A Worthy Companion

Teddy was my world.  I couldn’t live without him.  I couldn’t sleep without him.  I loved him to pieces before I even got out of elementary school.  He had been my sleeping companion from my first Christmas on to an age I won’t disclosed as I’m sure I was too old.  Even though he was a boy teddy bear, I dressed him up for special occasions in the only outfit that would fit him, a white and green checkered dress.  When it was time to go to college, I couldn’t leave him behind.  He stayed on my bed as my companion, some one I cried to when my heart got broken.  So when I had children, I naturally assumed they would have something that they loved like that.

Evan did not.  He could take it or leave it.  He didn’t need anything special.  It wasn’t until recently that a friend of mine brought him a handmade dinosaur from Thailand that Evan started to love a toy constantly.  But a few months later, Evan prefers to have Toothy, but he could live without him.

Sean loves his Blanky.  It’s one of those super soft baby blankets lined with satin.  It’s blue with one color embroidered with “Thank Heaven for Little Boys.”  It was originally Evan’s, which I took every time we flew, matching the ultra-blue outfit that just screamed boy because I always worried about having to prove he was a boy to match his ticket.  (Weird, I know, but all babies look uni-sex.  Yeah, I know.  But after they stopped and searched me when I was six months pregnant, I wasn’t taking any chances.)  Sean loves his blanket to pieces.

Blanky is now Sean’s constant companion.  If, for some chance, he forgets it or picked up without it, he cries, “Blah, Blah” as he reaches towards it.  He’ll put it down to play games he needs both hands for, but usually he has to have it, at meals, at stores, at the park.  The problem is he drags it behind him as it collects dust.  To make matters more complicated, poor Sean has allergies, making it very important to have a clean Blanky.  I haven’t mentioned how he had to have it at dinner that was topped off with chocolate ice cream.

So what’s a poor mother to do?   

Break her baby’s heart every time the leave the house?  Or wash the blanket two to three times a week?  People, I’m running out of clothes to wash with it.  Oh, well, I’ll just stock up on the best stain remover and start scouring the internet for a replacement, just in case.

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Like a barnacle: Or why are you in my bed AGAIN?

Hark! Glad tidings I bring to moms and dads.  Peace.  Good nights to toddlers and preschoolers!  There is hope for Evan is finally learning to sleep through the night.

If there is one thing I have learned from parenting, it is that never judge another parent.  (Ok, there are cases like neglect, abuse, feeding a twelve month old soda, taking young children to an R rated movie at 10 at night deserve some judgment, just not the every day problems.)  I don’t know why that mom won’t stop her kid’s temper tantrum.  I don’t know why that dad has decided to feed his son ice cream for lunch.  I don’t know why that mom is pushing a four year old around in a stroller. I just don’t understand the situation.  So why is my almost four year old son still trying to sleep in my bed.

I know there are a few of you out there that have toddlers and preschoolers that don’t sleep through the night.  When I first learned about such children when I was pregnant with Evan, I thought obviously the parents did something wrong.  Now obviously there’s something wrong with the kid.

Evan was a normal baby waking up in the middle of the night for his feedings, and in my exhausted state, I began to leave him in our bed after the first feeding of the night as I had no energy to get out of bed and put him back in the bassinet, which was at the foot of the bed.  I remember there was a night of two hour feeding all night long.  But as he was weaned, he still woke up in the middle of the night, wanting comfort, wanting his mommy, wanting to be in mommy and daddy’s bed. 

Imagine the complete stupidity and hopelessness I felt when I realized that when I had Sean I would be dealing with TWO babies up during the night.  Luckily, Sean would eat ever hour on the hour through the evening and then sleep until four.  When people asked me how the baby slept for me, I would say, “Fine; it’s the toddler that wakes up all night.”

During these years, we hoped for a resolution to naturally move on it own.  He’ll sleep through the night when he’s weaned.  He’ll sleep through the night when he has solid foods.  He’ll sleep through the night when he learns to run himself out.  He’ll sleep through the night in his own bed.  He’ll sleep through the night when he starts playing hard, if you reduce his nap, if you move his nap earlier, if you force him to go back to bed every time he tries to get into yours.  The last one was the only one that met with some success, and it was sporadic. 

A friend of mine confided with me that her eldest did not sleep through the night until her daughter was five.  FIVE!  My friend said her daughter would talk, sing, count, and recite her ABC’s lying in my friend’s bed as my friend tried desperately to get sleep for the next day.  Then one day, the daughter just slept through the night and then every night after.  (And yes, I scoffed because I was still pregnant with Evan.  Fate is a bitch.)

For the last three years and twenty-two months, I have slept with a child who likes to snuggle against me, pushing me towards the edge of the bed.  He snuggled so close it felt like a barnacle growing from my back.  Heaven forbid that I face him.  If I faced him, he would pinch and play with my hand, messing with what loose skin he could find, keeping me awake.  If he was smart, he would slide into our bed quietly taking the middle of the California king, where I wouldn’t know he was there until the morning.  Many nights he wasn’t so smart, so I would march him back to bed until he gave up or move in quietly.

So two weeks ago, Evan slept through the night.  We were amazed.  The next night I sent him back to his bed, where he stayed.  The next night he slept through the night again.  I made up a chart, telling Evan if he slept all night for seven nights he would get a toy.  He wanted a robot.  He only woke up one night, and that was because he had peed so much it ran out of his diaper soaking him.  I changed him, put down a towel, and sent him back to bed, where he stayed.  I didn’t count that against him, so he earned his robot.

While he slept through the night after the end of the week, I’ll admit we had a rough night last night, but he does have a fever right now.  I have a feeling we’re over the hump.  Or maybe it’ll have to be a two week chart or a month chart as they say three weeks and the habit is gone.

If you’re child doesn’t sleep through the night, have hope.  I really think they’ll grow out of it.  But I sympathize with you because I bet your kid has to snuggle right up against you like a barnacle.

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What’s that noise?: A way to get Mom in the room and get a baby brother in trouble

It was night.  I had put the boys to bed twenty minutes earlier. The next door neighbor’s dog started barking, again, but at least it was because my brother had pulled up front with his noisy bronco.

 

Evan: Mommy!  Mommy!  Mooooommmmmmyyyyyy!

 

Me: (walking into the room, talking in a hush voice) What’s wrong, Evan?  Shhh.  Your brother is sleeping.

 

Evan: Seanny woke me up!

 

Me: (There is no way Evan was already asleep as he was in deep conversation with Toothy his dinosaur just five minutes earlier.) Sh.  What did Seanny do?

 

Sean snores, but his snore is barely loud enough to reach the end of his bed.

 

Evan: Seanny was barking!

 

Pause.  Deep breath to keep the laughter out of my voice.

 

Me: That was the neighbor’s dog.  Now close your eyes and go to sleep.

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Advice for new parents: Putting your baby to sleep

One of my good friends is having a baby this spring, and I am completely excited because she is the first of my friends to do so.  It’s hard to be the only mom in the group, but my friends are supper awesome, especially my best friend, and they tolerate the mom talk and the mom outings with glee.  So since my old college roommate is having a baby, and I completely can’t stop giving advice, much less talking, I thought I would write a few advice posts.  Here’s the sleeping one.

 

No matter if you decide to co-sleep or place that fragile new treasure in a bassinet, the day will come when you want your room back.  Then you have to introduce your sweet little one to a crib and a room of her own.  Sometimes this is easy.  Sean didn’t care where he slept as long as he got his breast milk for the night.  Evan was a different matter.  He screamed.  A lot.  For two hours.  I would have given in about five minutes in if I didn’t call my mother, who talked to me for two hours, telling me when to go in and soothe him.

 

My great-grandma had a saying for childrearing.  “It takes three times.”  You discipline a child three times for an action; there will be no fourth.  You put the child in bed by himself three nights in a row; the fourth night he’ll be fine.  Those of you who have children know that sometimes there will be a fourth time, fifth time, and sometimes a twentieth time.  But grandma was saying that as long as your persistent, you’ll win.  (And you new mothers who are horrified by the winning analogy, just you wait: it is a battle of wills from the beginning.)

 

Now the second night Evan only cried for an hour, and on the third night he cried for a half an hour.  The fourth night he whimpered and fell asleep after a few minutes.  I assure you that on nights two and three, my mother was on the phone.  I couldn’t have done it without her.  It was heartbreaking, but I knew he had to learn sometime.

 

Now I know this technique isn’t for everyone.  And originally my mom suggested just leaving him in there.  (Not that I think my mom could have done it to her own child; but with distance and time, we forget those things.)  I came up with the plan on checking in on him every fifteen minutes to let him know I was still there and I loved him.  This technique is great for when the baby or toddler or preschooler wakes up in the middle of the night, wanting to party or just crawl into your bed. 

 

Last night Sean woke up at 3:30, wanting to rock and roll, and Evan was up trying to climb into bed with me.  I placed Evan back in his bed, and I hugged Sean and laid him down in his crib with his aquarium playing.  I wasn’t even back in my room before Sean started crying.  Dude, it was 3:30 in the morning!  So I looked at the clock, laid down in my bed, and waited for fifteen minutes.  At 3:45am, Sean was still crying, so I got up and placed him back down in his crib, turning on his aquarium.  At four am, Evan thought he could sneak into my bed again.  Wrong.  I put Evan back in bed, which woke Sean up (who probably wasn’t sleeping any way), who started crying.  I laid Sean back down and returned to my bed, where my husband sat up and said “Sean!”  He couldn’t see me roll my eyes when I told him to go back to sleep, just like Sean did five minutes later.

 

The other highly recommended put-your-child-to-bed technique is to place the child in his crib and sit or stand where the child can see you until the child falls asleep.  Each night you move further and further away from the child.  This is a great beginner technique.  I used it with Sean, which was less heartache than with Evan.  Of course this is a terrible technique when trying to put the kid back to sleep.  This technique could take HOURS!!  And it does.

 

With Evan I made the horrible mistake of letting him sleep with us when he woke in the middle of the night.  That becomes a hard habit to break.  When I was in my third trimester with Sean, I was determined to break the habit.  I began with the moving technique.  It didn’t work at all.  The night I went into labor with Sean I was still using this technique.  Yup, Evan woke at 2:30am ready to party, and I began getting contractions at 3:00 am, convincing myself that they were Braxton Hicks.  (Hahahahahaha!)  By four am, I was willing to entertain the fact that I was in labor eleven days early and that my toddler was jumping around on our bed trying to pillow fight me and my husband.  (For the record, Evan never went back to sleep until his naptime after lunch, after he had seen his new baby brother.)

 

So what will I do with my next child?  I will slowly move away from the crib every night, and in the middle of the night, I will check on the child every fifteen minutes until the child is back to sleep.  And naptimes will remain at a minimum of two hour crib time.  No matter if they whine.

 

Any experienced moms with more stories or better techniques, please comment.

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Solutions to Spiders

Last night Evan went to bed with his newly made spider keeping watch along with his gargoyle on top of his bookcase next to his bed.  My husband decided he would lie next to Evan until Evan fell asleep. 

 

So after I turned off the lights and took Sean to bed, my husband and Evan began a long discussion of whether there were spiders or not.  My husband turned the conversation to the spider Evan made and how it kept all other spiders away.  So Evan climber out of bed, petted the spider, and laid it down to go to sleep.  Then Evan climbed back into bed and asked his father to sing him the Tiki Room song, which my husband didn’t know.  After contemplating this new development, Evan asked for a song about a Tiki, a pineapple, a princess, and a unicorn.  (I plan to write down the song my husband came up with.)  Then Evan pointed to one of his red Chinese paper lanterns and said that it was Mars.  The conversation went on.

 

After an hour, Evan was finally asleep, and my husband was free from his obligation.  He decided to go to bed too.  Now I wonder what kind of consequence this solution has. . . .

Spiders, Spiders Everywhere

Two nights ago I had a series of firsts.  Evan told me what his nightmare was about.  Not only was he able to tell me; he didn’t cry, which was another first  He also forced me to search his bed for spiders, and yet this is another first.  I assumed it would be easy to prove there were no spiders because this wasn’t a monster in the closet or under the bed that could just disappear with the flick of a light switch, promising to be back as soon as it was dark and no parents were around.  No, these were spiders.  Frightening in their own way, but they would still be there, light or no.

When I was a kid, I had two similar nightmares, where I went to my mom and woke her up to ask her to search my bed.  The first night I dreamt that a huge snake was curled up next to me and that I watched it slither down the space between my bed and wall.  My mom turned on the light, moved the bed, and showed me there were no snakes at all.  The next night I dreamt that I was covered with ants.  Again my mom came to my room, turned on my light, and diligently looked for any sign of ants.  She’s a great mom.  The reason she humored me was she remembered listening to a radio personality who told a story of his son having the same nightmare of ants as I did, only the radio guy didn’t check assuming it was a dream.  It turned out the bed was crawling with ants.  Because I grew up in Arizona, it was quite possible that a snake could have got in somehow (ask my brother).  Since I was older than Evan, when I saw the evidence that there were no snakes or ants, I went back to sleep.

Not so for my little guy.  He’s three, and he swears there are spiders in his bed.  The first time he told me, I got up and smoothed his sheets, showing him spider-free sheets.  I explained that there were no spiders in his bed, it was a dream.  The next time I turned on the lights and showed him that underneath and on top of the sheet that there were no spiders.  Did I mention it was now 3:30 in the morning?  The third time, ten minutes after I left his room, I shook out the comforter, and the forth time we looked under the bed.  The fifth time I again showed him the empty sheets.  Each time I calmly explained that there were no spiders and that it was all a dream.  It was all in his head.  Finally the sixth time, now just after 4, I asked if he would rather sleep on the floor.  He preferred my bed.  The thought of telling him there was a spider in our bed occurred to me, but I just wasn’t ready to have a mental crack.  So I said no and tried to usher him back to bed.  He decided that he would prefer to sleep on the floor, so I laid his comforter down with his pillow.  He snuggled up, and I covered him with the remaining half of the comforter.  He came back ten minutes later, and I told him go back to bed before I feed you to the spiders. 

The next morning Evan conducted his own search of spiders, and he found there were none.  But he’s terrified they will be back.  And I wonder how I can convince him.

When I was a freshman in high school, I realized our house had an unusual amount of spiders.  Probably because our old house had very few, and this new house was closer to a desert area than the old house, landlocked by several miles of neighborhoods.  One night I was just about to fall asleep, I heard a rustling under my bed.  I’ll admit at this moment I clutched my teddy bear and thought how I KNEW there were monsters under my bed.  I absolutely KNEW it!  Damn, why did I ever believe grown ups?  Now I was going to die (yes, I clearly had an over-active imagination; still do).  I peaked out one eye to watch something scurry out from under the bed.  In the pale light and my sleepy eyes, this was worse than any boogie man.  This was a scorpion.  I launched myself out of the bed and dashed to my parents’ room, where I breathlessly told my mom what was in the middle of the floor.  Because my dad was out on a call and my mom is a brave woman, she grabbed a tennis shoe and walked back to my room, flicking on the overhead light.  To reveal . . . a wolf spider.  Nothing dangerous, just scary.  My mom killed it any ways, and I asked to sleep in my mom’s bed.  She rolled her eyes and told me to go back to bed because it was a school night.  Thanks.  So then I made a promise to myself to always keep my papers under my bed to warn me (granted I picked this up years before to keep the monster from getting me).  I also decided I needed something else. 

Harry, my new pet plastic spider.  He sat just inside my doorway, keeping vigil over my room, so that I could sleep.  I loved Harry.  Not only was I convinced he kept away spiders, he would scare people who would rush into my room and see a spider out of the corner of their eye.  I moved him around every once in a while just to keep my family on guard.  I had faith Harry would keep the spiders at bay, so now I wonder if that will work for Evan.

Today we are in the midst of making our own spiders.  I have several different activities that make spiders, and I am finding more.  I’ve recorded several “Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends” because Evan last night would not go to sleep in his bed.  My husband found Evan, sitting on his pillow, staring at the foot of his bed.  Evan begged his dad to allow him to “camp out.”  My husband didn’t understand what this meant because he had slept through the nightmares the previous night.  I explained and gave my consent.  But can I allow my son to keep sleeping on the floor?  So any advice on nightmares out there?

Wake up calls at our house

Evan: Mommy, I think Grandma and Papi are sleeping still.

Me: Then go wake them up.  (Yes, I’m a little evil, but they love their grand kids.)

Evan: Ok, I think I’ll go wake them up.

(You can hear the Buzz Lightyear gun going off.  Evan comes back.)

Evan: I don’t think that worked.

Me: Did you try to kiss Papi awake?

Evan: I think I’ll try that.

(Evan leaves and returns.)

Evan: I don’t think that worked.

Me: Did you try to kiss Grandma awake?

Evan: I think I’ll try that.

(Evan leaves.  A minute later you here my mom say good morning. Evan comes back.)

Evan: Mommy, I think that worked well!

Me: Well, did you say good morning?

Evan: Ok.

(Evan leaves again.  You hear my dad roar.  Sean hears the roar and runs to see his Papi and Grandma.  Mornings in our household.)

Tornado S Says

Tornado S is an amazing sleeper.  All right, after Tornado E’s sleeping habits, any kid who sleeps through the night is an amazing sleeper.  But Tornado S is a deep sleeper, like me (or I was before pregnancy).  He sleeps through the night, since he was a few weeks old.  He sleeps through Tornado E’s crying as I send him back to bed.  If that isn’t enough, usually Tornado S wakes up and chills in his crib listening to his little toy aquarium, which is so unlike Tornado E who would demand to get him out of this crib NOW.

 

So yesterday I finished my blogging as I heard Tornado S cooing to his aquarium.  Just having a nice conversation with the plastic fish.  I poked my head into the nursery to watch a few minutes of this quiet monologue.  When Tornado S heard me, he stood up and leaned over the rail to smile at me, and I walked into the room.  Tornado S became excited and started to jump, holding on to the rail.   I began to jump little jumps.  Tornado S stopped, and I stopped.  Not sure what exactly was going on, Tornado S did a test jump and watched me jump once.

 

Realization dawned on Tornado S.  He jumped three times and then landed on his bottom.  I repeated only to crouch down instead of land on the hard floor with my bottom.  I just tend not to want to break my tailbone.  He laughed and repeated the procedure.  He jumped four times and landed on his bottom as I repeated his steps.  He swayed to the left and to the right and did two jumps, landing on his bottom.  I repeated this too.  Then he varied it a little with different jumps and sways.  When I was ready to leave, I held my arms out to him, and he shook his head no, proceeding to jump more.  As I had been at Tornado S Says for ten minutes, I was due for a break, and I was bigger, so I gathered him up and went down stairs to play blocks.

Battling Wills

My mom used to threaten us with “One day you’ll have a child just like you.  And if God is kind, it’ll be a child of the opposite sex, just so you don’t know what to do.”  She was referring mainly to my younger brother.  Those two are peas in a pod and went to battle ALL THE TIME.  My boys are too young to really see who they act like, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my share of battles.

A year ago, Evan decided he didn’t want to nap.  I NEED his naps, and he NEEDS his naps.  I wasn’t planning on taking no for an answer.  So after ten minutes, he came out of his room to tell me he wasn’t tired.  I escorted him back to his room.  Five minutes later he was thirsty.  I handed him his water cup and left.  Ten minutes later he was kicking his walls.  I thanked God that Sean was peacefully asleep in his bassinet in my room.  Five minutes later Evan declared it was time to get up.  I returned a kicking, whining child to his bed.  Ten minutes later he was whining for cartoons.  He tried to dodge me as I went to grab him. Over the shoulder and back to his bed.  Ten minutes later he was in the nursery and tried to climb the crib, giggling.  I dragged him back to his room.  After two hours of fighting, Evan conked out, just before I was about to let him out, and Sean woke up.  The funny thing is a week later I met a woman, with children the same age as mine, who told me her two-year-old refuses to take naps.  As I watched the cranky, tired child stumble around as Evan napped, I thought that’s a fight I would win.  But to each is their own, and Evan still naps, though we have to go to the mat every other month or so.

That was another thing my mom told me.  Children will always test their boundaries to see if the boundaries are still there.  It’s like Jurassic Park, when they were explaining how the raptor kept testing the electric fencing.  Actually now that I think about it, I bet I could come up with more than one comparison of raptors and children . . .

Yesterday was another battle.  Maybe you’ve noticed the tambourine activity that is new.  Well, yes, the boys did love it, but Evan preferred to throw the beans all over the dining room.  At first I felt it was my fault for bringing out the whole container beans and debated on putting out a warning, but my mom said even if it was a bowl, he still should not have done it.  True.  Evan was already a half hour into the punishment when I talked to her.  Yup, he was sitting in the middle of the floor “picking up” beans, which entailed playing with them and throwing them and laughing at Sean as he tried to eat them.  I called my back-up (my mom), who said put him in time out when he won’t pick them up.  For two and half hours we “picked up beans,” I picked up the ones Sean threw, tried to show Evan how you make a pile to go faster, and demanded to do it.  I tried everything: time out, go to your room (incredibly stupid because he played), wait him out, scolded him, stood over him, ignored him, slapped his hand when after almost finishing he started to throw the beans again.  As you could tell, I was at my wits end.  So finally I did as I used to when he was a young toddler.  I took his hand and used it to pick up the beans.  Now I’m sure I didn’t do something right here.  I’m not sure what it was, but the beans were picked up and Evan didn’t get any candy for pottying and didn’t get to play for two and half hours.  I pray he learned his lesson.

Then today.  The very first sibling rivalry fight.  Note the date.  Evan is 3 and 2 months, Sean is 16 months next week.  I had made pancakes for the boys, but Evan refused to eat his.  Fine, then nothing until lunch.  But I did leave the pancake out because sometimes Evan will eat an hour or two later when he’s actually hungry.  I was upstairs getting dressed when I heard the screaming and crying.  Racing downstairs, I see Evan whining for pancake and Sean crying.  I pick up Sean and asked Evan what happened. 

Evan: “I hit Seanny on the back.”

My jaw dropped. He admitted to hitting.  He’s telling the truth.  He’s actually telling the truth.  Wait.  He hit his brother.  Ok.  Calm down.  What to do?

Me: Why?

Evan: He took my pancake.

What?  The pancake?  The one you didn’t want to eat!  That pancake!  And of course, it’s just like Sean to see food and decide he hungry and he’ll have that.  And I look, and sure enough there’s a pancake on the floor with two baby bites.  Ok.  Think.

So I sit on the stair and motion Evan over. 

Me: I bet that made you upset.  But did hitting Sean get your pancake back? (Evan shakes his head.  Sean skirms out of my lap and walks away.)  I think next time Sean takes something that is yours you tell Mommy.  Sean’s too little to know it was your pancake.  He thought you weren’t going to eat it.  Next time say: Mommy, Sean took my pancake.  Can you say that?  (Evan repeats.  Sean comes back and wiggles his way to sit in between us.)  Look, Sean loves you.  He wants to sit by you.  Can you tell him you’re sorry for hitting him? 

Evan: Sorry, Seanny.

Me: Now I’m proud that you told the truth.  That makes Mommy very happy.  But we can’t hit Seanny.  Now give me a hug.

Evan: (hugging me.) Daddy tells me the truth.

Me: Yes, he does.  Now do you want another pancake?

Evan: No.  I want a waffle.

Fine.

So it goes on.  As it is I just was summoned by a toddler who told me he can’t sleep because his bed is too hot. (Sorry, Dad, for all the times I used that.)  I took him back to his room, turned on his fan, turned over his pillow, and laid him back down.  And really, I guess I should be lucky that the boys waited THIS long.  Tim and I began the moment he crawled and took my pacifier away as I sat watching tv.  He didn’t even use a pacifier!  So this is family, wills trying to conquer one another and get what they want.  And it’s up to me to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

Note: As I was putting the tags in, Evan is up again.  He can’t sleep because Seanny is snoring.  Sean does snore, but he’s a baby.  It isn’t loud.  They’re not in the same room.  And Evan has his fan on.  Nice try.  Try sleeping with your dad.  He shakes the whole house.

Sleeping Habits

I have a confession.  I have made a one major error in my parenting so far.  It was stupid.  It was lazy.  I am paying the price right now, but hopefully, I can fix it.  I allowed Evan to sleep in our bed at night.  Not just one time or because of nightmares but because it was easy.  I know it’s not the end of the world.  Or at least it only feels like it now that I am fighting the good fight and forcing him back to bed.  Who needs sleep?

It began as my fault.  As an infant, Evan ate a lot.  I still remember the days of 2 hour feedings.  I mean actually every two hours he would demand to eat no matter if it were day or night.  It lasted a week, but at the time, it felt like a month.  So Evan woke and fed once or twice a night, I was too tired to put him back into the bassinet or crib.  Many nights I fell asleep while breastfeeding only to awake an hour later or so.  Once he stopped feeding in the middle of the night, he just would cry for comfort, and by this time, I was in the habit of picking him up and bringing him to bed.  So the months went by.

About a month before Sean was born, I decided I had had enough.  I was tired of getting up in the middle of the night.  I was tired of being kicked and pushed through out the night.  Hell, I was uncomfortable already; I did not need a size 6 toddler foot in my back as a tiny acrobat used my bladder as a bean bag chair.  I went to battle, turning off that cursed baby monitor.  When Evan cried, I gave him a hug and laid him back down for the next cry.  There were a few nights when Evan actually woke up and decided 3 am is a good time to party. Unfortunately one of those nights I went into labor and cried because I only had 4 hours of sleep before I went to deliver Sean.

And for two weeks, Evan slept fine in his crib.  Then he got his bunk bed.  For two days he slept well in his big boy bed until he learned to get out.  He crept into our bed, snuggled inbetween my husband and I and slept.  As we had a california king bed and Sean slept through the night after the first month, we would wake to find Evan content.  The months went by, and sometimes Evan would sneak in to bed with us.  Other nights he would wake me up for water or to talk to me.  When I talked to my husband about dealing with the issue, he liked Evan in our bed as this too shall pass.  But he wasn’t getting kicked.  So finally after much debating and discussing, we agreed.  Evan needed to sleep in his own room.

The first night he actually didn’t wake up.  But the next nights were nightmarish.  One night for three hours, I was up every twenty minutes putting Evan back in bed.  After nine days, I became sick, which is weird because I have (according to my husband) the immune system of a cockroach.  I guess a couple of hours of sleep at night isn’t the best health strategy.  So Evan came back to bed, and I’m sure he thinks he won.

Now I’m healthy.  I plan to go back to the fight.  As he slept in his bed all night last night, I figure it was a sign from God.  So here I go again.  Of course I do plan on sleeping during nap times because I hate being sick.

As for Sean in all this, the kid sleeps like a rock.  He does take shorter naps than Evan.  But I never had the moniter on when he was moved into the nursery.  I figured if he wanted me bad enough, he would let me know.  When he was just a babe, people would ask, “How’s the baby sleeping for you?”  My answer always was “Great.  Now if only the toddler would sleep the night.”