Friday, March 20, 2009


Ferber is my new four letter word. So is ‘crib-lowering,’ ‘night-light,’ ‘bumper-removing,’ ‘teething,’ and ‘transitioning-to-solid-foods.’ All at the same time. It’s the less than perfect storm.

We have started to put Anna through sleep training, to get her to go to sleep easier at night. Starting out was extremely difficult, she is a very willful half-Russian child. By the time she is two she will know all the right buttons to push on both parents. Easily. The first two nights was ten minute increments. Ten minutes can really be a lifetime. Really. In between was two minutes of patting, singing, and general worrying/calming. And no holding or picking up (the horror!). She is already used to that aspect, when we go into her room during the night if she is has woken up it is usually to give her back her pacifier and pat her some to help her fall asleep again. Night 1 lasted for an hour and a half. Night 2 lasted for 30 minutes. Nights 3 and 4 she fell asleep during the bottle portion of the pajamas, bottle, story, cuddle, off to bed routine. Night 5 was a bump up to 15 minute increments and lasted exactly 15 minutes. I was just about to go up to her when she stopped crying and fell asleep. Night 6 was a repeat of night 5, just as I was about to go up to her she stopped crying. And night 7 was a very short 4 minute cry/moan/whine. I’d like to say it’s getting better, but I don’t feel that way. Sure, the times are decreasing, I can see that. But the intensity is still the same. The crying, oh, the crying. It reaches into my stomach and pulls it out though my soul (see the button-pushing reference above). Melodramatic? You bet your ass. I earned it.

At the same time all this is going on both babies have become very good at sitting up on their own and are making lame attempts at pulling themselves up. Neither has managed to make it more than an inch off their bottom, but it necessitates taking off the bumpers of both cribs and lowering the mattress platforms down to a safer level. I think this has thrown Alex off his game, with the night-light next to his crib it’s now very bright. I have covered the light so it doesn’t shine right on him but he is still waking up during the night, which is very unusual for him. It could also be teething, but with all these things happening at one time it’s hard to be sure. The first night without the bumpers on poor Anna woke up screaming because her arm and/or foot was caught in the bars. I say “arm or foot” because it was not me who jumped out of bed like a madman and ran down to make sure she was ok, it was Z. And don’t think I didn’t get an earful about this, and the lost pacifier that fell out of the crib and bounced all the way down to the China, and the fact that our poor son was being blinded by the ‘bright-as-the-sun’ night light. Luckily for me child services wasn’t called in for such negligence. But cooler heads prevailed the next morning, or should I say, my cold shoulder prevailed the next morning. I am a good example of why you shouldn’t go to bed angry; I don’t forget about it the next day.

And what can I say about the transition to solid foods? Trying to think of a meal plan for two adults is hard enough, now I have to factor two babies into the equation? Damn. Does this mean Z and I have to really start eating vegetables? At the table?!??! It was so much simpler when…oh hell. It was never simple, who am I trying to kid? One of my challenges is how to tell when they’ve had enough, or if I’m giving them enough variety. And I don’t think I’m ready for them to feed themselves. Oh God the mess! If I spoon feed them through elementary school, would that be too weird?

Yesterday Z and I had to go into the city to take care of a few things. Needless to say the babies got a little rowdy waiting for papa to finish up. Here is a shot of me (unamused) trying to keep Alex amused. What you can't see is that he has no pants on due to the fact that he pooped out of them (for the second time that day!) and I had no more spares for him. It was a lovely day.

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