Today I feel...wait for it...good! Pretty amazing considering how hellish the last few weeks have been. Obviously I haven't been blogging much lately and it's mostly because sleep training sucks and preschoolers suck and I don't want to relive my sucky days by writing about them at night when the suckage temporarily stops. Today, however, hasn't sucked too much so far so I'm taking a little bit of time to blog. Lucky you.
Last night was a not-so-bad night for me. Russ and I switched roles and he put Tristan to sleep while I put the boys down, something that usually ends with bad results. Luckily Tristan went down no problem (ok, so putting him to sleep hasn't been much of a problem lately) and even the boys didn't give me any grief other than Roanen crying about wanting "MY songs" but not telling me what they were. I was even able to leave the room before he was totally asleep, something that we've been working on and that I've never been able to accomplish before. In the past couple of days Tristan has been settling himself occasionally when he wakes up and he did so a couple of times before we went to bed. Naturally as soon as I got into bed he really woke up and started crying. I've been really torn about what to do when he wakes up at night. According to the Baby Whisperer I'm supposed to do pick up/put down until he goes back to sleep and he's not to be fed between 7 PM and 7 AM if he's getting enough food during the day (which I finally think he is since he's taken so well to solids). The problem is that once he gets really crying he gets so worked up that he won't settle without nursing. I'm talking hysterical crying for hours and if he DOES finally settle, it doesn't last. I haven't yet managed to go an entire night without feeding him and he calms right down and generally sleeps for a chunk after he nurses. The verdict is that I'm going to combine a couple of sleep training techniques: the Baby Whisperer stuff for when he's first going down at night or for a nap, as well as when he wakes up at night and settles back down easily with shushing, and the No-Cry Sleep Solution techniques for the middle of the night when he won't settle back down easily. Basically that means nursing him when he wakes up, but not for longer than it takes for his sucking to slow down. I have a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch in his room while I'm nursing him and it tends to make him sleep really restlessly. As well, our bed is off limits. Since I've started the sleep training he has been intolerable in our bed, fussing and wanting to nurse constantly and I can't deal with it. It's actually easier to be awake and dealing with him in his room than half-ass sleeping and dealing with him in ours.
So back to last night, I nursed Tristan right at my bedtime, then once at about 2 and once at about 5. He slept in until 7, which I was able to do as well since Russ was home until then to entertain the boys before he had to leave for work. Of course just before the 2 AM feed Roanen came into our room and climbed into bed on my side because he knew Russ would get mad at him if he went to him. I put him back in his room after the 5 AM feed, then nearly got to sleep when Josey started calling for me. When I went in to check on him he was standing in the middle of the room and he said "Mommy! What did the Backyardigans have for snack?" as which point I tossed him into his bed and went back to mine.
I realize that I probably shouldn't be thrilled about a night like that, but I feel pretty energetic and well rested today so I'll take it. The best part was to come this morning though. Around 9:15 I took Tristan upstairs for his nap, sang him a couple of songs and put him down in his crib. He wasn't overtired so he just smiled and talked to me, which I took as a sign to leave. He fussed a little bit, but 5 minutes later HE WAS ASLEEP. ASLEEP. ON HIS OWN. I REPEAT, ON HIS OWN. WITHOUT ANYONE IN THE ROOM. I mean, Roanen still has a hard time with that and Josey didn't do it until he was 2 1/2. I'm ecstatic. I'm not assuming that this will happen every time, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. Yay.
On other fronts, we have our Nanny 911-esque sessions with a home worker starting in a couple of weeks. All the assessments are done and the worker will be helping us out with sleeping (which I actually hope to resolve before she gets here), self-soothing for Roanen and Tristan and discipline. We really haven't had many problems with Roanen lately, even though he was the main reason we originally called for help. That being said, he's been standing at the glass door in the playroom for the last 20 minutes in hysterics because I *gasp* locked them in there to play with their zillions of toys so they wouldn't wake Tristan up. I'm mostly excited about the discipline part. We've been having a ton of problems with Josey lately. He refuses to listen to anything from "Please turn off the tv and get your boots on" to "Get out of Tristan's face, he's scared of you" to "Don't run into the busy road or you'll get run over". He gets physically aggressive with the younger boys and myself and is getting time-outs at preschool because of bad behaviour. Time-outs are hard because I end up having to chase him around the house when he gets one and drag him into his time-out spot. Overall sucky behaviour which will (hopefully) get resolved sometime before he's bigger than me. Too bad I can't take the car keys away.
And finally, a conversation between Josey and Roanen:
Josey: "I'm all done my granola bar, Roanen. Can I please have some of yours?"
Roanen: "Ok, Josey. Here you go"
Josey: "Thanks Roanen"
Roanen: "You're welcome Josey"
And I didn't even imagine it.