Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And another...

Blah, blah, blah... locked door. Blah, blah blah.. tantrum... Blah, blah, blah, about 30 minutes from door closing to silence... Blah, blah, blah...

Can you tell I'm sick of talking about bedtime?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another day, another bedtime post

Last night didn't ultimately go quite as smoothly as I'd originally thought. He woke up at about 10:45 and came out of his room; I'd unlocked the door before then, thinking I'd leave it unlocked for the night. I'm not sure why he woke up, although he did hear my husband leave - but normally, that kind of thing wouldn't wake him. At least, it never has before. In any case, he got up, and I tried to get him settled back into bed, but once I tried to leave, he decided he didn't want to stay in bed. Again. So I locked the door again. He had another fit, kicked the door quite a bit, but ultimately went back to bed. How G sleeps through all this is beyond me, but I'll take it; I'm super grateful that he's as easy as he is when it comes to bedtime right now!

He woke again around 2:30 because he fell out of bed. I think when he got himself back in bed after the second tantrum episode he was probably too close to the edge, so rolled off in his sleep. I got him settled again and he stayed in bed this time, so the door stayed unlocked until morning. He slept until about 7, which is actually pretty decent for him.

In any case, tonight rolled around and once again, he got up as I was leaving his room, so I locked the door. He kicked it half a dozen times, cried for a little while, then got himself into bed. He cried softly a little longer, but in the end, he was asleep before 7, which is earlier than he's been asleep in WEEKS! He SO needs this. I hope he sleeps all night, but I'm expecting him to wake and be mad that his door is locked at least once. We'll see.

Progress? I suppose so. After how things have gone so far, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The next step

Tonight went better than I thought it would.

Ultimately, we locked his door. We told him that we were going to put a lock on his door and if he stayed in bed, we wouldn't lock it. But if he got up, we would simply lock the door. We took him to the store and showed him what we were buying and he watched my husband install it (it's a new doorknob with a lock and we installed it backwards - so the locking part faces out). We explained it to him several times to make sure he understood, emphasizing that it was his choice - if he chose to stay in bed, we wouldn't lock the door; if he chose to get up, the door would be locked.

I also decided to try one last thing, in addition to the lock. At bedtime, I told him that if he stayed in bed, I would come back and check on him in three minutes and give him a hug and a kiss. I didn't really think that would work, but I was willing to give it a try, in the interest of trying everything to avoid actually locking his door.

Unfortunately, I was right and it didn't work. I told him several times that if he stayed in bed I would come back and check on him, but if he got up I'd lock the door. He was out of bed before I could even get to the door - and the distance is only a few feet. So I locked it.

I was literally sick to my stomach while I was putting him to bed, worrying about what he would do if I had to lock the door. I imagined him screaming and kicking the door for hours on end, finally collapsing in a heap on the floor from total exhaustion. What happened was not nearly as bad as I'd feared. He did scream and kick his door, but not for very long - less than 10 minutes. I don't know exactly what he was doing in there, but I did hear him moving around his room, crying loudly and yelling things for a bit after that. But then, it got quiet. Not completely quiet, I could still hear him crying, but it was softly. I think he'd crawled in bed and laid there crying for about another 15 minutes. And then all was quiet.

It took me a while before I would say it out loud to my husband - "I think he's actually asleep..."

Honestly, he was asleep earlier tonight than he has been in a long time. I hope he sleeps fine all night and gets some good rest; goodness knows he needs it.

I'm relieved that it wasn't the horrific disaster I'd feared, but still pretty amazed that it had to come to this. I really, really thought that the "silent return to sleep" was going to work. Isn't that supposed to work for every kid? This has been a good reminder that there isn't any one thing that works for every kid. Some kids need to be put back in bed over and over to set that clear boundary - mine needed to be shown in no uncertain terms that he would not be seeing us again after bedtime, so there's no point in getting up.

I don't know what to expect tomorrow and the following nights. Nothing would surprise me at this point. Tomorrow might go great; we might not even have to lock the door. But I wouldn't be surprised if he threw a mega fit tomorrow, just to see if we're still serious. I have no idea. I wouldn't have predicted anything about the last month, so we'll just have to wait and see. For tonight, I'm just thankful he's getting some much needed rest and I have the slightest bit of hope that maybe we can see a faint bit of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The battle rages on

I'm sick of blogging about this.

I think I've decided that the so-called "silent return to sleep" isn't going to work. I actually thought it would. I figured we'd have two or three bad nights, then progressively better ones as he realized his antics weren't going to work. I was ready to do it night after night, but I think my resolve hinged on the strategy doing some good and showing some progress. But that certainly isn't what has happened. Last night showed me that he'd keep this up forever, if there were no other consequences. He doesn't really care that I just put him back to bed anymore; he gets away with getting up over and over and so what if I put him back - it's more fun than going to bed, apparently. At least he gets to see me every minute or so.

Today I emptied his room of just about everything - toys, books, etc. I left him his pumpkin nightlight, his kitty, elephant and shark (the animals he sleeps with), his two extra blankets (superman blanket and monkey blanket), his monitor, fan, his lamp and his regular nightlight (that we don't use while the pumpkin one is on). Everything else is in the playroom.

I told him that if he got up once, he would not get books at bedtime tomorrow; twice, his pumpkin nightlight would go away; three times, his kitty; four, his shark; five, his elephant; six, his monkey blanket; seven, his superman blanket. After that, I said I would no longer tuck him in and he would have to pull up his covers by himself. I thought maybe, just maybe, when he was down to just one animal, he might actually stay in bed just so he could keep the elephant and have something to sleep with. What on earth was I thinking?

In the end, he lost his bedtime stories for tomorrow, his nightlight, his kitty, his shark, elephant, monkey blanket, and superman blanket - as well as his lamp, since he kept turning it on, and the light bulbs out of his overhead light, since he kept turning that on too. And still, he got up; he was just getting started.

After about 40 minutes, and one big throw up on his floor, I made an executive decision. In some extreme situations, we've put him in a time out in our van, in the garage. It's been reserved for those times when he's done something really bad, or escalated a situation so far we feel we have to do something pretty dramatic. I have to be honest, we've been discussing whether or not to spank him at this point, and generally, I'm not a fan of spanking. But this has gone on so long and to such an extreme level, we're actually talking about whether to try it. Anyway, I was thinking about that, and thinking about whether a time out in the van is any worse than a spanking, and decided to try a time out in the van again. My husband did that a few times when this whole mess first started, but it was the kind of thing he did out of anger. After D threw up all over himself in the van once, and I had to clean up the subsequent mess (and let me tell you, cleaning up puke off of a carseat is not easy at all), we decided not to use it as a consequence anymore. It left a bad taste in our mouths, not to mention the cleanup was awful (part of my problem with it was that my husband was leaving him out there for much longer than I felt he should). However, I know how much he hates it, and when used sparingly, it's been effective in the past (emphasis on used sparingly, and we went through a period where my husband got too van happy and would escalate to that almost immediately - it was the cause for some heated discussions between the two of us, but that was a while back).

In any case, since I'd taken away everything that I could, barring his covers (and if I did that, he'd get cold in the night and wake me up, which I don't need any more of that), his nightlight, which just seemed too mean, and his fan, which also seemed too mean since I know he can't sleep without it (I can't sleep without mine either, so I get how that feels), and I didn't want to start taking away things only to give them back if he promised to stay in bed ("Ok, I'll turn your nightlight back on if you stay in bed), because what do I do if he doesn't... Anyway, all that to say, i decided to put him in a time out in the van. I warned him that I would, that if he got up again, he would go sit in the van for two minutes. Of course, he got up, so we headed downstairs to the garage.

He had three van time outs tonight, before he finally decided to stay in bed. THAT is how stubborn this child is.

Right now, we're considering whether to put a lock on his door so he simply can't get out. I am running out of ideas and nothing seems to be making an impact on him. It's insanity, seriously. I don't really want to do it, but we're discussing it. I don't want to spank him either, but we're discussing it. I don't know what else to do. He's so overtired, he wakes up in the night every night now and it's hard to get him back to bed; and he wakes up ridiculously early in the morning, both signs that he's not getting enough sleep. I'm utterly exhausted, not to mention behind on work and pretty sick of the whole thing. I just do not understand.

It may sound like my calm is out the window, but I'm not angry. Yeah, I'm frustrated (who wouldn't be), and pretty perplexed at why this has gone on so long and why no consequence seems to be enough. But I'm staying calm about it and not letting it make me miserable all day long. At least I'm trying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Consistency? Or Insanity?

The bedtime battle wages on. At this point, I'm not clear on who is winning. I thought by today (day 5 of me doing the "silent return to bed") it would definitely be me, although I expected it to continue for at least several more days, if not more. But tonight made me wonder at what point consistency becomes insanity, the definition of which is to do the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.

Maybe D and I are both insane?

Tonight took 1 hour and 45 minutes. But the crazy thing is that it wasn't full of tantrums, crying, spitting, throwing up, spilling water, hitting, dropping to the floor, yelling and begging for a million different things. The first 10 minutes were the crying, asking for things phase; but even then, he didn't get nearly as upset as he did the first two nights. He calmed down so quickly I was silly enough to think tonight might only take 20 or 30 minutes. Boy, how wrong I was.

The rest of the night was spent with him quietly getting up and doing things like turning on his lamp, turning off his fan, turning on his overhead light, and then coming to open the door. Then he'd immediately go set things right again - turn his fan on and turn his light and lamp off, get into bed and wait for me to cover him up. Sometimes I'd hear him get up or see his lamp go on and then it would be quiet for a minute or more. I'd been waiting for him to open the door before doing anything, but once out of sheer curiosity I opened the door to see what he was up to. That time, he was playing with the Halloween window clings on his window. I promptly and silently took them out of the room.

Honestly, tonight was almost as maddening, if not more, than the two hours of screaming, crying and other obnoxious behavior was. This quiet getting up, doing something or other, and coming to the door for me went on for so long I seriously felt like I was going to lose my mind. Over and over and over he did it; it was just a game to him. And it wasn't as if he was stopping to play for long periods of time. He'd do something or other in his room (most of the time I don't know what he was doing), come to the door, open it, and get back in bed. Half the time he'd just lie down in front of the door and pound his legs on the floor. I wonder if those times he was trying to see if I'd come in.

Eventually, I did start going in before he'd open the door. I'd listen for his feet to hit the floor and then open the door and point him back to his bed. I don't know if that was the right call or not. On the one hand, he might have discovered "Cool, if I keep doing this, Mom comes in my room!" I'm hoping it was more that he realized he couldn't get up and play around anymore. I did it as much because I was sick of waiting for him every time he'd get up as anything. I knew he was up, I wanted him to realize I wasn't going to allow it.

Still, even with that, he kept it up and showed absolutely no signs of slowing. At one point he'd seemed like he was winding down, but after that it was like he got more and more energy. He'd run to his bed, jumping up and rolling around, getting his animals in place before I'd put the cover over him. I could tell he wasn't going to stop anytime soon.

Finally, I broke my silence and informed him that I would no longer be putting his covers over him; if he wanted to keep getting up, he could put his covers on himself. Once again, I'm not sure if it was a good call or not, at least in the long run. Maybe the whole time I should have kept to my silence, but I was so beyond done with it, I felt like I had to do something different or he'd be at it for another hour or more. I knew that kind of escalation would make him mad, and it definitely did. He got upset and started getting up quicker, pounding on the door and crying for me to put his covers on. I let him do that about a dozen times, not even going into his room, just standing in the doorway pointing to his bed, waiting for him to get back in, and closing the door. Finally I went in, told him calmly (although at this point, calm was the last thing I was feeling) that I would put his covers on one more time, but if he got out of bed again, he could do it himself and I would not be putting his covers on him again tonight. That was the last time he got up.

I think I'm going to have to add something to what I'm already doing. Tonight he was playing a game and more or less getting away with it. I think he honestly would rather do this than go to bed, so even if all that happens is I put him back to bed over and over, he figures it's more fun than actually going to bed. I'm going to have to impose some sort of consequences. However, I want to keep things fairly simple and all related to bedtime and his room.

Tomorrow during the day I'm going to clean out his room of just about everything - toys, books, animals, everything. He can keep his regular nightlight, the Halloween pumpkin nightlight he is currently using (the other one is in there, but not on), his shark, elephant and kitty that he sleeps with and I think that's it. That way there at least won't be anything to play or mess around with in there.

Then, tomorrow night I'm going to tell him that if he gets up out of bed, even once, he will not be getting stories at bedtime the next night. The hard thing about bedtime consequences is they're so hard to make immediate. I can't take away books right then and there because we read books before the shenanigans begin. So hopefully this will still have an impact; and I do know he's perfectly capable of understanding the connection between a consequence that is delayed and the behavior that caused it. I fully expect him to call me on it and I have no illusions that this will magically make him stay in bed tomorrow night. But the next night he will not get books. Maybe that will start to get his attention.

After that, I'll be taking away his Halloween nightlight and switching him back to his regular one. I'm reluctant to take away the nightlight entirely, although I'm well aware that I have a very limited number of bedtime things to take away. Once the Halloween nightlight and books are gone, I'm sort of out of options unless I take the nightlight and the animals he sleeps with. I'm not sure if I'll do that or not; at this point I don't want to, but I wonder if I'll have to. I have a couple of days to think about it, so we'll see.

And I'll have to think about the covers thing too. I might have to decide at some point to stop putting his covers back on him at all and just fight that one out with him. Maybe that will have an impact, I don't know. At this point, I honestly don't know what will ultimately get the message across.

In the meantime I'm exhausted because he's also getting up in the night at least once most nights. I'm hoping against hope that once he's going to bed well and starts getting more sleep again the night wakings will stop. That's what Weissbluth would have me believe, but we'll see. D apparently hasn't read the same books as I have so he doesn't know what is supposed to happen. I also ordered a book on "strong willed" children. I'm sure D hasn't read that book either (lol), but I'm hoping it might have some ideas, for bedtime and other issues. Another we'll see.

I feel like I say that a lot these days.

A little more progress and counting pills

We had a slightly better night last night, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. We went from 50 minutes of getting up to 40, so at least we're heading in the right direction. He did throw water on me from his little cup of water he gets at bedtime - he immediately insisted he didn't mean to get it on me, LOL. I just tossed the empty cup into the hall and left it at that. I guess if we go down by about 10 minutes a night, I have what, 4 or 5 nights left of this? I bet it will be more. I know my kid.

On another topic, my husband took my BCPs out of the medicine cabinet the other day to count them. The conversation went something like this:

DH: "Ok sweetie, just nine more pills!"
Me: "Nine more pills? Until what? Did you count my pills?"
DH: "Yeah. Nine more until we start trying again!"
Me: "Um, weird that you're counting my pills and no, I thought we said at least two more months."
DH: "Naw, let's just go for it now."
Me: "Hey, I have a good idea, how about two more months!"
DH: "What's the difference anyway? We both know we won't get pregnant right away. D took us 2 1/2 years!"
Me: "I realize that Mr. Selective Memory, but you do recall that G took only one month, right?"
DH: "Sure, but what are the chances that would happen again?"
Me: "Why are you in such a hurry that you can't wait until December?"
DH: "I just want to get it over with!"

He's driving me nuts. Our almost-four year old won't go to bed, gets me up in the middle of the night most nights and he wants me to get pregnant? Now? Just to get it over with? What is he thinking?

Have I mentioned that patience isn't one of his strongest virtues?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A small step forward

Tonight was better. It took about 50 minutes to get him to bed. That's certainly progress over 2 hours. Thank goodness! I've steeled myself to do what it takes to ride this out, but I certainly did not want a repeat of last night.

This time he added turning on his lamp to the drill. He was actually quite calm for about the last 10 minutes or so, just getting up, turning on his light and opening his door. Then he'd immediately turn around, climb back in bed and wait for me to pull up his covers. He probably did that a dozen times. It really begs the question, WHY? Why does he keep going when he KNOWS all I'm going to do is turn off the light and put him back in bed. He wasn't even trying to do anything else, just got back into bed without me so much as pointing. It makes me worry that he'd rather do this than go to bed and I'm in for a long, long run of this bedtime mess. Or maybe he really is THAT stubborn. Anyone know any good books about parenting strong-willed children?

At least I didn't have to clean up any puke tonight. That's always a bonus.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two hours is a long time...

... when you're putting your preschooler back in bed over and over.

Tonight was one for the record books. It literally took me two hours to get him to bed. He pulled out all the stops tonight, doing anything and everything he could think of to get me to, well... I don't know. To let him out of bed? To let him out of his room? To give into whatever inane demand he'd thought of that moment? Or just to do something, because I think it was pissing him off that I wasn't talking to him as much as anything.

He hit, kicked, spit a lot (sometimes aiming for me, but mostly in his hands or on the floor), made himself puke three times, tried to run out the door as it would open, dropped to the floor to be dead weight, cried, screamed, kicked the door, threw things at me and basically behaved the way you see kids do on those nanny shows. I thought I felt like I was on the Supernanny before - that was nothing.

But, in an effort to see this play out as a comedy, rather than a horror movie with a subliminal theme designed to keep teenagers from having unprotected sex, here are a few of my favorite lines from this evening's festivities.

"Mom, I'm so angry at you!"
Oh kid, if you only knew...

"This is NOT good manners!"
I'm not sure what manners has to do with it, at least on my part, but ok.

"I'm not tired!"
Oh I know baby, you're not the least bit tired as you practically pass out while standing up.

"Mom, look it's morning!"
Right, because you're going to trick me into thinking it's time to get up.

"I want NOTHING!"
Then why do you keep getting up? I'll give you a whole lot of nothing while you're sleeping.

And my favorite of the night, "Mom, go away and go to bed!" and then he'd point to my room the way I've been pointing to his bed to make him get back in it.

Ah, good times with a three year old.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Bedtime is not better. Yet.

Last night I was upset and frustrated. I was exhausted and had a ridiculously hard time falling asleep. I was tense and agitated and felt like a big, fat failure.

I started thinking about the whole thing and was able to step backwards a little bit to gain some perspective. This parenting thing isn't easy. Rewarding, yes, but easy - no. There are always, always, always going to be things like this - whether it's sleep issues, problems at school, fights with friends, nightmares, tantrums, the list goes on and on. If I chose to, I could look at it like a trip from one crap situation to the next, always fighting my way through, always facing something stressful or waiting to face the next stressful thing.

OR. I could recognize that the reality of the situation is parenting is hard and there are always going to be situations like this that I have to handle. And I can choose to either be stressed and miserable, or I can suck it up, deal with the situation and let the stress go (as much as humanly possible). Yes, these things are frustrating, but indulging myself in that frustration and choosing to carry it around with me all day long certainly isn't helping the situation resolve more quickly. And it's making me miserable in the process.

So tonight, I was calm. I was a snow capped mountain, standing tall and firm. Resolute, unshakable, unemotional. I dispensed with the punishments, the negotiations, the threats. His Halloween costume sits, untouched, in his closet. I simply put him back in bed, each and every time. For over an hour, he'd get up, sometimes crying, sometimes asking for this or that, and I would point to his bed, he'd get in and I'd put the covers on him. I was gentle, calm and silent. Even when he again made himself throw up, I cleaned him up silently, taking off his bottom sheet, putting on fresh jammies, all without saying anything, without giving him a single crack to grip. And strangely enough, my calm was not an outward show. I wasn't mad, I wasn't upset. I didn't let myself go there. Even after the vomit, so clearly intentional, I didn't get angry.

I am annoyed that I wasted an hour of my evening. Goodness knows I have too much to do to spend that kind of time on his shenanigans. But it is what it is and I am feeling hopeful that if I stay the course, remain completely consistent and unshakable, this will end and he'll return to his former good bedtime self.

Ask me again if I'm so calm and confident a week or so from now if this is still going on. We shall see.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Almost four year old boy for sale

What do you do when you're at your wits end and you feel like you've tried everything? And nothing is working?

D is still not going to bed without a fight. At this point, whatever may have started it, it has simply become a battle of wills. He doesn't want to go to bed and he's going to fight me at every turn. He's totally fine through the whole bedtime routine, until I tell him it's time for his drink and hugs and kisses. Then he gets all wimpery and starts telling me he hates bedtime and doesn't want to go to bed, ever. He doesn't like to sleep and he doesn't like being in his bed. He wants me to stay in his room all night.

Sorry kid, not going to happen.

So every night we go through the same crap. He claims he's going to do a good bedtime, but when the time comes, tantrum city. We've tried putting him back in bed over and over, taking away various toys and privledges, and threatening to make him throw away his Halloween costume. After he keeps escalating the situation, we usually end up grabbing his beloved Halloween costume and handing it to him, telling him to go downstairs and throw it away if he's going to get up out of bed. He flips out more, begs to keep it, and usually that's more or less the end of it. Tonight he still threw up in bed, but only a tiny bit on one blanket. And he didn't get up, just started yelling "I threw up!"

Making my mood so much better is the fact that I've been awake since 2:30am this morning. D woke up then and was basically up and down until about 5:00, when again I had to hand him his Halloween costume and tell him we might as well just go downstairs and throw it away. He stayed in bed after that, but I never went back to sleep and G woke up bizarrely early this morning. So here I am, running on less than 4 hours of sleep and really pissed off about it.

I'm SICK OF THIS. I'm sick of every bedtime being a huge battle. This is so stupid and ridiculous and I have no idea how to make it stop. I'm sick of this being the only thing I feel like blogging about, sick of it making the rest of my day miserable. And I'm sick of not knowing what to do to end it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm angry tonight.

I'm angry that my son won't go to bed without a fight. We did the fighting, when he was younger, to get him to sleep well and I can't help but feel like we did things right, he shouldn't do this now. Yes, I know how silly that is. It isn't like you fix something once and it's forever fixed. They are always growing and changing and adding new challenges. But damnit, this has gone so far into the realm of ridiculous, I feel like I hardly remember what normal looks like. Unfortunately, I think he feels the same way.

I'm angry that my husband had to resort to telling D that if he got up one more time tonight, we'd be throwing away his Halloween costume and he would not go trick or treating. I'm a bit angry that he did it, although much less so for the fact that it actually worked. He was in full tantrum, freak out, almost making himself puke mode, and when DH laid that one on him, he was done. He didn't get up again. But my freaking goodness, why do we have to take it out to the furthest possible extreme of consequences? He is OBSESSED with Halloween this year (he's always liked it, but he's already beyond excited), so clearly this was the button to push. But I'm going to be utterly heartbroken if tomorrow night he flips out at bedtime and we actually have to throw the costume away. Because we will. And that's going to suck beyond belief.

I'm angry that my husband isn't sticking to our new financial strategy. We've not been doing a good job of budgeting, or rather actually sticking to said budget. This has gone on for years, and although we're not experiencing financial hardship, we need to do better because we don't have a lot of leeway with just one income. So we decided to go all cash except for bills, which I either pay online or write checks for; gas, which we don't go over on anyway and it's so much easier to pay at the pump with a card; and groceries, since I do the shopping and I don't want to have to worry about whether I have enough cash on me (and we don't tend to go over on groceries anyway). But everything else - lunches, coffee, eating out, random trips to the store, anything, has to be from the stash of cash that I take out when I deposit his check. I've been sticking to it like glue, hoarding my last $2 so I could by myself a tea when I went to Bible study yesterday. Him, not so much. We were out of money this weekend and he knew it and he has since put $50 worth of purchases on the debit card. I'm furious about it, especially because the cash thing was HIS suggestion. But after the night we had with D, I don't know if bringing it up tonight will be very productive. I'm super edgy and I know he is too.

Pretty much I'm pissed off and this is a lot of complaining. Life is like that sometimes. Now I have to go attempt to write an article about something I don't give two shits about so I can make a little extra money and perhaps not charge half of what we spend on Christmas to our credit card.

Sorry for the bitterness. It's been one of those days. Weeks. More than that.

Just go to bed D, damnit.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I feel like I'm on the Supernanny

D is having another fabulous bedtime. Since this is typed and you can't hear my vocal inflection, I'll tell you that comment is dripping with sarcasm.

Once again, he was upset when I started to leave the room because he wanted another hug and to go potty. That would be no, and no. He absolutely does not need to go potty less than 10 minutes after he already went; it's just a stall tactic. The kid goes hours upon hours during the day and does not have accidents anymore - we're not buying it. And, as we've been doing the last several nights, we gave him a "warning" if you will - two more hugs and two more kisses and then bedtime is done. He knows what is coming, and decides to totally flip out.

It's been about half an hour so far and my husband (who is definitely getting some later, by the way) is handling it, Supernanny style. D gets up, hubby puts him back in bed. D gets up again, hubby puts him in bed. Rinse, repeat.

He's yelling that he wants his elephant (which is in his bed), that he wants his monitor light on (he still has a monitor in his room and it has a stupid nightlight on a timer - it's since gone off, but he knows perfectly well how to turn it on himself), he wants his covers fixed and he wants more hugs and kisses. Crying, crying, crying, yelling, banging on his door. How my husband is keeping his cool out there, I do not know. Patience and calmness are not usually his strongest virtues. But after talking about it, and after the last really bad night we had that resulted in a lot of vomit, we decided to change our tactics a little - he gets up, we put him back in bed. Tomorrow we'll talk to him about the consequences (as in, what he's losing for the next 24 hours) but for now, he's being put back in bed over and over. It's rather insane.

I wish I knew why this was happening. I don't know that we've ever had such a rough time with him at bedtime, well, ever. Or like I've said before, maybe I've just blocked out the details of the worst times. This is bad, though.

We had three decent nights - two where he cried when we left, but didn't bother getting up, and one where he got up once but my husband gently guided him back to bed and he went silent after that. Of course, he's also added waking up in the middle of the night and coming to our room to his antics. Last night was only once, at about 4:15, but the two previous nights he was up numerous times equalling both he and myself being awake for 2-3 hours in the night. I've been one cranky mommy.

I hope my husband can hold it together, because I think he's doing the best thing. If he loses it on D and starts yelling or goes back to a time out, the plan fails. He needs to realize bedtime is for bedtime and we're just not going to play his game anymore.

Wish us luck...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A tough week

We've had a tough week with D's bedtimes. The last two nights have improved, but the few nights before that were a nightmare. He's fine until we try to leave the room, then all hell breaks loose. He wants a drink, another hug, another kiss, fix my pillow, fix my covers.... etc. etc. etc. We've reached the point where we've had to say enough is enough and stop with all the extra requests, because he's so out of control. And we all know how much preschoolers like being told no, especially when you're raining on their bedtime stalling parade. I've been feeling like a demon has taken over my child at night.

D has such a strong will. It helps to know that will serve him well later in life, but it sure makes life hard on us sometimes. I'm determined to keep his boundaries in tact; this is a child who has the potential to be a total monster if we let him. As it is, he's pretty well behaved for an almost-four year old. But there are times, like now, when he decides to push back as hard as he can to see if those boundaries are still there and if they're going to stick. He wants to push down that wall, so he beats his head against it for a while to see what happens.

Kid, meet your parents - you've met your match.

The only people in this house more stubborn than D - probably the two of us, with my husband taking a slight lead. I think it's a good thing in this situation - he's not going to get his way and learn that he can throw mega-fits and get out of going to bed. But it's been exhausting, frustrating and downright maddening getting through this phase.

A few nights ago he was put in a time out and promptly threw up all over himself. On purpose. So the next night, my husband told him he was getting a time out and if he threw up, we'd take his jammies off and he could sleep naked. Yeah, he slept naked that night. My sweet darling boy gags himself so hard he vomits all over. See, strong willed. But he did learn that puking no longer gets him a free pass out of a time out. He sat in the puke until the time out was over before we stripped him.

That night we were both left feeling awful. It reminded me a lot of when he was younger and we let him cry it out in his crib to go to sleep. That same questioning, the same worry - did we do the right thing? Will this work? Are we horrible parents and somehow causing this mayhem?

Ultimately, I know we aren't really causing it and I don't think we're peramanently screwing him up. But these are the times that really test our abilities to handle stress. I'm grateful right now for my husband; he's assured me over and over that we're in this together and we will get through it in one piece. It's nice having that reassurance and acknowledgement that I'm not the only parent in the house.

The last two nights have been better and I'm optimistic we've turned the corner. Two nights ago he only got up once (in a fit of rage because he wanted his lion, which 5 minutes before he said he didn't want, and the freaking thing was on the end of his bed anyway), and last night he cried for us for about 10 minutes, insisting he needed a kiss on the hair, but gave up eventually and went to sleep. Since he didn't get up, we're calling it a victory. Hopefully some night soon he'll just go to bed and not flip out at all. One can hope.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The verdict

I went to the pharmacy today.

I figured out that if I went off BCPs now, had a reasonably normal cycle in that I ovulated somewhere around day 14 and actually got pregnant, despite the "not trying, not preventing" status we would have given ourselves, I'd be due in early July. If I'm going to stop birth control, I have to be prepared for that possibility, even with PCOS. After all, I have a 16 month old that did not take ages to conceive and there have been many times I've told people, "You really need to wait to try until you're truly ready, because you just never know!" Although I don't know what to expect when I hop on the TTC train yet again, I do know that I have to be prepared for one of three possibilities: one, that it will happen right away; two, that it will take a bit of time but not long enough to worry over; and three, that it will take forever and we'll be faced with a lot of big questions as to what to do. But it's the first possibility that concerns me right now.

In any case, I thought about the idea of having a baby next July. I wasn't so crazy about that idea. Right smack in the middle of the summer, when things are a little chaotic and our routine is flimsy; right about the time my family is planning a big vacation. I'm not ready for that, so to throw caution to the wind would end up being more of a stress for me than anything else.

It seems sort of silly that the difference of two or three months seems so significant to me, but it really does. The thought of having a baby in September versus July is a whole different thing. September, I can handle. It's about as soon as I can imagine it being ok, about the soonest I can imagine being prepared. Anything sooner feels well... too soon. Even the difference between being due in August and being due in September seems like a big deal. I don't know if I can even explain why, at least not in a way that anyone else might understand. It just doesn't feel right.

So there you have it. I picked up two more packs of BCPs and I guess the plan is to take those, then punch my ticket and board the train. Now, my feelings on opening that can of worms... that's another post entirely. For now I'm just praying that the roller coaster is small and short and I'm able to handle it with a bit of grace.

I feel better now that I have a plan. Of course, I've said it before - how do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Here we go again.

I thought my husband and I had a plan in place with regards to trying for another baby. He thought we had a plan too. It turns out, however, that our plans aren't exactly the same. And forgive me, but this is going to be LONG.

Originally, he wanted to start trying in September. He had this thing about wanting all our kids to be two years apart in school. D and G will be, but due to the fact that G is a spring baby, our third kid would have to be two years younger or less in order to be only two years behind G in school. I guess if we had a summer baby it would be debatable, but I think most people these days are waiting until their kid is six for kindergarten if their bday is in the summer, rather than having them be really young for their grade.

In any case, that felt too soon for me, and we had a big conversation about it a few months ago, and I thought we worked it all out. I had a list of reasons that I wanted to wait longer and in the end, he actually agreed with me. We decided (I think) that we'd wait until after the new year to start trying, which would mean the earliest we'd be having baby #3 would be in the fall (if we get lucky enough to conceive easily again - that's always the wild card with my f'd up hormones).

Then we had another converstation. I think that's where things got screwy. He came away from the conversation thinking I was going to finish this month's cycle of BCPs, then go off of them; and while we wouldn't be actively trying until January, we wouldn't prevent either. I came away from the very same conversation thinking I would keep taking my BCPs for a few more months, but stop them one month early and have one cycle where we weren't really trying, but not preventing, so we could get the artificial hormones out of my system and see what my body does in terms of a cycle.

Over the last couple of weeks he's asked me more than once where I'm at in my cycle of pills. Last night he asked me again how many I have left, so I asked him why he kept asking me about it. That is when it came out that he thought I was going to stop taking them now. We were both sort of dumbfounded, because we thought we were on the same page, when he was actually about five pages ahead of me. He had no idea I wasn't thinking the same thing he was; and I felt the same.

So now I'm in the predicament of what to do. He'd like me to stop taking them now, throw caution to the wind for a few months, and then really start trying in January. He thinks it would be good to get the hormones out of my system, give my body a chance to rev up and start working, and lose a few more pounds which will hopefully make conception easier, and certainly make a pregnancy more comfortable.

Here's where my overthinking kicks in. And if anyone is actually still reading, I'll say for the record that I'm writing this more for my own good than because I think it will make an interesting post - many times writing all my thoughts out helps me make sense of it all.

Originally, I thought it would make sense to start trying in January. If we did get pg right away (and I know I need to plan things that way, despite my past issues with infertility - we got pg right away the second time), the baby would be born in the fall at the earliest. That would give me all summer with just the boys, and they'll both be at great ages to play outside more independently. Last summer was hectic with a newborn, and this summer was spent with G mostly crawling, so hanging out outside a lot wasn't as fun or relaxing. My time was spent chasing G around as he crawled through anything and everything, getting filthy in the process and trying to eat lots of rocks. I love the idea of a summer where the boys can run around in the backyard and I can do more watching, rather than fishing rocks out of the mouth. If I have a newborn next summer, it's yet another summer where I feel like I can't relax as much.

If the baby is born in the fall or later, D will be in school and have more of a routine. Plus, I'll have time three times a week with just G and the baby. Granted, I'll have to juggle dropping D off and picking him up with G's schedule, as well as the non-schedule of a newborn, but that's basically inevitable.

We don't have 100% coverage of maternity care on our insurance, so we'll have a fairly large bill to pay. Waiting a bit longer will give me that many more months that I'm working, therefore that much longer to save up.

My family is planning a big vacation for July and I'd like to be able to go. Pregnant, I can go - with a newborn or too close to my due date, not so much.

As much as we might say we'd avoid my fertile times if we're not using BCPs, that's a little ridiculous. We don't usually go more than a day or two without having sex. And sperm lives for like 5 days, right? And I know we wouldn't use anything else. We just wouldn't.

When I first went off of BCPs to try for D, I gained a bunch of weight right off the bat. Of course, I didn't know I had PCOS, didn't know about the whole carb/blood sugar/insulin/hormone thing, so I'm sure I wasn't eating right. And I didn't have the same experience when I went off BCPs to try for G. But I worry that it's because I'd already lost enough weight that my hormones were good and not in weight gain spiral mode. This time, I'm not as overweight as I was when we were trying for D, but I'm not at the weight I was when we got pg with G either - so I just don't know what to expect from my body. And I'm trying to lose weight to make conception easier - not looking to jump up another 20.


I don't know how long this is really going to take, and the thought process starts down the "if we start trying sooner, it might happen sooner" path. I'd hate for a year to go by and we wish we would have just started trying sooner. Of course, I don't know that when you start has any bearing on how long it will take. Like, if we had started trying for D sooner, would we have actually gotten pg sooner, or would we have gotten pg at the same time and the amount of time we were trying simply have been longer? Or if we had started trying for G in say, July instead of September, would we have gotten pg in July instead, or would it have then just taken a few extra months and been in September anyway. Impossible questions, obviously, but still...

Maybe my body will do better with a longer break from BCPs and a chance to start having cycles. And it would give me some time to judge when I'm ovulating (assuming that does happen) so we can more effectively try when the time comes to really make the effort.

This is sort of hard for me to admit, but I have a hard time saying no to my husband. If he really, really wants me to go off of BCPs now, it will be hard for me to say no. If I was adamantly not ready, I would tell him no and that would be that - I'm the one potentially getting pregnant here. But obviously I'm considering it, so it isn't an out and out no - which means I'm feeling the pressure to say yes, even though he's made it clear to me that he's ok with whatever I decide to do.

This is harder for me to admit, but we've talked about doing some things to "try" for a girl - mostly timing of sex in relation to ovulation. We'd both like a girl (although I'll say again that we'll both be more than happy with another boy) and kind of figured, why the heck not? Why not do things a little differently in order to possibly increase the odds of having a girl next time. Neither of us think it's foolproof, nor would we be putting a lot of faith in it - just a "why not give it a shot" kind of thing. But if we are in "not trying, not preventing" mode, I wonder if we'll just end up having sex whenever, and not give ourselves the chance to try to throw the odds in favor of a girl. And if we do start timing sex that way, aren't we actually trying - not "not preventing"? Where is that line between "not trying, but not preventing" and "trying" anyway?

There's also the feeling of excitement over the possibility of getting pregnant again. Sort of like being on the verge of the Christmas season, but not quite there yet. Wouldn't it be fun to just jump the gun, break out the Christmas tree and enjoy the holiday season a little early? There's a tingling of excitement I get when I think about just going for it and going off the pill now and I think that has a lot to do with why I'm considering it.

Then I have this (probably irrational) fear that I'm messing with fate somehow, or with God's plan for me. That the reason my husband has pushed for this is because we're supposed to get pregnant sooner - that the baby we're meant to have is just on the cusp of coming into being and if I don't go ahead and go off of birth control, I'll be missing my chance. But on the other hand, maybe my original plan was right and if I go off of BCPs too soon, I'll be messing things up that way. (did I mention I'm a little bit insane?)

Complicating matters is that I'm out of pills and if I'm going to keep taking them, I have to decide by tomorrow so I can get a refill from the pharmacy. I need to start a new pack on Sunday if I'm going to start.

Today I've been thinking about it a lot and jumping positions faster than the most fickle politician. One minute I'm feeling confident that my original plan was the best thing and I'll take a couple more months of BCPs. Then the next minute I feel like it's only a couple extra months, it'll save me the copay on another round of pills and I probably won't get pregnant right away, anyway, so what's the harm.

I'm hoping that writing all this out will help me figure it all out. It usually does.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We seem to go back and forth lately with D on bedtimes. Generally, he does fine - goes to bed without a lot of drama, sleeps all night, etc. But once in a while we start to go through an "I'm going to make bedtime really hard" phase. Apparently we're entering another one of those.

He's the king of stall tactics - wanting to get up and go potty even though he just went 5 minutes ago, one more book, one more hug, one more kiss, fix my covers, I need a drink.... On and on and on. And he is a child who epitomizes the whole "give them an inch and they take a mile" thing. If you start giving in on anything, he pushes HARD to see how much more he can get. There was a time when his naptime routine (back when he napped) had grown to include so many steps it would take 45 minutes just to get through all of it. It's like, if you do something he requests, even if it seems like a one time, no big deal thing, eventually it becomes a big deal.

Part of the problem lately is totally our fault. We haven't been great about getting him to bed on time. Realistically, he needs to be in bed by 7; we've been pushing it to 7:30 or later way too often. Once in a while is fine, but he's always been very sensitive to keeping his sleep schedule. Although he's become more flexible as he's gotten older, the fact still remains that when we don't do a good job getting him into bed on time, bedtime starts to get ugly.

Tonight... well, tonight isn't going so great. My husband is doing a good job handling it, but it is so frustrating. I keep telling myself he's going to bed early tonight, and like tonight, something comes up and it doesn't happen. He seriously needs like a week of early bedtimes to catch up so he'll quit acting like a monster when we try to put him to bed.

And I swear, if either of them wake up before 6am again tomorrow, I'm going to scream. But that's another story.