Friday, January 17, 2014

Oh. Why?

I knew it would come eventually. I have memories from my babysitting days, being asked over and over and over again, "why, why, why?" I remember hoping that I would think it was cute if it was my own kid asking. Unfortunately it's not.

It's fine when Lou asks "why?" and there is an easy, interesting answer. It's also fine when she only asks ONCE. Not so much.

Today it was about a cup that a friend left at our house. Why Ben leave cup here, Mama? Oh, I guess he just forgot it. Oh. Why? I just told you why. I think I'll wash it and we can give it to him later. Oh, why wash it Mama? 

I read somewhere that you can turn the question back to your inquisitive child, such as, Why do you think we should wash it? I tried that today and was surprised to hear that Lou was one step ahead of me: No, me ask you why. BAAAAA!

I guess there are far worse parent-child struggles. I should appreciate that she wants to engage me in conversation, right? Just thinking out loud now, but maybe I should teach Louisa to ask me one time before turning to Cora for her opinion. Although then I'll probably have two why-ers on my hands.

The only why-ing that Cora's been doing lately happens in her bed. Last night we started the ever-dreaded, but hopefully life-changing sleep training. As I mentioned previously, we only have one book on baby sleep habits, and it happens to be the cry-it-out method. While I never was interested in this seemingly neglectful approach with Lou, I've really changed my attitude. I don't think this attitude shift is due to Cora's different temperament; I think it's a survival tactic as a mother of two. As sweet as it was to rock Louisa to sleep and attend to her (non) feeding needs in the middle of the night, I just can't do it anymore. We, the parents of young children, don't need to accept that we'll never be rested, do we? I refuse to except!

So back to Cora's why-ing. She went to bed at 7 o'clock. I was ready for bed at 8:45 but forced myself to study the relevant sections from the sleep book and managed to stay awake until 9:45. The author does a good job of making sure that you don't feel guilty about letting your child cry. I was pretty sure I was going to need that reassurance once the crying began. She woke up around 11 pm and cried for a bit. Then again at 2 something (cried), 4 something (cried) and 5 something (cried). The book says that the goal is a bedtime between 6 and 8 pm and wake-up time between 6 and 7 am. But as I laid in bed trying to make myself wait until 6 am, I started to worry about leaking diapers, vomit covered crib sheets, and limbs stuck in crib rungs. At 5:20, she won, although none of my fears had come true. I went in, changed her diaper, nursed her and put a peaceful and dry baby back to bed. I'm pretty sure the book wouldn't approve, but I felt good about how long I'd held out. I'm prepared for tonight to be worse because I hear it usually is. Peace be with you, Cora Beaner. May you be above average on this one.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zero to Six in Three and a Half

Last Thursday was a big day. My mom hosted all six of her grandchildren in her cozy, tidy row house near Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. The stars had to align perfectly, so to speak, for this event to occur:
  1. Alex Luke Langenkamp had to be born on Tuesday so that he could come home from the hospital by Thursday morning.  
  2. John Paul's Thursday night flight had to be canceled so that he, Grace, Cohen and Marin could make the 1 hour 15 minute drive from Patuxent River, MD for dinner. 
  3. There had to be bitter, bitter cold weather in Chicago so that we could postpone our trip home by one week. 
The icing on the cake would have been having Matthew, my dad and Nate with us for our Thursday night grandchild extravaganza, but we were thankful for plain 'ole cake this time around!

While Sarah was in the hospital, Louisa and Oliver had some quality cousin time:

A visit to GW Hospital to meet Axel
A brief visit with Matthew the day we arrived, before he flew back to San Diego
Belle and the newest two
All six, under the age of 3.5, with their Belle Mere

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken