New Words and This & That

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jaimelr's picture
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New Words and This & That

I haven't been posting much - not a lot of time since going back to work. But here goes!

Will has quite a few fun new words including: , ane (plane), wow (with funny emphasis), uh-oh, bahhh (ball), hup (help), up, ock (sock), yuk, hmmmm (like yummy), ningning (Lyn-Lyn - name of his babysitter), and he will mimic you if you sigh. He also says mama and papa or dada and sometimes the dog's name (Scout - cout). But least cute of all is that he has discovered "no"! So I asked DH and Will's babysitter to not encourage the use of the word - to treat it like any other word he has learned which is to encourage correct use. With past words he normally loses interest in them after a couple days and then they just sit in his brain and fester popping out from to time. Well I keep catching all the adults in his life encouraging the bad use of the word "no" (bad meaning encouraging him to use it and to realize it is a special word with special powers that he is going to pull out on my in the grocery store lineup!). I have caught DH, my mom and the sitter all in the following situations: a) Will says "no" and they say "yes" (in a making fun and playful way) - no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes, no/yes ...... and so on and b) he says "no" and they mimic and repeate and make a big hoopla about it! I have explained to them all that I would rather then try and distract him with something else or encourage the use of the right word (like if he is full to go back to the word "done" which was working very nicely until recently!). I am not trying to sound like a freak about this but I think we make the "no" stage harder on ourselves if we encourage it - and then we blame the terrible two's when it is us adults all along!

Other than the talking we are in to serious teething - he doesn't have alot of gaps left but is now getting his upper molars (lower molars were about 3 weeks ago). So far they are going ok.

On the sleep front (I am always the one to mention sleeping) DH and I had a royal battle that partially centered around sleep (or lack of STTN - with 1-3 wakeups every night up to 2 weeks ago... oh and did I mention that DH is not home 5 nights a week to help with this and I work full time?) but really it boiled down to being a boiling over a) about sleep deprivation and b) about lack of feeling like a team or partnership in this parenting gig. I thought we had a pretty good relationship before having a kid but this parenting thing has kicked the crap out of our relationship. We have really struggled to find our way together. In part I blame his shift work but I take some responsibility too (his shift work is hard to schedule around so I spent much of my mat leave taking Will on outings with other mom's even if DH was off - but DH didn't mind, he enjoyed the time alone). Addiitonally, somehow DH REALLY did not have realistic expectations about what having a kid entails and how it affects your life so he has had some real adjustment-pains. He is currently on my case to buy a boat - this is the single most important thing on his brain these days despite the fact we have a 16 month old and plan to get started on another in the next few months. Sigh. Oh well. So after our chat things have improved. I agreed to try his way of nighttime responses which I regret to say was quais-Ferberizing which I regret even further to say was a success and Will has pretty much slept through the night after 1 night of 35 minutes of off and on crying with DH going in every ten minutes and a second night of 15 minutes of off and on crying with DH going in after the first ten minutes. Since then sleep has been pretty amazing in our house for everyone. DH was able to tell me about his methods and strategies for putting DS to bed (where I thought he was just dumping him in the crib and running back to the TV) and I was able to tell him about mine (but at 16 months my methods were STILL not working as I still have a kid who did not sleep that great). And even more he has since started helping more in the evenings (even after he gets home from a 12 hour shift). I will have gotten home after 10 hours outside the house (working and commute) and will get dinner on the table and play with Will until DH arrives. Then we eat and then DH has been taking Will for bath time while I tidy up which suits me fine. Then I walk the dog after DS is in bed and the watch tv with DH if time permits. So there is still not much time for us together but I feel like we are on a better track of working together. It isn't much (him helping with bathtime) but it goes a LONG way to make me not feel like I am doing this alone so much. I have also been getting out for coffee with two other mom's / friends about every 2-3 weeks for 2-3 hours which has been nice. I refuse to feel guilty about leaving DH with Will on those nights given I do most of the baby night shifts and have of all weekends by myself (and then we "share" the other weekends but mostly we do stuff together or I do stuff with Will). For this Saturday I have suggested that DH take Will to the local drop in play place at the Rec Centre for "Dad's Only" drop in program so I can sleep in. I have not slept past 7am in 4.5 weeks (due to DH shifts) so I am looking forward to staying in bed until 8am (not aiming very high as I highly doubt I can make my body do it!). But it will be nice to have a morning to myself.

Oh that is probably enough from me. Things are better which is nice. Now I am impatiently waiting (and have been for about 8 months) for DH to agree to #2! He agrees we will regret not having another one but is not yet ready to take the plunge (but I have "empowered him" by going off b/c so we will see when he gets tired of being empowered!)

Keep posting! I do read the posts most nights (but don't always reply because I hate typing on an iphone which is what I often am reading on in bed).

FlyChick's picture
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Wow, that big paragraph sounds a lot like us. So you're not alone! I mean the specifics are very very different but the general "having a kid kicked the butt out of our relationship" is the same. The biggest difference is that I'm the one on shift work so to speak but when I am home I'm the one who is constantly with Mieka. Obviously I love her and due the lack of time I get to spend with her I really want to be with her 99.9% of the time I'm at home. But geez it would be nice once in awhile to run to the grocery store for 2 items without having it be a big ordeal because I have to get Mieka ready when DH is at home and can watch her for the 15 minutes. And DH occasionally laments the fact that I have mom and baby events to go to (that I found through meetup) and he doesn't have anything DESPITE the fact that there are many family/single parent/mom or dad only groups in our area that he could easily go to and I've told him about.

Sleep is a big issue in our house still. Mieka slept through the night just fine til 7 or 8 months when she became more aware. Then she'd wake up. It's taken awhile to get to where we're at now but it's awful. DH would run in there the second he'd hear her crying whereas I'd prefer to give her a few minutes to see if she'd go back to sleep. Most of the time she would. But he found that she goes to sleep right away if he brings her into bed. But I had wanted to try letting her CIO for a bit (15 mins tops). So here's how it went: First night, she'd CIO for 15 minutes or less and then go to sleep and sleep for the rest of the night. Second night, DH was so distraught over having to hear her cry the first night that he'd pick her up immediately and bring her to bed at her first peep. Then a few days later repeat. This continued on for way longer than I'd like to admit. All I asked for was to give it 3 nights (also if the crying ever seemed more than fussy I'd get her as I don't want to torture her). DH never did the second night. So for a long long long time we'd repeat that first night over about every week which eventually got to me because I never wanted it to last more than 3 consecutive nights, not 15 or 20 non-consecutive nights. Eventually I gave up because I don't want her to be miserable which is must have been the way we were doing it due to lack of compromise. So she is now old enough to completely know that if she cries Daddy will get her right away. So every single night he will get her and bring her to bed now. He says he doesn't want to do it forever but he admits that he doesn't know how to stop. And I don't want to be a cosleeper and DH initially didn't either. It's just really frustrating. So that was a very long vent, sorry!

Also I want another baby. I love having siblings and I really want M to have siblings and I want a big family. DH begrudgingly has agreed to one more because that was what we agreed upon a few years ago (we agreed on no only child but no specific #). I was having horribly periods with the IUD so a month ago I went off so we're back to condoms til DH gets annoyed by them which I hope happens soon.

So that's the status with us now.

cactuswren's picture
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Jaime, don't feel bad about the night time compromising working for you. I don't think crying and our reaction to it is quite the same at this age as earlier. We are in a sort of transition zone now where our babies still need a lot of support, but can handle a little bit of "no" too. They're more aware of what's going on, and aren't going to be damaged by a little frustration at this age. It's the infants who really need to be responded to immediately, but at this age, they can be handled a little bit more like kids than babies. Dr. Sears (attachment parenting, which I think from what you have said is in line with your general beliefs) says up to 9 months you should mainly be a "yes" parent, but you can and should start adding in some "no"s after that--I think that extends to sleep, too.

In our house, we're still up and down, but it's soooo much better than it used to be. We are even getting a few true STTN (to me that's "straight through until sometime after 5:00am") mixed in, which is just amazing to me. Generally we wait long enough to be able to tell whether she's working herself up or just rolling over with some verbal protest (not hard to distinguish, maybe within 30 seconds). If it's obvious that she's really awake, we take turns going in. Normally it just takes a couple of minutes of back patting and maybe a quick pacifier hunt, and she's down again. MOST nights she is now waking up either once or none. If it's after 4:00 and she's not going back down super easily, we just bring her back to bed with us at that point. Earlier, we'll stick it out until she goes back to sleep. We've had a handful of terrible nights, but it's only about 5% really bad at this point. Maybe something like:

5% really bad (multiple wakeups, fighting going back down, even in our bed, etc)
35% okay but not great (one wakeup around 1:00 or 2:00 and then UP at an annoyingly early time like 4:45, or multiple wakeups)
40% pretty good (one wakeup but then sleep until 6:00ish -OR- STTN but up on the annoyingly early side) and
20% great (STTN from 7:30/8:00 until 5:30/6:00)

I've given up hope of ever sleeping in without someone taking her, so I FINALLY got DH to agree to swap Saturdays. This week is my week, yaaaaaaaay Smile

As for words, omg. She still has baby pronunciation of course, but she says A LOT of them. And understands A LOT too. It's so nice to be able to communicate better...and she is FUNNY!

I'm glad things are going better for you, Jaime. Renegotiating relationships after a baby IS hard!! I wouldn't say our road has been awful, but it's definitely had its fair share of bumps. And I am soooooooooooooo not ready for any more!!! #2 is DEFINITELY far on the horizon if at all. I'm thinking a 3-4 year spread is our window. I am not even considering it until issues like diapers and not sleeping are a mere memory.

nurseamanda's picture
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"jaimelr" wrote:

about lack of feeling like a team or partnership in this parenting gig. I thought we had a pretty good relationship before having a kid but this parenting thing has kicked the crap out of our relationship. We have really struggled to find our way together

This is DH and I to a tee... he likes to do things one way, while I like to do things another way and it causes a lot of friction between us

"FlyChick" wrote:

But he found that she goes to sleep right away if he brings her into bed.

This also is my DH. I used to bring her into bed with me only if it was after 4am, otherwise she was up for the day at that time. Anytime before 4am, I would rock her back to sleep. However, once I returned to work (I work some nights) DH suddenly had to take over the night shifts, and because he had to get up to go to work in the a.m. he found it quicker and easier to put her into bed with him. Well... now she will wake up at midnight and scream and not want to rock, she wants to come to bed with us. It's really started a bad habit that I don't know how to break.