Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Today was such a love/hate kind of day, with regards to parenting. To be honest, mostly hate. But it's surprising despite all the whining, tantrums, yelling of "no", and  destruction of property, at the end of the day I can say to myself, "hey, you got him in the bath, he ate some food, and he's in bed, good job!" I did put him to bed a half hour early, though, because a) I couldn't deal, and b) he can't tell time yet. So. Yay me. 

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...?


  1. Oh, I SO get it with the mealtime thing! I do still strap Jordyn in her chair (or sometimes not strap her in, but then it's a struggle to get her to stay seated and not stand up with the chair threatening to tip over...). Anyway, the "no" to everything and belligerence... OMG I so hate toddlerhood! Well, at least a lot of it, maybe not all of it.

    Hang in there.

  2. E went thru that phase (& still regresses to it, oh every couple of weeks, ugh!!) I'm a bad mom & resulted to letting her watch a DVD at the table as then she would sit still so I could get the food into her. If she didn't eat, then no DVD. Then I found out my mom was doing the same thing at breakfast & lunch & that wasn't ok with me...so I have cut that out (at dinner at least, I think my mom still does it often). The next thing was she insisted on sitting on my lap to eat & that's when it dawned on me that she was wanting my attention with me having been at work all day. So now 70% of the time I do this, it's not ideal but hey, she eats. Call it lazy parenting if you want...it keeps me from being stressed & upset & like I said, she eats. I fight her & am strict about so much, I'm okay to give in on this one.

    Hopefully you'll find a solution that works for you two. & good luck with the crib sleeps

  3. Do you put B in a high chair? I usually have to give Felix something to hold while I finish getting dinner ready, or he's a weepy whiny mess. And I strap him into his chair so he doesn't grab knives/pull boiling water off the stove/you know the drill.

  4. When J went through this, I put non messy food on a low plate and let him handle it from there. If he was hungry he would go back and forth to eat. If he wasn't, he didn't eat and we went back and did whatever. He's still busy now but he gets the point enough that its not a fight. B will grow into it.

  5. I put Sidekick in his crib in his room from day one. He was sleeping eight hours straight at four weeks old and 13 hours at nine weeks old. I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" (or something like that). It made complete sense to me when helping him become a good sleeper and it isn't "mean" at all. He loves his crib and always has. I told a friend the following analogy one day when she said that she was struggling transitioning her son from a Rock n Play to a crib: If you were sleeping in a nice cozy bed and then the bed was ripped away from you and you were forced to sleep on hardwood floors, you would be miserable. I think babies feel the same way. He's been in a cozy bed with you for his whole life and is now stuck in this flat bed all alone. He'll get used to it and will become a good, independent sleeper. Just give him some time to adjust. I think you'll find it is a good thing if you can get through the painful few days of transitioning. As much as you might want to cave and bring him in bed with you, stay strong so you don't confuse him. As far as B... every once in a while I am in toddler hell also with eating. After fighting him, I end put him in his room for about two minutes and then go in, talk to him, and see if he wants to try eating again. If it happens again, I repeat. I make it clear that I will not tolerate that behavior... especially at the table. I've also realized that if he doesn't eat very much one night, he won't starve to death. Hang in there! You are doing awesome!

  6. I read some suggestions that said (for picky toddler eaters -- for a while my toddler barely ate and was a very low weight, thankfully not anymore) to set out food in muffin tins, a different choice in each little cup of the muffin tin, and just let them graze. obviously this won't work for messy foods like cottage cheese, but it would be good for blueberries and pieces of cheese and crackers and the like. on the flip side, some say snacking is bad. my hunch would be that if he doesn't want to sit down to eat, he probably isn't hungry. i don't force Calliope to sit down to eat, but I also don't give her any afternoon snacks. she has lunch around one, then naps, then has dinner around 5:30. if she doesn't want to eat when dinner is served, fine. i leave her plate on the table and she can come back to it when she's ready. but once it's bedtime, no food.

    takes the power struggle out it. it's her business to decide if she's hungry. some nights she doesn't eat dinner... but it's almost never happened that she's woken up hungry. toddlers are weird eaters but their sense of self preservation is incredibly strong.