Friday, March 20, 2009

We're Not Alone, But...

A rambling post because I'm never NOT sleep-deprived any more.  It was another night in which Limelet kept us / me awake most of the night. His sleep is just so messed up since being sick.  He didn't go to sleep until almost 11 last night, then woke up at 1 (briefly, and went back to sleep just fine with no nursie), then again at 3--when he ended up staying awake until after 6am.  I would put him on my  shoulder and walk around a little, or rock him in my lap while sitting (his 2nd-preferred ways to get to sleep) and he would drop off, but then when I sat on the bed or lay down he'd wake up again and beg for nursie.  He really wants nursie to get back to sleep.  

Night-weaning has been such a huge pain for all of us (especially Limelet, no doubt).  If he hadn't been such an agonized teether I could have done it a year ago.  So now that he's finally done teething, he's getting this steady stream of illnesses that interrupt the process instead.  

I have now instituted night-weaning three times, (the first two times went as planned and then--BAM! Ear infections) and I am bloody well not doing it again, as I insisted at the last, horrible, traumatic time where he was sobbing pathetically for nursie.  The first night is always just awful, awful, awful and traumatizing.  He's always okay by the second night, doesn't seem traumatized and rejected by the whole "nursies are sleeping" thing, although he might not like it.  So we are NOT going to initiate the process all over again--we're going to get through it this time.  This going back-and-forth thing can't be good for him.  He needs consistency, and he needs to practice falling asleep without nursing.  

Just--last night, he had a lot of trouble doing it.  I am feeling proud of myself because I managed to talk myself through the irrational angry impulses and be (mostly) soothing, even after repeated almost-sleeps and recurring getting-ups for three hours.

At 4am TheLimey recommended that I just give in and nurse (he was being woken up a lot, too, of course), but there was no way I was going to do that.  It's like saying no, and then giving them the thing they wanted at the store just because they cried about it enough.  It trains them to "press the bar more frequently" or cry more just to get that thing.  

TheLimey wonders if we shouldn't wait a couple months to try this again because then at least I won't be working so many hours.  However, Limelet's dental procedure is coming up in just a few weeks.  He can't have anything, even water, after midnight, so no nursing.  I want him to be used to not nursing at night by then and okay with it.  If we go ahead and let him nurse all night up to that night, and then stop just for the night, what's going to happen is another traumatic "first night" of sobbing pathetically all night, and both me and Limelet being traumatized and weepy the night before his procedure.  Just what I don't need, and neither does he.

That's not the only reason I want to finally get through / past this, but it certainly is a galvanizing factor.  I also want to stop with all the ambivalence already! and just give him the one option: no nursie at night.  Sleep through!  Or get back to sleep some other way.  Rather than,  "well, some nights you have to sleep through, but other nights I may give in if you cry the right way, or for long enough, or whatever."  That's too hard and confusing.

We were doing that thing where you limit night nursing to before 11pm and after 6am, (7 hours of no nursie), but parts of that are not working.  As someone warned me, he has started to anticipate the 6am nursing and to awake earlier and earlier for it.  Because it's still so darn dark at 6am, or even 7, I can't use the "wait until it's light" technique.  I think he does not know what the difference is between nursing at 6am and at any other time in the middle of the night, which confuses the issue for him and creates inconsistency.  So that will have to be the next thing to change--the first nursie of the day will have to be either when it's light (which is too late to get up for work and day care), or after we get up and go downstairs in the morning, just to differentiate.

Of course, then I have to figure out how I am going to get in my 10-minute morning routine (bathroom, wash face, throw on clothes) which I usually do while he's sleeping in the morning after his 6am nursing.  If he's awake, he totally freaks out that I'm in the bathroom, especially in the mornings when he knows we are all getting ready to go our separate ways.  It's really not fun trying to get washed and dressed while your tiny kid is screaming miserably and hanging on your leg.  I really hate starting the morning like that, for him, too.

Looks like a lot of other co-sleeping parents are having the same issues we are .  In one sense this helps, because I feel like I'm not crazy.  But in another sense, I want to hear that these people found X, Y, Z to work once they implemented it, rather than "this is awful for all of us, and we can't escape it!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Son, the Sparkly Vampire

In the past few days more than one person has randomly told me that Limelet looks "just like" the guy from Twilight. Which I haven't seen and probably won't.  

Unfortunately, he's just too young to capitalize on it because he's 2-1/2.  By the time he's even in middle school, no one will remember the movie.  (Except way-older people.)

Oh well; he'll still be good looking.  ;)

Neverending Story (of Sickness)

Limelet was sick again this week, with similar  symptoms to his previous ear infections, i.e.: a few vomit episodes apparently out of the blue, sort of feverish, fussy, cranky, loss of appetite, wants everything he can't have, exhausted but can't sleep (meaning Limelet and I both got 2-3 hours sleep a few nights in a row--well,  he actually got a few more hours than that, but I was facilitating it).  The sleep deprivation would have been difficult but tolerable if I wasn't working [outside the home] because I'd take a nap with him.  But going out to work on that amount of sleep is awful.  It's still amazing to me how functional I am with almost no sleep for nights on end.  Highly unpleasant, but amazing.  Nevertheless, it still meant that I got almost nothing done at work those days because I simply couldn't,  which means that all the work I've been waiting to do over spring break when students are gone--hasn't gotten done.  Also took a day off to take Limelet to doctor, so my five long-awaited work days have just evaporated.

Good news: no ear infection this time, just some viral illness!  So that means it will only last a few days, most likely--it's probably almost over already.

I am still angry at myself for how cranky I get at him after just a few nights of sleeplessness.  Well, not when he's just sitting there being normal, but when he's being unhappy and miserable because he's sick and exhausted and miserable, too.  I just lose my patience entirely when he goes to pieces over something trivial.  I've even had the (resisted) impulse to spank him when he's screaming, despite knowing that it won't actually help anything at all (even if I thought it was okay to do so).  I wish that didn't come up for me, but there it is.  I had to leave the room once and ask TheLimey to go in and watch him for a minute as I was becoming unreasonably angry.  (Thank goodness I have a partner so I can do that.)  Of course, then I feel horribly guilty because Limelet is crying his guts out in the other room and feeling abandoned on top of whatever misery he was already experiencing.  Then when he goes to sleep he continues with little sobs while he's sleeping.  Terrible!

I am so sick of this whole constant, constant, constant sickness thing.  It darn well better end after a year as everyone says.  I can't imagine how people cope who have a child with a serious chronic illness, as opposed to Limelet's (and our) constant minor-to-moderate illnesses.  I imagine they have to marshal more resources, or it just wouldn't work.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Five, Six, Who's Counting?

I realized the other day that Limelet has been sick five times in the past six weeks.  Two of those illnesses were ear infections, which we (his parents) didn't get, but we got the other things.  And this pattern has been pretty stable since last September.  We were just discussing the other day how before one has kids, one hears parents say things like "once they're in school/day care, you'll be sick all the time, at least during the first year."  Which I guess we heard but--didn't really hear.  We really are sick all the flippin' time.  You know how great it feels to get over an illness when you've been struggling through each day tired and bleary, or coughing, or with diarrhea, or throwing up, or whatever?  

Well, I used to know that feeling of relief, too. But now, it's downright unusual to have a day (or even group of days--imagine!) in which we don't feel awful.  It certainly makes everyday life a lot harder.  We were so excited to have Limelet's teething finally end so I could start night weaning.  Which went well for about 5 days.  But this constant stream of illnesses just blows any kind of routine--day or night--completely out of the water.  It's more a matter of just surviving day to day.  Who feels well enough to cook something this weekend so we can eat it during the week?  How can we keep Limelet occupied and distracted from his symptoms without having to expend too much energy because we're too tired to play with him properly this evening?  This has led to way too many viewings of Arthur and Mary Poppins for my conscience.

Oh, and speaking of his teeth, we finally were able to get him to the dentist.  He got my oral bacteria instead of TheLimey's, it's pretty clear--he has seven (7!) cavities already and will have to get general anesthesia to get them taken care of.  Since TheLimey took him in, he only got a mild version of the erroneously informed anti-nursing lecture, but I'm sure if it had been me it would have been more accusatory.  Okay, I don't know that, but I'm betting on it. I'm going to take the path of avoidance as far as possible.

In other news, Limelet is really starting to engage in imaginative play.  He makes "food" out of Play-Doh and pretend to eat it (luckily is not much of a non-food eater so far), and reads books to his "action figure", Ducka Guy. He saw that Ducka Guy was standing in such a way that he appeared to be looking at a  book, and asked him "You want a book? A libwawy book? How 'bout dis one?"  And then read Scuffy the Tugboat to Ducka Guy by turning the pages and describing what was happening in the pictures.  It was unbearably cute.