Saturday, October 24, 2009

Toddler sleep

So, I gave my notice at work. It went fine--my boss was perfectly pleasant about it. Asked if there was anything they could do to keep me, to which I said, "if there is, I can't imagine it."

We're working on a transition plan. One of the directors who reports to me will be taking over the team, which is great. She's wonderful and deserves it. I'm also starting to ramp up at my new job during the same transition period. So, my life is going to get slightly more complicated before it gets easier.

But, in the end, it should be worth it. I should be able to hobble together a more rational existence that involves fewer work hours and more time with my family. And maybe even some time for me. Hooray!

In other news, the stickies are sick. We've been so lucky. For almost the first 18 months of their life, we've had to deal with very few illnesses. Sure, they got a few colds, and yes they did get hoof and mouth disease once, which was no fun. (104 fever. I still can't believe it's "normal" for babies to get 104 fevers. It certainly felt like sweet potato was going to burst into flames when it happened.)

But, now they're in a Montessori school three mornings a week, so they're exposed to a lot more than they have been in the past. Sure, we knew when we signed them up that they'd basically have a cold for the entire year. What we didn't anticipate was that we'd be dealing with what they're predicting will be both the worst winter in 50 years AND the worst cold/flu season. Awesome.

So, both kiddos have had a pretty nasty cold for the better part of two weeks. They've been real troopers for the most part. Sweet Potato had a rough day or two and is on antibiotics for a slight ear infection. Monkey Girl seemed like she'd be clear of the worst of it, but now two crappy nights of sleep is suggesting otherwise.

And, as I struggled through a rough night last night and a sleepless nap, I came to the realization that I have, literally, no strategy to deal with a 19-month old with sleep challenges. We did some modified sleep training more than a year ago, and have had dreamy sleepers (pun intended) ever since.

But now? Well, Monkey Girl barely fell asleep last night. And only did after MUCH drama. And now we're staring down the barrel of a repeat performance. Last night I blamed it on not giving her pain killer before bed. Today? Well, I have no such excuse. Now I blame it on going in to get her last night. Twice. When there was really nothing wrong. And staying with her for a while. Then today we were at my in laws for my nephew's 1st birthday and we had a disastrous nap where I went in and let her sleep on top of me.

While it feels like I'm being helpful when I do things like that, I'm pretty sure it just sets us back in a very real way. And now, she's been struggling on and off for an hour and a half. I'm sure she's uncomfortable, but there is nothing left for me to do. We've soothed and comforted, given her pain killer. She's tired and she's sick. What she really needs right now is SLEEP.

Ugh. Poor little girl.

Thank god twins are completely immune to each other. Sweet Potato is in there as she struggles, sleeping away. I swear sometimes they're comforted by hearing the other one, because it lets them know they're in it together. It must be funny to be a twin.

In other news, now that I'm going to have (I hope) more free time, I need to meet some friends in this hamlet. Because we moved up here to be close to family, and because our lives have been sheer chaos for a while, we've really spent any extra time we've had with family. And I really haven't met anyone that I've really connected with. And now that I'll be working from home, well, I'm going to need to find a way to reverse that. Any good suggestions for meeting good people when you're a work-from-home mom?

I've also had a post percolating around in my head since last week's front-page New York Times article on fertility treatments and multiple births. More on that later because it definitely hit home when I saw it.

In the meantime, try to stay dry in what appears to be monsoon season in the Northeast.


Sarah said...

Eh, you have almost certainly not undone 19 months of good sleep habits in two nights. Minor setbacks are normal, esp when they're sick. Betcha anything you're back to good nights within a few days of their recovery. Hoping that's soon!!

Congratulations on the job, I hope the transition period is short and as painless as possible!

Life in Eden said...

Yes, a few nights will not undo a good sleeper. Consider having her looked at by the doctor. My girl, and her big brother, gets LOTS of ear infections -- and their only symptoms are sleeplessness. No fever, no tugging on ear. Just restless sleep issues. So maybe Monkey Girl has an infection too.

Hope all your transitioning goes well. I am in a new town and trying to make friends too. I have the chance to meet others since my oldest is in 1st grade. But other things I'll be trying include joining the Y, and taking some type of class by spring.

serenity said...

I was going to say the same thing as your prior two commenters - no way have you undone 19 months of good sleep habits with a couple nights.

In my house, when O's sick, we give him a lot more leeway with the sleep stuff than we will when he's well. For me anyway, I want him to know that he can count on mommy's extra love (even at night) when he's not feeling wel.

It's tough when he goes through a stretch like he has recently (pneumonia for three weeks, broken sleep for just as long). But when he's well he's back to normal sleep habits.

Anyway. Point is? You're doing fine.

I hope the kiddos feel better soon.


Ms. Planner said...

I think it is great that you are giving the stickies the extra love that they need at night.

Missy is (was?) the crappiest sleeper ever. I mean, I really feel like I got the short end of the stick when it came to baby sleep. And I tried everything except for cry-it-out. So I consider myself kind of an expert source-giver on the topic because there is no panacea, no easy trick that works for everyone. You kind of have to cobble together what works for you.

One book that really helped me was the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" by E. Pantley. I never realized how important a set bedtime (and wake time was) and how a set-in-stone routine was, esp. for sleep fighter extraordinaires like Missy. Also, even if you had a great sleeper as a baby, toddler-hood is a different ballgame.

Lastly, I think the kiss-your-consistent-sleep-goodbye-for-5-years is the dirty little secret no one tells newly pregnant first time parents.