Posts Tagged ‘ baby sleeping ’

Fia’s Angry Words (Does She Think We Yell at Her?)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I was in my office this afternoon and Fia came in “to play.” Usually that entails trying to type on my computer, or getting out markers, pulling a Post-It note, and attempting to color on it. You can imagine where that leads: to bright purple all over my desk. I told her I was working and needed a few minutes of quiet if she could find something to do.

She wandered over to this statue thing of a woman and began talking to it. I was thrilled to see her play on her own. She doesn’t do it much and it was so cute. At first.

“Hi baby,” she said. “You need a nap.” She pretended to cover it/her with an imaginary blanket.

“You need a pacifier. I will get you one,” and so on. I was just sitting there smiling, thoroughly enjoying the moment. But then, her tone turned and I must say I was a bit shocked. She began screaming and really railing on the non-baby statue:

“Stop standing up in your crib!” she screamed.

“I am going to shut the door!!!”

“You get a time out!”

“I’m going to zip up the crib tent!”

I got up and went to her. “Fia, you don’t need to shout like that. Why are you doing that?” “Because the baby was bad,” she said. Huh? What?

Okay, what she shouted are all things we say–not shout– to get her to go to sleep. It’s a song and dance like many parents experience. But we never ever yell. Neither does Cleo. I’m around all the time and I hear how it goes.

We are firm, but never mean. I’ll say in a totally regular voice, “Fia, lie down. Fia, I said lie down.” She’ll look at me and grin. Sometimes I get down on her at face level, grin with her, touch noses, and we both laugh. It’s kind of our little “thing.” Then I say, “Okay honey, I’m going to have to take your pacifier away if you don’t go to sleep.” I usually gesture as if I’m about to pull it, then she concedes, lies down and I tickle her forehead.

Sometimes she’ll be standing in her crib and won’t lie down and I walk towards the door, like I’m leaving. “No mama! Tickle my forehead!”

“Then lie down,” I say, sternly. She does and I tickle.

We get about 3 sleep encores a night like this before she really goes down. I’m really never even frustrated by it. I figure this is just par for the course.

Also, in terms of time outs, I’m not just saying this because I’m her mom: Really, she’s only had about 3-5 of them in her life. I’m not a lax parent. She’s just a really good kid. She follows rules, likes order and routine, and is just an affectionate, goofy, fun-loving girl. She doesn’t misbehave much. Rarely tantrums. Something like the nighttime routine described above would never warrant a time out. She has to do something really wrong to get one. And she just doesn’t.

So what is up with her imitating us in such an angry way? It broke my heart to hear her shout like that. Is this a normal toddler thing or does she think we really yell? What is her perception of us? Of herself? That she’s a bad girl? Or am I overthinking all this? Please parents, help me on this one. I don’t want to lose sleep over it. It’s weighing on me.

Add a Comment

Solo Parenting Sucks–At Least When Hubby’s Away

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Refusing To Eat

It’s amazing the yin and yang of motherhood. This Sunday, while Phil was on day 9 of his epic LA journey (that I thought would never end), my two closest mom friends took me to brunch. Sans babies. It was heaven. We actually went to a nice place, complete with linen tablecloths. I didn’t find myself grabbing for the ketchup before Fia flung it across the room; the water and ice remained on the table; we didn’t pull out crayons as an act of desperation. And the conversation. Oh my god, the conversation. We actually spoke in complete sentences. I realized I still really do know the English language.

After that, I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I had no qualms about leaving Fia with the sitter for the majority of the day. I needed the break. Between Phil’s absence, the impending move to LA and subletting our Brooklyn apartment, the pregnancy and my freelance work, I could easily justify the R & R.

In short, Sunday was glorious.

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

That’s what awoke me at 5:15 Monday morning. WTF? Fia sleeps until 6:30. Except Monday she decided to throw me a fast one. The rest of the day consisted of dodging curve balls (I know nothing about baseball, so pardon if my puns are messed up).

By that evening, I was so spent I just camped out on the couch with Sesame Street. I couldn’t deal.

I put her in her high chair with food and waited for the clock to hit 6:30—that’s when we begin the bedtime routine. She sat there, not touching anything.

I asked her (from the couch) to please eat. Instead, she took a gob of peanut butter and wiped it in her hair. Then did this devilish “heh heh heh” laugh. I kid you not, it kinda freaked me out. Maybe she is possessed? Do I need a priest? Maybe I was so tired my imagination was running wild.  I took her out and gave her a bath.

She loves the bath. This night, she hated it. Screamed the whole time. And did that devil laugh. Good god. She threw water everywhere. I got done as quickly as I could, changed into comfy sweats myself, then gave her the bottle. She drank all of it, and I had a glimpse of optimism that I would soon be off the clock, in my comfy clothes, relaxing. I pulled her to my shoulders to hug her goodnight as I always do.

“BLEHHHHHHHAACCHHHKKK!!!!!!!!!”

Are you f–king kidding me? I look at her and myself. We were covered in barf. What amazes me is how calm I am outwardly. I think I just go into my own possessed trance mode. Inside though, I wanted to cry. And scream. And maybe break something. Instead, I put us both in the shower, with our clothes on, peeling them off and washing off the barf. Neither of us enjoyed the experience. I got us both into our pajamas, said good night and she went down.

I sat on the couch thinking about what a difference a day makes. Sometimes it’s too my benefit. Other times like this, when the massage/brunch/relaxation go out the window at the speed of lightning, it’s to my detriment. It just amazes me how fast moods and scenarios can change with a toddler.  I guess that’s life and it’s nothing I don’t already know. It’s just more magnified now, since it’s not all about me. In the end the ebbs and flows even out, right? They must. I hope so.

Suffice it to say, Phil came home on a red-eye later this week. I don’t know who was happier to see him: me or Fi. It makes me realize that gaps he fills in. We trade off mornings getting up with her. And he takes over at 6 pm and gets her fed and ready for bed. I’ll be relieved in a few short weeks when we’re all in LA together and this solo parenting thing becomes a rarity. I don’t know how the single moms out there do it, or the military moms, or anyone who parents alone. But I know one thing: I bow deeply to them.

Add a Comment

Wayne Sanchez Woes–My Transexual Cat

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Sometimes I really want to kill you Wayne Sanchez. Yes I’m your mama. Yes I rescued you from the streets. And yes, we took off your boy parts and gave you a vagina. But that was to save your life. It put us in debt. We could have bought a car for what we spent turning you into a transsexual. Where’s the gratitude?

Fia and her favorite feline

Fia and her favorite feline

At the end of the day, as much as I think your Fia’s older brother, you need to remember you’re still a cat. I was worried about you two not getting along. Little did I know you’d lure her in as your co-conspirator–especially at mealtime. You get fatter and she gets skinnier. And mama gets closer to a nervous breakdown.  She dangles turkey, I beg her to eat it, you swat at it, and I swat at you. But for that brief second when her mouth is open in glee, I can usually shove it in. That is, if you don’t go in for the kill first and gobble it up yourself.

So I keep you around because as much of a pain in the ass you are, you distract her.  I am at both of your mercies.

At night, when you’re sleeping with Daddy and me, don’t think I don’t notice what happens when I get up to pee. I come back and you’ve moved right into my spot. Every single g-dd-mn night. Even resting your fat furry head gently on my pillow. As if you’re me. Where do you think I’m going to go? On the floor? I am a mom though, so I softly move you over and we spoon.

Yet you still don’t show me the love–because at 6 a.m., when we are getting those precious last minutes of sleep, you get hungry. You know that if you wake up Fia, we have to get up—and you get fed. So you sit outside her door, meowing–loudly. If I go get you, she’ll hear the floor creak and wake up. Either way, I’m screwed. Secretly I would like to acknowledge that this proves how smart you are. Or at least pretty damn cunning. But this behavior has to stop. Or else.

Or else what you ask? (And I can see that question in your eyes as you smirk at me). Well, that’s the problem. You know there is no real threat. And that as your mama, I have unconditional love for you. I didn’t max out credit cards and visit you daily at the vet for 18 days straight to walk away. And that’s the hard part about motherhood. When the going gets tough, I have nowhere to go. And apparently neither do you. And that’s exactly the way you want it.

IMG_0767

Add a Comment

Sleep Training–It’s a Gift

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

sleep training, pacifiers

yeah, I know. I gotta tackle the pacifier thing soon....

If there is one thing I am evangelical about in motherhood it’s sleep training. I want to spread the gospel far and wide. I want to convert those who don’t believe. I simply don’t get why moms (or dads) would rather suffer and put themselves through Guantanamo Bay-sleep torture by choice.

In fact, I don’t think you should complain about being tired/up with your baby at 3 a.m. if you choose not to sleep train (this excludes the first few months when you hunker down and deal with it). And there are exceptions: illness, special needs babies, adjusting to travel, etc. But at a certain point if you choose not to sleep train it’s like complaining about you’re unhealthy diet and eating donuts all day. Makes no sense. Especially because you’re not doing your child any favors–I mean, babies need sleep. Humans need sleep. We need uninterrupted sleep.  It is essential to life, to our well being.

I didn’t always feel this way. When I first had Fia and my pediatrician suggested letting her cry it out all night, I gasped in horror. And changed pediatricians. By three months I was the walking dead. By four, my husband threatened a padded room and straightjacket. Our strong marriage foundation was getting weaker with each anguished night. Many of my friends had sleep trained. They were gentle with me and would simply say, “If you do it right, it works.” I thought they were monsters.

(more…)

Add a Comment

Irrational Mom Anger Part 2

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Last week I wrote about my irrational anger at everyday noises. Anything that stands in the way of Fia’s nap sets me off. So I came up with a solution. She now naps  in our downstairs bathroom–in her stroller. It’s the only dark windowless room in our house. I turn on the ventilation fan, strap her in, and boom, she’s out within seconds. I can get anywhere from 1-3 hours.

I bank on this time. It’s how I get stuff done.

So it came with extreme irritation and fury when just 30 minutes into her nap Phil came downstairs and yanked open the bathroom door. I was on the phone and mouthed the biggest WTF???? my lips would do, throwing my arm in the air with exasperation. He of all people knows better. He mouthed something angrily back. I hung up my call to the sound of a cry.

?!$#?&%! YOU WOKE HER UP! I shouted, ready to spit I was so pissed.

“IT SMELLS LIKE NATURAL GAS IN THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM!!!” (which is right above the one she naps in) he yelled back, as he gently picked her out of the stroller with a hug. “I WAS MAKING SURE IT WASN’T DOWN HERE!!”  We sounded like the Costanza’s.

Seething, I stormed past them both, went upstairs, and boom the smell hit me like a dozen rotten eggs. It was one of those moments where I knew he was right. And should be touched by his protective nature. For god’s sakes…you don’t mess with gas. It can kill.

Yet, somewhere inside, a voice was still saying, “But did you have to open the bathroom door so loudly??”

I sulked downstairs, knowing my to-do list would stay to-do. I couldn’t bring myself to apologize. I was still fuming. “I’ll call the management company,” I said tersely.

They told us to put a fan in the upstairs bathroom and call them back in 45 minutes if the smell persisted. (Great advice by the way. Seriously?)

(more…)

Add a Comment