by dinnertime.  If DH is driving, then it’s up to me to entertain the King to keep him awake.  If it’s just me, then I’m sunk cause I can’t drive and tickle him at the same time.  So now we’re talking about going somewhere further afield and letting him nap on the way there( 1hr min) or on the way back at the end of the day.  Not sure how that it going to work out, but I’ll let you know.

These days DH is around a lot more.  He has resigned from his job and his moving on to a new one in the fall.  The stress leading up to this was incredible and put a real strain on our relationship.  The Precious was getting all our love and attention, but we didn’t have any energy left over for each other.  We’re making the effort to become reacquainted with one another as more than just a parent.  I’m definitely the one who feels neglected.  I’ve often felt that even the dog’s needs came before mine.  A benefit of having him around is that he’s finally figuring out on his own that the Precious, adorable little boy that he is, isn’t ALWAYS a delight to be around.  He’s now understanding how restrictive life with a toddler can be.  He’s always been critical that I’m not a get up and go type of person.  I’m a don’t bother me til I’ve had half a cup of coffee person.  Now he realizes that the kid has  to be attended to, breakfast has to made, cleaned up, then there’s the matter of getting the dog out and the beginning of the endless errands to be attended to.  Oh, and then there’s snack time, lunch time, laundry time, nap time, emails to get to, phone calls to make, house to be cleaned, etc.  Things don’t always go smoothly and like clockwork.  I honestly thinks he believed I sat around all day long on my fat ass and ate bon bons.  Like I should not sit down or take a shower or pick my nose if I feel like it.  The very first day he stayed home he was like oh, we’re doing this today and it’s going  to be like this and how come I don’t do blah, blah, blah.   I let him know that I didn’t go to his work place and tell him how to do his job, so why was he acting like he could do it in mine. No, way, mister, in this workplace, we have coffee before we talk to the kid.

Oddly enough, our days have been very similar.  We’re pooped by the time the kid goes down for the night and toys are strewn everywhere.  He’s pitching in doing laundry and cleaning up and walking the dog and picking up the dry cleaning.   Now he’s knows that when I am with the Precious, not much else can actually get done.  I can’t even vaccum without him running around standing in front of the vacuum trying to grab the cord or turn off the switch.  And just because he takes a nap, doesn’t mean I want to jam in all my chores when I can sit down and eat a decent meal.  One of DH’s biggest complaints was that I never went out with them walking in late afternoon.  So I started going.  I was tired, but I went.  And guess what, dinner never got cooked.  So I end up throwing something fast just for the kid.  He found out that the Precious takes a long time to eat and sometimes he doesn’t want to eat what’s before him.  He’s figured out that meal times will be a unpleasant for everyone if he insists of making him eat what he doesn’t want to eat.  Believe or not now he negotiates with the kid to make him eat.  Would you like to ketchup with that?  Sweet chili sauce?  How about eat this mouthful and I’ll give you a french fry.  It works.  Honestly, I always found meal times a bit frustrating because the Precious seems to be a picky vegetarian.  I’ve tried every possibly way to sneak meat into his meals, but it rarely works.  He likes black beans, but does not like chick peas.  He loves peas, he hates cucumber.  At least for today he does.  One day he likes salmon, the next he won’t eat it.  What he loves one day, he hates the next.  Sometimes he eats heartily, sometimes he doesn’t.  I make an organic meal creation from scratch and he rejects it in favour of the institutionalized food my mother eats in the home. I’ve had it and it’s horrible and what appears to be a banana cream custard doesn’t even remotely taste like banana.

Needless to say, he’s liking the sitter more and more.

Sleep. Walking.

Happy to report that I’m feeling a  million times better.  Not only did I have 3 – COUNT ‘EM – 3 nights of UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP, but I had a massage and a feel so much better now. It’s amazing what decent sleep can do for a woman!  I’m less bitchy (a little), less weepy, and less likely to mutter to myself.  The pain in still there intermittently but  with good posture, Advil, and heat I can keep it at bay.

Also happy to report that the wee beastie is taking his first independent steps!  That day I had an audition, couldn’t get a sitter, and hubby stayed home because he was sick.  Lucky, I guess.  So while both of them napped, I snuck out and did my thing, came back and encouraged the Precious to lean on the wall and make his way to me.  Then two minutes later, he walked into the kitchen to his dad.  I burst out crying as hubby fiddled with his camera phone and caught the moment.

Perhaps this is why the little bugger is tuckered at the end of the day.  And speaking of independence, my little guy wants it.  I can’t even brush his teeth anymore.  He pushes my hand away, says “Meh!” and does it himself.  I can barely get him in the stroller without him attempting ju-jitsu on me.   And yes, I even tried explaining to him that we need to take Juju out for a walk.  He cares not one whit.  And when I finally get the last buckle, he’s all smiles.  I can see we’re going to have battles, him and I.  Mmmmm.

Of course, he’s learned to lean in to mummy’s shoulder, snuggle and coo and suck her in.  I’m doomed.

 

I need a nap

The Precious sleeping through to 6:30 am is now the exception instead of the rule.  Despite all of my best efforts at putting him down earlier, dressing him lightly or  having a hearty dinner, he is still getting up between 2 and 5am.  Sometimes after I give him a bottle, he decides to be quiet for 5 whole minutes before he breaks out into a baby aria. I am also now waking myself up in anticipation that he’s going to get up. Or sometimes I get up to pee and then I just lay in bed waiting.

I’ve also been struggling with him to put him down for naps.  Just the other day, it was a breeze and now it’s a battle.  It pretty much started when he began to crawl and stand.  Now he can cruise around quite quickly on his own. I was warned about this.  There are lots of  tumbles and spills and he needs me around to keep him from braining himself.  He is tall enough now to lean out of his exersaucer and retrieve the dog’s treat ball.  He just prefers play and interaction with me, the dog or even random dog bone than have a nap.  I’d put him down, he’d scream for an hour or so while I pretended it didn’t bother me.  I couldn’t get anything done anyway because I couldn’t hear myself think.  Between the dog, the kid and my mum, and trying to keep the household going, I was getting  a little crabby.  So I took a page out of my husband’s book and now I just play with him until he’s tired and thirsty.  No more struggle, just surrender to the fact that my to do list will be very, very short.  I’m going to check for more baby activity programs for the afternoons, our little baby singalong once a week is not enough.

It’s pretty dry in our place, and I don’t blame the little guy for his big thirst, we always have water on our bedside tables.  I bought a simple little Sunbeam humidifier for his room, but frankly, I’m the one who was coughing so I tried it out in our room.  I’ve been in prop planes that were quieter.  Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it didn’t really stop me from sleeping but it does wake me up when it starts spitting and sputtering.  Hubby is not too happy about it either , so I guess I’m returning it. Just not sure when.  The only upside is that it kept me from listening to his chirping  and I actually fell back asleep faster.

I’ll have to break out the big bucks for a sleeker, quieter model, you know – use the bucks I save for the babysitter.

Not my turn

Ah, it’s a boring saga but it’s mine.  I have something slightly less boring for you later…..

I had DH wake up the Precious at about 5:45 and asked him to change him into a cotton sleeper, then feed him dinner and then put him back to bed…. and one hour later, he went right back to sleep with no playtime.  And then he woke up at 4:10am.  However, it’s DH turn to get up now that it’s the weekend.  He gave him a big bottle of milk and had him back to sleep in 15 min.  And of course back up this morning around 7:30am.

So from what I’ve been reading, this is a fairly typical thing in his age range and there is no one thing that will magically fix it.  So we will try the early to bed thing again tonight.  Now he had a big dinner right before going to bed – meaning he eats about a jar and a half of baby food, then pureed fruit.   Then he gets a six ounce bottle.  I don’t think I can get him to eat any more food than he already does.  He lets me know when he’s had enough (he’s got the arm block down to a science).  He gets solids 3 – 5  times a day and milk (4 bottles throughout the day).  If we’re out and about, he gets Mum Mum rice crackers til we get home.

So, I guess this is the part where I learn to roll with things.  However, all your suggestions are duly noted and I will probably try them alllllllllll!