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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Early Morning Ramblings

Ahhhhh yes.... the lovely hours in the wee morning that are such a wonderful playtime for a 7 month old. We've tried the cry it out method for the last 3 nights.... and I quit. It works amazingly for some folks, but I'm wimpy when it comes to crying, she's (apparently) incredibly stubborn, and noone's sleeping. So... on to what works for us... when we figure that out at least.

I have figured out that I will always parent a little differently because of Catie. There were very few times with her that I had to play the really, really tough guy when it came to behavior. Tough guy to help her through treatment, yes, but with discipline, she was, for the most part, very compliant. Sure she had her share of time outs and she disobeyed from time to time and she was a regular kid, but she was largely easy to parent... except for that one fit throwing period she went through when she was 2 1/2 or so. Holy cow, that girl had a serious set of lungs and she could throw down and scream. Interesting thing though, she rarely did it in public (except for this one time at Stone Mtn. You should have seen the looks I got pushing a bald cancer kid in a stroller out of the park after the Laser Show -- she wanted to be carried and was ENTIRELY too heavy to be carried that far and was old enough to understand). But, for the most part she saved the good stuff for home. The thing that worked for us with this was putting her on our bed and leaving the room. She would scream and scream and I would be in the other room (let's be honest, sometimes I was crying too). I wanted nothing more than to pick her up and love her. But I knew that it was my job to help her learn that wasn't the way to get what she wanted. I would check on her every 5 minutes or so and remind her that as soon as she calmed down, she could get up. She would be doing the whole body-shaking sob thing because she had gotten herself so worked up. When I checked on her I would rub her back or her bald head, but I wouldn't pick her up until she calmed down. Towards the end of the phase, I could ask her, "are you ready?" and she would give me this frowny look and an emphatic "NO!" But it really wasn't long before she got control of it and the fits were a thing of the past (big sigh of relief!).

I was thinking about that tonight as I rocked Izzy... I hate thinking about times like that with Catie, because if I had known what was going to happen I know I would have just held her. I know that wouldn't have been what was best for her, and even now, looking back, I think we handled it in the way that was best for us. I'm a firm believer that kids need consistent limits and that's what we were doing. But as I rocked Izzy tonight and she finally gave in to a little snuggling (she refuses to snuggle these days as it might lead to missing out on something or, Heaven forbid, sleep) I thought about that time with Catie. It's honestly not a time I feel guilty about, but I still don't like thinking about it. And I decided that, yes, that day for crying it out might come with Izzy, in fact, I'm fairly certain that it will. But... for me, for us at least, it's not now. I can rock and sing (and be completely tired and bleary-eyed the next day)... and I will do it guilt-free because I can... However... no more bottles between midnight and 6 AM -- and I'm sticking firmly to that!! Hey, she's got to learn, right? =)

So tonight, as I listen to Izzy's white noise playing in the other room, I will crawl back in bed, and I will be thankful for the bit of snuggling I got tonight. I will think of Catie and try to make note of a few of the many things she taught us. I will miss her. And I will ask God again, to make us the parents that Izzy needs, just as I know He made us the parents Catie needed. I will ask to be molded into the person she needs and I will hope to trust my instincts... when it comes to our kiddos, they're usually right. That's another thing Catie taught me... I almost always knew what she needed... and I pray it will be that way with Izzy too.

Everyone else's is in dreamland. I'm headed that way too, hopefully till the sun comes up!


amy said...

I say the same prayer. We have a long wait until we bring LynnMarie home but I know its the exact amount of time God needs to make Michael and I the best parents she will need. Thanks for sharing your snuggle time with us.


Sabrina C. said...

Oh, I remember the days of sleeping troubles. With my son Luke nothing would work to keep him in bed, so we did try the cry it out method and after 1 1/2 weeks it worked...I think it toke so long because he is a very strong willed child. As for Mackensie she has always been a good sleeper, what broke my heart is when she didn't want me to rock and snuggle her (around 20months), it tore me up. I wanted to rock and snuggle with her and she just wanted to get in bed and go to sleep. Do what works for you....if you find that nothing is working, give the cry-it-out-method another try with a longer period (at least a week). If it does not work after that then you are in for some heavy eyelids...but in the long run it's worth it....they don'e stay small forever. I am constantly telling Mackensie that I wish I could squish her down to baby size again to snuggle and hold enjoy every minute of it. OOh, by the way the poopy pictures bring back such memories at my house. Wait until you get presents floating in the bath water. :)

John & Kelley said...

I can totally sympathize with you on the sleep issues. Neither of my girls has turned out to be a good one. Samantha woke like Izzy in the very early morning hours consistently for the last half of her first year, and there wasn't much we could do besides rock and cuddle, rock and cuddle. I was actually willing to hit the CIO method hard, but John couldn't take it. (: And truthfully, I don't think I could have kept it up long enough either. There's something built into us moms that aches when our children cry. I guess some of us are just a bit more equipped to tough it out! Natalie is still waking most nights and expecting nursing. I may have to institute your rule soon.

I continue to enjoy your reflections about Catie. We've had plenty of fits like hers in our house. I'm sure thinking of times like that is especially difficult because you want all the memories to be of you loving on her. Of course, discipline is love, but it's not fun love. Still, we have to do what feels right to guide our children. None of us ever know what will happen in the future. What we have is this moment, and we do the best we can. I know Catie loved you and Tre' with all her heart. It is totally evident in her photos.

Hang in there with the sleepless nights and know there are many of us right there with you in the wee morning hours!

Catherine Rogers said...

I wish I lived close by. I'd love to give that Izzy some "grandma" hugs and rock her to sleep for you. I know you have oodles of supportive family, but I remember those times I longed to take a nap and was never afforded the luxury of such. Oh the many nights spent rocking one of my little ones, praying they would find sleep before I collapsed from lack of it! I remember thinking to myself, totally exhausted, "When will it end?" Now they are grown, and I can say, it all ended too soon! Those days I can never live again. I thank God for such sweet memories and I pray your memories of Catie will be only the good ones, that bring you joy and peace. You are never far from my mind dear!

April said...

I am the proud mother of 5 children. That includes a set of twins. Not one and I mean not ONE of them slept through the night until they were well over a year and some were older than that! Yikes!!! I have a soft heart when it comes to the bed time blues and I could not stand to hear their cries. I would rock until I fell asleep. Once they woke me up with some wiggles, we were off to Mommy's bed (and Daddy's too although he never woke up). Yes I did the thing that every other mother reading this is shaking their head at. Yes... we snuggled the whole night through. I did start them in their bed but they always ended up in mine. Looking back now that my oldest is 14, I would not trade those nights for the world. Because, yes, there will be other issues they have to cry through and we have to cry through but not the lonely nighttime "I just want my Mommy" blues. Sleep will come....eventually...For now, just enjoy being needed!

God Bless!

Sandy Portis said...

I have tagged you for a blog game. Check out my blog for all the rules.

By the way, I am buying a video monitor and trying to let Macie cry it out this week. I'll let you know how it works!

robinandamelia said...

"Secrets of a Baby Whisperer" method worked great for me. Tracy Hogg explains the "pick up, put down" method. Works amazing. YOu may have to do it for an hour or so, but it works!! I couldn't bring myself to let my daughter cry it out either. When the baby cries, you pick her up until she calms down then immediately put her back down. When she cries again, you pick her back up. You are not breaking her trust, because you are not letting her cry, but you are letting her know it's time for bed.
You can check the boards. There's a page for Pick up Put Down. The book is a great buy too. Well worth the money.