Parenting

Mr. 1’s adventures in the night

Halloween is a spooky time of year, but it doesn’t take much to scare a child. He was probably just dreaming that mommy was too lazy to go to the grocery store again and that we were STILL out of milk and bananas. Horrifying, but possible.

(Thank goodness to wonderful husbands who can stop at the store on their way home from work!)

Whatever he was dreaming about, Mr. 1 woke up shortly after 10 pm crying. It was not an intermittent “Gee, I’m having a little trouble going back to sleep.” cry. It was a loud and continuous “I’m scared and alone!!” cry.

This is the first “nightmare” that Mr. 1 has had. Mr. 3 used to get them every once in a while at this age too.

I went into the room and picked him up. I patted him on the back and talked to him in a quiet soothing voice, hoping that we wouldn’t wake up his brother in the process. Mr. 1 hiccupped and kept saying “da da da” but gave no indication of the meaning of these noises. When he saw the cat slink by he started whispering “meow” and seemed to feel better. So I sang him twinkle twinkle and he leaned toward his crib. He laid down quietly and I left and shut the door.

Wonderful!

Except less than 2 minutes later he started crying again! I sent Daddy in there to try his hand at calming the poor child, but he started crying again as soon as Daddy closed the door.

What should we do? Should we let him cry it out and settle himself to sleep? What if he wakes his brother? We waited 2 minutes to see what would happen, but although the crying would slow it would not stop.

I decided my poor little baby needed something else. I brought him some water, which he didn’t want. I picked him up and took him out of the room. I fed him a leftover piece of the granola bar I had been eating, and offered him the water again. He seemed calm and relaxed now so I offered to take him back to bed. He pointed at mommy and daddy’s bed.

I threatened him, “Okay… you can sleep with us BUT you have to stay put. No wiggling and trying to escape. IF you leave the bed you go back to your crib.” (This was the first time he will have tried to sleep in an open bed, and also the first time to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.)

He seemed to agree and I put him down on the bed. He immediately clambered up onto my pillow and took up 97% of it, and he only left me about a foot and a half of bed to sleep on. But he was laying still and trying to sleep.

He managed to stay in bed for about 4 hours when I heard a groan and found him crawling over Daddy’s head and trying to escape.

I brought him to his crib and he didn’t complain, and slept the rest of the night normally. Mr. 3 never woke up enough to complain.

 

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About

August

The month is almost over! It seems to me that the older we get the faster time seems to go by. You also get a speed boost for each child you have. When I had only 1 child it felt like I had a handle on the passage of time, but with two children I sometimes wake up and realize the month is over already.

The 3-Year-Old

He hasn’t worn a diaper since the beginning of the month, and I am trying to learn to trust him and not nag him so much about “Do you need to pee? Do you need to poo?” I know it is frustrating to him to be asked these questions constantly, but he does still forget to take care of himself sometimes. Still, I am so relieved he has finally made the leap and is mostly accident free, even at night.

He is obsessed with Blippi the TV show. In fact he spent nearly 2 hours watching Blippi on the Kindle today.

I did not let him watch TV until he was nearly two years old, but his brother (who is 1) will follow him around and watch the show with him for as long as it is playing. I’m torn between enforcing limits for the two and letting him learn his limits on his own.

I try to think back to when I was young and single and lived in my own apartment. I watched a lot more TV but I usually only watched it while “studying” or doing homework. I also played a lot of video games. Yes, he is 3, but part of me thinks he should still get to play the games he wants to play.

I had him pause the video and told him how watching too much television wasn’t good for his brain or his body. That he needed to play games and run around so his brain can form new connections, so that he can learn new things, and so that his muscles and bones will stay strong and healthy. Then I took his brother for a nap.

20 minutes later he came into the room and laid down with me. It turns out the Kindle ran out of battery. I told him that made me happy and I reminded him why watching too much television wasn’t good for us. Then he asked me to read 9 books (always 1 more!) and fell asleep pretty quickly after the read-a-thon.

The 1-Year-Old

Mr. 1 has started doing board puzzles.

My favorite is Melissa and Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle, and his favorite is Melissa & Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle.

He still has a little trouble turning some of the bigger pieces when they have the little peg, because he insists on using the peg, but he has shown great improvement over the last week.

He is also becoming more independent and wants to do everything himself. Unfortunately, he is also easily frustrated and spends a lot of the time shrieking when something goes wrong. He is trying, and he knows how to ask for help, so I try to be patient and let him learn.

<35> Week Old

It is still early. In fact, I was supposed to get my period today. Instead I have:

  • Nausea and gas
  • Fatigue
  • Fuller, more sensitive breasts
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Constant thirst and increased hunger

I don’t know if it’s related, but sometimes my spit turns to glue in my mouth. It’s pretty weird.

Mr. 3 keeps asking if I’ve been to the hospital yet, and I have to explain that it will take a while for the baby to be fully grown. Mr. 1 has no idea what’s happening.

I hope you all had a satisfying month!

Daily Lessons, Language

I want to be a Contractor when I grow up. What does a Contractor wear?

My 3-year-old is all about putting on a costume to assume a new persona. Although he doesn’t have a costume for his “Snowflake the Horse” personality. Or his “concrete mixer” personality which he has been using most of the last few days. He likes to argue too, “I can’t wash my hands, I have WHEELS.” or “I can’t go in the potty, HORSES pee on the GRASS”.

Well, it’s been interesting at home the last few days because we have a contractor who is tearing down our old deck and building us a beautiful giant new deck. Monday they tore down the existing deck, and both kids just watched the process almost entirely without distraction.

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Yesterday they dug giant holes in the yard where they will be putting the support beams. I wonder if there is a proper name for that? I almost wish the contractor would talk to them every morning and explain to them what he’s doing!

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It is just INCREDIBLE how much dirt comes out of those holes.

Having a contractor do work around your house is expensive, but there is an added benefit that your kids will probably be fascinated by them. Yesterday was the most productive day I had in 3 years. I vacuumed the entire upstairs, cleaned the bathtub, laundry, dishes, scraped the stove (this took a long time since it hadn’t been done in months) and more.

How is it that a day later all those things need doing again?

The contractor is now waiting on inspection so I have to entertain my kids myself today.

Mr. 1 is learning so much lately, and is really trying to become his own independent person. He no longer wants to be picked up and set down in his high chair or car seat. He has to climb and try to buckle himself in. This can take a lot of time and frustration. But he’s also trying to jump and get his feet off the floor, and he’s saying more words out loud. Today’s new word was “Throw” which he saw in his favorite book, My World, My Words.

Honestly, though, it is hard to say what their favorite books are because they read SO much. Take a look at the right column in my home school journal. Those are the books we read over those few days and probably doesn’t even include the books my husband reads to them during “Mommy time”.

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My own personal favorite kids book right now is the Gobble Gobble Mooooo Tractor Book. It has such cute pictures and is a lot of fun to read. It is about some farm animals that are pretending to drive the tractor and make their interpretations of all the necessary noises.