Last night was T's first night in the crib. Although he started in the crib, as usual our night ended the following morning with him in my bed and my nipple up his nose. For a few weeks now he's had this ultra fussy time between about 3 AM - 7 AM where he just cries and squirms and won't sleep, won't take the pacifier, and I nurse as much as I can until my nipples just can't take anymore. In the moment it's pretty horrible, although by morning it's all but forgotten. I was hoping the crib transition might somehow help with this. Nope.
Tonight I did an experiment and put him to bed at 8 and sat in the living room with the new baby monitor on my lap. Now, you have to remember I have never done this - never not had the baby, Bumpus or Theo, not right with me at all times (except of course when I go out and hire a sitter). I've never used a baby monitor before. Why am I doing it now? I don't know, really - part of me wants to get a jump on instilling good sleep habits early and not having to go through what I went through with B having no schedule until he was one. And part of me feels like the baby wants to be in bed in a nice quiet, dark room rather than in a noisy, bright living room when nighttime comes.
But maybe part of me is enjoying having some control over my younger, more malleable child, as my older child more and more develops a mind of his own. So many things that used to be so easy have become so hard lately. He has stopped being willing to sit in his high chair and refuses a bib - he will only sit at the table; or rather, will sit at the table for a few seconds before running off to play with toys and/or put his greasy hands on everything in the house. I find myself three times a day chasing him futilely all over the house with spoonfuls of food, and it drives me completely insane. I had bought a booster seat for him but then his legs wouldn't fit under the table so I had to return it. I put it out on one of my mommy groups on Facebook to ask if these mealtime shenanigans are normal and inevitable or if I should be a hard ass and really lay down the law about sitting still while eating - but everyone had a different opinion. Interestingly the ones who said "lay down the law" were ones who haven't experienced this age yet. They don't know yet that you kind of can't force a two-year-old to do anything. You can't shove food down their throat if they don't want it; you can't force them into a bath tub if they don't want to be there (they'll just jump out and pee on the bath mat...so I've heard...); and you definitely cannot force them to sit still and eat. Threatening no food if they don't sit still is useless because they don't want to eat anyway. So I endure this rigmarole three times a day, every day - B running around the kitchen like a crazy person, pushing his chair up to the counter and pulling all the cookbooks out and ripping the pages, flinging the dirty dishes with dirty water collected in them all over, starting the microwave, shaking the salt and pepper all over the counter, while I try to coax him back to the table with milk, grapes, blueberries, whatever. When I physically restrain him and force him to sit he just has a massive meltdown, flings his food all over the floor and won't eat, and then whines and cries for hours after from the trauma of being made to sit somewhere. It fucking sucks. So I let him get away with murder and chase him with food, always wondering if I should be clamping down and somehow force him to sit and eat properly, all the while knowing that's probably impossible. Oh, and as soon as another traumatic mealtime is finally over, now it's time for the baby to clamp my nipples with his hard palate for half an hour while Bumpus climbs on my back or lies down behind me and repeatedly kicks me in the kidney.
And you wonder why I prefer to spend most of my day in the car...?