Thursday, November 17, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Argument

I saw an article recently that said moms and toddlers argue on average 20-25 times / hour.  I believe it!  Emily's new favorite thing to do is argue with me.  Over everything.  Yesterday we listened to the radio as Nat King Cole crooned O Holy Night.

"This is Santa Claus."
"Actually it's Nat King Cole."

"No, It's Santa."
"His name is Nat King Cole.  It says his name right here....  Nat....  King.... Cole."

"This is Santa!  It says Santa.... Claus."
"I'm not lying to you, Babe."

This argument was repeated with EVERY song on the radio.  Emily is convinced that Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra are all Santa.  The back-up singers are sugar plum fairies.  White Christmas was no exception.

"This one is Santa, too."
"Raise your hand if you've seen White Christmas."

(Em and I both raise our hands)

"Emily, You have not!  Put your hand down!"
(Laughing) "Yes, I have.  This is Santa. You're a coo-coo!"

Is it any wonder?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Kids, This is my MS... MS, Meet my Kids."

Emily and I walked to the mailbox every day over the Summer. I made her put shoes on and I braved the hot sidewalk because a) I'm too lazy to get my own shoes and (b) I don't really see the point since I can't feel temperature in my feet. As it turned out, this provided my first opportunity to talk about Multiple Sclerosis with Emily. She wanted to know why I wasn't wearing shoes and I told her that Mommy's legs and feet are sick. Sometimes I can't feel things the same way everyone else does. She has asked a few times why we're moving and I explained that stairs are becoming a little tricky.  Our new house doesn't have stairs.  This is as far as these conversations go at this point. It's not like I'm going to start talking about myelin and lesions with a toddler!

I figure there are two ways that a parent can let their kids in on the presence of a chronic health condition... Either we have a dramatic family meeting at some point (think Lifetime Original movie) where everyone sits down with serious faces and tries NOT to scare the kids (ultimately terrifying them, of course) or it can just be a part of our everyday lives from the beginning.  I'd prefer that.  I'm happy I was diagnosed when Emily was just a baby -- This will never be new to her or to Jacob.

My neurologist is urging me to go back on my disease-modifying therapy (Rebif) sooner rather than later. He's pushing for me to stop breastfeeding at 6 months so I can return to giving myself injections 3x / week. For obvious reasons, I'm not super motivated to do that! Thankfully I'm a dairy cow and have a full freezer of breast milk already (Moo). My symptoms have returned with a vengeance since Jacob was born and I doubt I'll be able to hide my Tin Man walk when I see the doctor this month.  I still plan on arguing for at least another month or two, though.

Once I go back on Rebif I've decided I want to do my
HAMSTER DANCE in front of Emily on occasion.  My only worry is that this will be yet another thing she shares with teachers that just sounds bad. They're already going to hear "My Mommy and Daddy finished a WHOLE bottle of wine last night!" Now she may say, "My Mommy has a whole big box of used needles!" That should make parent-teacher conferences interesting!  We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cry Me a River...

I was up five times last night between midnight and 5 a.m. Granted, a few of those times were with Emily (bathroom break and a nightmare that had to do with not having her arm in the right hole?!) This morning Jason and I knew it was time to start sleep training with Jacob.

We were waiting until he was over the croup he had last week. We were waiting for a stretch of days when I would be home with him, so we wouldn't have to worry about inconsistency. Apparently we were also waiting for the worst night of sleep yet because this was the one that told me without a doubt that IT IS TIME.

This time around I'm using the advice of a friend's sister who has had amazing results with her own two kids. We let Em cry it out one night back in the day and she was a fantastic sleeper from then on. It was the hardest 30 minutes of my life, but I learned two things...

1. Babies don't die after crying for 30 minutes.
2. I can finish an entire bottle of wine in a half hour on my own.

We're starting with days instead of nights. Jacob began getting cranky at 8:30 and had droopy eyes while I carried him to his crib. I set him down and he began wailing. I went in after 10 minutes to soothe him then set him down again once he was calm. I've repeated this several times and each time I keep thinking he will pass out. HE CAN'T STAY AWAKE FOREVER, RIGHT?!?

My internal dialogue isn't helping...

Heart: How could you do this to your baby!?
Head: I'm teaching him how to put himself to sleep.

Heart: CPS is going to knock on your door any moment now.
Head: I'm doing this because I love him. He needs this skill.

Heart: Do you feel that nagging urge to help your crying baby? That's a natural instinct. It's there for a reason.
Head: We'll all be happier. He'll be a happier baby if he's more rested. I'll be a better mommy.

Heart: You're a terrible mommy. Attachment parents across the globe are weeping for your child right now. He'll have abandonment issues his entire life.
Head: Bullshit. One morning of crying does not equal lifetime trauma... Wait... Does it?

Right about then I poured a shot of Pendleton Whiskey in my coffee. I'm not a huge whiskey fan, but we were out of Bailey's. So, now I'm a 9 a.m. drinker. Awesome.

He's still crying. We're going on almost TWO HOURS of this. I pick him up and he immediately calms and begins to fall asleep. I set him back down and he starts screaming before he hits the mattress. I set the timer for 10 minutes and try to distract myself while he loses his mind in there. I reset the clock if he calms even for a minute. I'm doing the right thing. I'm doing the right thing. I'm doing the right thing.

Emily wants to know why I won't help him. I explained how this works and why it's so important as if this is a developmentally appropriate conversation to have with a 3 year old. "Do you understand, Honey? Do you think this is a good idea?"

"Yes... And I think we need to get a cat." Right. I'm finding absurd things to do to fill 10-minute crying sessions. I polished my toe nails blue. I bleached the bathroom sinks. I'm blogging. Next I plan on looking at cats on the Humane Society website. We'll name him Ferber. Or Pendleton. He'll be fantastic and all he will do all day long is SLEEP. Good kitty.