On Lock Down

April 11, 2009

So I went to the pediatrician yesterday. The night before Lily cried in my arms for almost twenty minutes. She did not want me to stroke her hair, or rub her back, or do anything except just be there. This is hard when you are trying to figure out what is wrong with your child and they just cry and cry and cry. God has not given me any cholic-y baby cause he knows I could NOT handle that. So then Chris came in and had a turn with her, and he was done in 5 minutes. I attribute that to when I ask him to open a jar that I have been working on for a long time- I basically did all the hard work of loosening things up, or in this case- tiring Lily out.

By this time Chris and I were more convinced than ever before that there was something wrong with our Lilsters and that we had to take her to the doctor. Even if it was for some heartfelt pediatric advice. Surely I was doing something wrong.

Lily and I went to the pediatrician. We just went last week for her’s and Topher’s 2 year and 1 year well check-ups. (A bonus for being born within a week of each other!) So the pediatrician definitely recognized us, and remembered that I had mentioned Lily’s sudden change in sleep. First she treated the treatable problem- Lily had an ear infection.

Then the pediatrician tried to treat the other problem- me. And Chris too. Apparently our inconsistencies were causing Lily to be confused and very very tired. And of course, that made plenty of sense. We wanted her to fall asleep on her own at the beginning of the night (which she fought tooth and nail) but then any where in the middle of the night she could be found in our bed, or in her bed with me, or with me on the floor next to her bed, etc. Yes, that’s confusing for a two year old. I get it. The remedy? For Chris and I to arm ourselves for battle- and to lock her door at nap time and at night time and that’s that. And the key to success was CONSISTENCY. One of my bigger weaknesses.

It sounds easy enough, to lock the door and not think about your baby in her room, but when you hear your two year old screaming for you behind their locked door, your heart breaks a little. And then after 30 minutes of it, you want to break something… But fortunately it only took about half an hour for Lily to fall asleep (or stop screaming) at nap time, and later in the middle of the night. I don’t know why it’s different from when I was told to stop using the baby monitor to get Topher to sleep through the night… Maybe cause with Topher I knew he was safe in his crib, and his mind isn’t as ‘advanced’ as Lily’s. I have visions of Lily climbing all over her furniture and hurting herself. Or being scared that we locked her in her room and that she is the only one in the house. Even though Chris and I went through a routine before putting her to bed that went a little something like this: “Sleeping time- door locked. All done sleeping time- door opened, hello mommy and daddy!” The main reason it was probably easier to ‘train’ Topher is cause I really didn’t hear him in the middle of the night (even though his room is right next to ours) and I can always hear Lily. She’s really got a set of vocal chords you don’t want to mess with.

Yes Lily has an ear infection right now, so every time she cries- we go get her so that we can put those drops in her ear. Last night she went to bed at about 8 pm, woke up at midnight, stopped screaming at 12:30, and woke up at 6am. It was amazing! Yes 6 am is WAY too early for anyone to be awake, but it’s a start! My sleep would have been all the more amazing had Topher not woken up at 4am with a fever (He caught Lily’s cold! When it rains, it pours…) But to sleep in my own bed for the whole night- that’s what dreams are made of.

And it is always humbling to remember that in order to have good kids, you really have to learn to be a good parent first.

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