I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

14 months, 7 days

I’ve heard lots of people say they wish that kids came with instruction manuals. I don’t need a manual quite so much as a daily agenda. I would like FrostedBaby to inform me if he is intending to nap and how long for, if he’s going to bother to eat or throw it on the floor instead, if he’s going to be cheerful or cranky. Mostly the nap though, since that always foils my plans.

The past couple of weeks have been very trying. After a few weeks of not napping and not showing any ill effects, he suddenly started getting really cranky in the afternoon. Then it was obvious that he wasn’t feeling well – not eating much (though nursing well so at least I knew he was eating something and wasn’t getting dehydrated), very clingy and whiney, although he didn’t have anything obviously wrong with him. Then that night he was up every 1-2 hours I was debating taking him to the walk-in (because naturally this was on a weekend) and I was talking to my mom about how I didn’t think he had a fever since he wasn’t hot, but then she said that they can have one without feeling like they do to the touch. So I whipped out our thermometer and took it and it read 100F. We went to the walk-in and the doctor checked his ears (I suspected an ear infection, but they were clear) and his throat (which was a bit red, though maybe from crying a lot) and took his temp (he didn’t mention anything, so I’m guessing it was normal). He took a throat swab to rule out strep because of the red throat, but didn’t think it would come back positive, he thought it was just a virus that needed to run its course.

So we brought him home and I gave him soup for lunch, which he seemed to like and ate a fair bit of. I tried some mint tea but he wasn’t a big fan of that. I put him down for a nap and he actually took one for about 40 minutes then I brought him down and he slept for another hour or so on me. After that he seemed to be a bit better, more cheerful and like himself. He ate a good dinner and went to bed at his usual time despite the nap and was even better the next day. He’s napped almost every afternoon since then, though I’ve made sure to wake him up after about an hour to make sure he goes to bed at a decent time. There was one strange day, where he refused to nap despite being super cranky and obviously exhausted and went to bed early, but woke up after 45 minutes and then stayed up until 9. And the other night he woke up at 12:30 (just as I was getting to sleep) and had a screaming fit and then stayed up for two hours running around (luckily husband was home and I went to bed). Then today he refused to nap. He didn’t seem that tired and didn’t have those big circles under his eyes, but I tried anyway and he talked to himself for the hour and then I got him up. He was cheerful all the way to bedtime, but when we got him ready he went down really easily and (so far) hasn’t woken up since.

So…… I have no idea. Was he only napping because he was recovering from not feeling well? Is there some complicated algorithm that I need to figure out for how many days a week he needs to nap in order to get enough sleep? I’m fine with him napping, I’m fine with him not napping, but it’s a little hard to make plans when sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t, and I definitely don’t want to be sticking around and not doing stuff so that he can nap if he’s not going to. All I know is that I feel like I can’t win – if I don’t put him down, he seems tired and I’m ignoring his cues and needs. If I put him down (and he actually naps), he goes to bed later and I get less Me time. My mom put it well – it’s like he’s at a point where one nap is too much but no nap isn’t enough. Although he seemed to be okay with not napping up until he was maybe coming down with something, so maybe if he’s better he’ll be back to being okay with not napping at all. Or maybe I’ll have to set certain days as nap days and other days as not. Or maybe he’ll do something completely different starting two days from now. Babies. They be crazy.

So, what’s new? I’ve started teaching him how to use utensils to eat with. Not formally or with any pressure, but I’ll get him to hold it and I’ll guide his hand and then make a big deal when he eats off the fork/spoon. He gets the idea of the food on the fork/spoon going into his mouth but hasn’t quite gotten the hang of how to get the food onto it by himself. Forks he hasn’t gotten at all, but today I gave him a spoon and some yogurt and he was doing everything himself, except he would just hold the spoon over the bowl and then bring it back to his mouth. And he was so excited at first that he was moving it too fast and totally missing his mouth. By moving the bowl around he was able to do everything himself, and I also did a lot of guiding his hand. He seemed pretty pleased with himself and I’m glad he’s interested in doing it and I think he did really well for his first time.

He is getting more and more steady and has started standing up on certain things and moving his feet around like he’s figuring out walking. I keep expecting that one day he’s just going to do it, but so far that obviously hasn’t happened. He’s on his knees and reaching for things on the table and he loves when I hold him and he stands up and then he dances and bops up and down, it’s pretty adorable.

We put up a new baby gate in the large entrance to the kitchen. We have an open concept house, so the kitchen/eating area leads to the living room. There’s a post or small piece of wall where the sink island is, so it forms a small doorway (that a regular sized pressure gate fits well) and a large doorway that’s probably 8 feet wide. Those gates are expensive so we’d been making do with pushing the playpen against the coffee table and blocking the way that way. But it’s only so long before he realizes he can push the playpen or can crawl through the table (it has a shelf so he can’t just crawl under it). I managed to score one of the long baby gates for $60 (they’re $140 new) so we put it up and it’s been so much nicer. We put the playpen downstairs since we don’t use it much for cooping him up and it’s opened up the living room so much. It’s one of those gates that has mesh fabric on the panels and he looks at the cat through the mesh and talks to him. He’s realized he can throw his toys through and then get them back, and he can reach around and play with the cat bowls as well. Funny baby.

My pottery class has been fun. I’m not expecting to make a masterpiece (maybe a messterpiece, haha) but it’s been a nice break for me to meet new people unrelated to being a mom and spending two hours a week totally not thinking about him or doing anything that I usually do during the day. I got on the wheel last week and I feel like I was getting the hang of it and then wrecked my pot. But I feel like maybe next time I’ll get to that point faster and maybe beyond. I kind of wish it were more frequent than once a week since I feel like everything I learn or figure out is forgotten by the next week, but that would be really hard for babysitting when Husband is away. He was supposed to be missing three days and my dad was babysitting, but his trip this week was cancelled because of the hurricane coming, so he’ll be around after all. That’s good since that would have been two weeks in a row.

Last week’s class was on my birthday. It was going to be a pretty boring day since Husband was away, but we went to the playgroup I mentioned in my last post and my closest friend had organized decorating and she got me flowers and made cupcakes and a card that everyone signed and they all sang (and then FrostedBaby clapped his hands) and it was really nice to be thought of.

I think there was something else I was going to say but I can’t recall and it’s now bedtime so I’m heading off.

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