Monday, July 25, 2011

Wits' End? Um, we must have missed that exit by a few hundred miles.

I. Am. Exhausted. Aiden, who just turned six months, still wakes up 3 times a night. We're working through this phase by giving him bottles of 1/2 water 1/2 breast milk during the night so it "tricks" his brain into thinking he doesn't need those calories at night; thus, he'll drink them all during the day instead. This, in and of itself, makes me/us tired. But, on its own we could deal with it fairly well, I think.
Attempt at a family photo on the Reese vacation . . . you can see how cooperative Asher was ;)
However, the storm on Friday night totally threw Asher for a loop as far as sleeping goes. The constant thunder terrified him - understandably - to the point where he cried horribly every time we left the room. So, we tried having him sleep in bed with us. Bad idea. We never have him sleep with us, so he was just laying in bed awake . . . and so were we (especially because Asher kept kicking my leg). Finally Dusty brought him back to his crib to try again. Asher bawled. Final solution: Dusty slept on the floor next to Asher's crib so he would finally settle down and sleep. Clearly, that was not the ideal solution, but honestly we were too tired to care. Well, it happened again last night, except there was no storm, so we let him cry for 20 minutes (which feels like 3 hours if you've ever tried this method). I ended up sleeping on the floor next to his crib. Sometimes tiredness wins out, but Dusty and I both know if it happens again we'll have to do things differently.

On top of these two things the "terrible twos" are hitting H-A-R-D. Who knew independence was so important to someone who's not even 2 yet? Ok, probably everyone who has ever parented a toddler knows that, but the extent of the independence is what is surprising to me. It's really frustrating because Asher has learned the word "self," so it's clear as day when he does not want Mom or Dad to help. The frustrating part is that he's clearly conflicted - on the one hand, there are things he simply can't do by himself and when he realizes it he says "help." But, try to step in and help and he scowls at you and says "self, self, self." And this cycle continues until he either yells at us for just doing it for him, or we're able to distract him with something else. Distraction is working less and less frequently, however. So, not only are the nights exhausting, but the days are tiring us out, too! We keep telling ourselves it's just a phase (I can hear my mom's voice reassuring me with those words on a daily basis), but sometimes it's hard to keep that in mind. We like to call Asher "sour patch" ("first sour, then sweet" is the catch-phrase on the commercials) because he can be so naughty one minute, but the next he'll be saying "Mommy, kiss; Daddy kiss; Aiden kiss." He melts our hearts on a daily basis.

Aiden is growing so fast - he's a big boy just like his brother; 93rd percentile for weight and 97th for length at 6 months. He's so busy all the time, too, grabbing anything in reach or getting a kick out of Asher's antics. He's our little tough guy - he's taken some accidental knocks from Asher, and he didn't cry at all when he got his shots at his appointment. Before we know it he'll be crawling around and talking. His smile is the sweetest thing - it makes it much easier to get up with him at night when he looks up at me with his big, dark eyes and smiles like he's the happiest boy in the world.

 Ok, so we're past Wit's End, but we keep on trucking knowing the end of this phase could be right around the next curve.
Moments like these make everything else worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Amanda, I know all too well what you've described. We have also acquired some very, very bad bedtime habits that are a result of desperation.
    One tip for the independent toddler: allow him to try everything by him "self" first, even if you know he is unable to complete the task. He will be much more willing to accept help if he admits to defeat on his on terms:)I learned after a handful of full out meltdowns about buckling her own carseat in the Hy-Vee parking lot that Mia just wanted to be given the opportunity to try it first.
    On the bright side- that independence is a sign of intelligence and the more practice he gets the sooner he will actually be able to do a lot for himself. That's handy when you have another little guy that needs you for everything!
    Good luck- and love to those sweet boys!