I’m going to my first day of work, today.
Leaving Babby with PH, for the longest I have ever left Babby with anyone EVER.
I’m nervous about work, and sad about leaving my baby. At least the first time isn’t at the daycare.
Wish me luck…
I’m going to my first day of work, today.
Leaving Babby with PH, for the longest I have ever left Babby with anyone EVER.
I’m nervous about work, and sad about leaving my baby. At least the first time isn’t at the daycare.
Wish me luck…
I had an appointment with my shrink yesterday.
She said that they often try taking people off of their meds a year after the baby is born, but she didn’t think that I was ready, especially since I’m about to start a new job and you all know how WELL I deal with change! Not to mention that I get blue just thinking of losing my Babby time, and the fact that I develop anxiety when away from Babby for more than two or three hours.
I start next week, full time. It’s going to be FUN.
She was also intrigued by my new diet.
“Have you tried, just… moderation?” my shrink asked. (I hate it when people ask questions like this. Do they really expect me to say “No, I haven’t tried just eating less. What a great idea!“?)
“Yes. I gain weight.”
“You can’t do it?”
“No, I can’t, and on the rare occasion that I succeed, it doesn’t matter,” I said. “I gain weight if there are any simple sugars in my diet. But no, I can’t do moderation. One piece of bread leads to more. Always.”
“I thought that you said the Wellbutrin reduced your carb cravings?”
And I told her how it was before.
How, whenever I tried to cut out carbs, I would find myself near tears in the grocery store, looking longingly at the Olivieri pasta.
How, one time, when I couldn’t find the dregs of a bag of chips, I ransacked the entire house (including linen closets) trying to find it. It turned out that PH had finished the bag and thrown it away.
You know that Sex and the City episode, where Miranda takes cake out of the garbage and eats it? That was me.
The Wellbutrin DOES help.
I have passed day three of my no-carb diet, and I haven’t cried at all. Mind you, I’m not being overly strict. On Monday I ate PH’s Strawberry and Spinach salad, and on Tuesday we dipped our fried tofu in Sweet Chili Sauce, and yesterday I ate more tomato in my Greek Salad than would be ideal for “induction” Atkins.
But no bread, no pasta, no potatoes. That’s HARD. Especially since I am still giving Babby bread and fruit. I actually asked Perfect Husband to cut up Babby’s strawberries this morning, because I didn’t trust myself. As it was, when one piece got pushed out of Babby’s reach, I licked my fingers after handing it to him.
My cravings may be reduced, but they’re still there. In fact, in light of the fact that I don’t dare/want to do it more strictly than I am, I keep wondering if it’s even worth it.
I decided that if I hadn’t lost weight by today, I would give up.
I have lost two and a half pounds.
DAMN. That means I have to keep on this, because it may be starting to work.
So, for motivation, here are some picures of me, before and after carbs:
In 2003, between my third and fourth year at university, I tried a diet with my mother for two weeks.
It was called Atkins.
For two weeks we ate nothing but protein and leafy vegetables. No bread. No pasta. No potatoes. No reason to live.
The weight melted off.
I stayed on the diet for the rest of the summer. I lost 30 pounds, I had more energy than an ADHD kid on Redbull, and I felt AWESOME about myself.
I kept that weight off for a year, too. During the week I fed myself protein and veggies, and on weekends I splurged on a bag of chips or some popcorn. That held my weight steady.
That was one of the best years of my life so far.
The next year I was graduated and working as a telemarketer. I missed university. I missed Perfect Husband, who was still just Best Friend Who Worshipped Me From Afar But Now Lived In Frigging Vancouver. I hated my job.
I started eating perogies for lunch.
Then my boyfriend’s mother brought us an economy sized box of Kraft Dinner.
Then, when I suggested cooking something other than Kraft Dinner, my boyfriend would say “ugh, I don’t feel like eating *insert suggestion here*. Let’s get McDonalds.”
I gained 10 pounds.
Since that wondrous summer, when I broke free of my carb addiction, my weight has slowly creeped ever upwards.
I was 213 before Babby was born. Since then, my weight has plateaued at 175, which is still a good 15 pounds heavier than my pre-baby weight, and THAT was a good 15 pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day, and THAT was 15 pounds heavier than I was after the Summer of Awesome.
I don’t recognize myself in photos.
One problem is that no other diet seems to work for me. Diabetes runs in my family and my body just seems to chemically bond to sugar and then somehow turn it into twice its weight worth in fat. I could eat nothing but salads and whole grain bread, but so long as that bread is there, my weight wouldn’t budge.
The other problem is that I can never get past those first few days, when you’re detoxing from the carbs and you feel like you would sell your soul for a piece of toast.
…that is a universal feeling, right?
Well, I’m trying again. I don’t dare do it too strictly – I don’t want to mess with my milk – but I have to do SOMETHING. I hate my weight. I hate how I look. My clothes don’t fit. It’s just UGH.
But it’s only day 2 of the diet and already I’m starting to think: “Do I really want to ruin my last week off with Babby by cutting out carbs?”
And then I think “Do I really feel like I can’t enjoy my SON without CARBS?”
So I’m fighting it. But it’s hard going. Without carbs to soothe me, everything feels too difficult.
Take our morning walk: I can’t force myself to go all the way down and up the hill on our normal daily walk without my walkolate bar to reward me, so I’m taking dog and baby across the road to the playground.
I’m glad they’re happy, at least.
Anyone have a piece of toast I can nibble? I have a baby I could sell you.
PH only had one day off this week. Sunday. So of course, we filled Sunday with plans.
PH decided that since we were both exhausted from the recent disrupted nights, that Sunday should be dubbed Nap Day.
I pointed out that I don’t really do naps. It’s rare that I actually manage to fall back asleep once sufficiently roused in the mornings, and on the rare occasion that I do, they seem to make me groggy and disoriented, rather than rested. Early nights don’t work for me, either. I need sleep-ins.
PH used to get up with Babby for a couple of hours in the morning on weekends so I could get some extra shut-eye, but over the last couple of months the nights have been so disrupted, and Babby’s morning wake-ups have become so early (often 6 or 6:30 in the morning) that he tends to sleep through Babby’s wake-ups in the morning. Not wanting to disturb him, the man who sometimes works 6 day weeks, I would get up with Babby and usually by the time PH achieved consciousness, I had Babby changed and breakfasted and everything.
So, we decided that this Sunday PH would take Babby in the morning, and I could sleep in. Then, while I put Babby down for his morning nap, PH would get a nap himself. That way we both would get a couple of extra hours.
The rest of the day’s plans were filled with renewing car insurance, shopping for new scrubs for me, groceries, and then dropping Babby off at Pug Mama’s house while we went off to a movie.
Well, you all know how well things go when you plan a herculean number of things into one day.
The first thing to go was our extra sleeps. Babby woke up a little later in the morning than usual, around 7 am, after a semi-disrupted night. His cheerful noises roused both of us, and we talked out the day’s plan a little more. Then PH went to the bathroom, and we both went on autopilot.
I changed Babby’s diaper and sat in the rocker while he played in his room. PH, emerging from the bathroom, was distracted by the shiny internet and sat down at the computer, as he usually does in the mornings before work.
After half an hour or so he became aware of the fact that Babby and I were no longer upstairs. He found us downstairs and I was giving Babby breakfast. We all ate breakfast and then I went back up and put Babby down for his morning nap a little early (so we could get All Those Things Done).
I think PH felt bad about me losing my sleep-in, so he suggested I try and nap with him. I couldn’t fall asleep, and neither could he (although usually PH could nap on a bed of ice and rocks if given the opportunity).
So neither of us got our extra sleep. Nap Day was a fail.
Babby’s morning nap was inexplicably long, so when he woke up we only had time for car insurance, lunch, and then a drive-around to conk Babby out for a while before delivering him to his baby sitter (handing her a tired Babby and saying ‘Have fun!” seemed cruel and unusual).
The rest of the day went fine. We saw our movie, but it went longer than we expected so there was no time for a dinner afterwards. We picked up groceries instead with the remaining time, because we’re romantic like that.
We fetched Babby, who had apparently behaved himself very well, and took him home and put him to bed. We stared mindlessly at Mythbusters and then we took ourselves to bed, too.
That’s when things got weird.
He woke up ONCE, at 2, and went down fairly easily. Then he slept until 5 AM.
We should have been rejoicing in the streets, and PH was inclined to do just that.
Problem is, I don’t rejoice at 5 AM.
I don’t do ANYTHING at 5 am, except sleep, or growl.
When PH suggested just ending on a good note and letting Babby get UP for the day, I was all like “OH HELL NO.” The kid was rubbing his eyes and yawning. No reason why he couldn’t go back down for another couple hours and then I could SLEEP.
Except that, yawning and eye-rubbing aside, Babby seemed quite determined to stay awake this time.
“I don’t think he’s going to go back down,” said my husband, the realist.
“HE’LL GO DOWN,” I said through gritted teeth.
PH decided that I was being scary and took himself back to bed, essentially saying, “good luck with that.”
And he wouldn’t go down, the little blighter. He kept yawning, and rubbing his eyes, but he was like “look, you wanted me to sleep and I slept. I’m done now. Up time.”
At 6:30 PH took control and decided that everyone had had enough. It was his usual wake-up time anyway. PH was annoyed with me for not believing him when he had said that Babby wouldn’t go down, and for ending such a successful night with tears and struggle. I was annoyed with the universe for not letting me get some effing morning sleep.
“What good is it to me if he sleeps from 8 am until 5 am?” I asked him, “if I can never fall asleep before midnight? And what message do we send him when we just let him get up when it’s still dark out?”
I was being unreasonable.
I KNEW I was being unreasonable.
But damnit, I wanted to defend my attempts to put him back down, because it’s one thing if I try to get him to sleep to a decent hour and fail. It’s another thing to just GIVE UP and let him get up when it’s still frigging dark out.
What if it is 4:30 am next time? Should I get up then? How about 4 am? How about 3? Why not let him just stay up all night like he wants to and give up on the sleep training entirely?
So PH went to work frustrated with me, and a little scared. I put Babby down for a nap at eight (and he went easily because he’d been up since FRIGGING FIVE) and tried to get some more shut-eye. Maybe another hour or two would restore my faith in the universe.
It usually takes me about half an hour or so to fall asleep, sometimes an hour if I’m trying to nap.
He was awake at nine.
I’m not in a good mood.
Today should be a GOOD day. He SLEPT last night!
So why do I feel like an angry ball of fail?
Grace, the Domesticated Nerd Girl, asked me a question in my last Rowling vs Meyer post, and I got so interested in my response, and the response got so long, that I realized it deserved to be its own post:
Traxy’s comment reminded me of how when I first started reading Harry Potter, I was uncomfortable with how freely the wizards use magic.
In most of the fanasty books I’ve read, there’s always a cost to using magic, either to yourself or the world in general, and should be used sparingly.I always felt a twinge when they used magic to do something that could easily be accomplished without, like Mrs. Weasley and her household chores.
Was that ever something that was touched on? (It’s been a while since I’ve read them)
Well, no, it isn’t really addressed, and I’ve pondered the exact same thing myself. If the wizards use their wands to channel their own personal store of magic, shouldn’t using too much of it get exhausting? It’s never really indicated.
The last time I read through the series I paid more attention, and this is what I noticed:
Magic in the Potterverse is much more… mundane than magic in most fantasy novels that I read. Instead of being full of arcane mystery, it is treated with the casualness that we might treat the “magic” of electricity, or of the iPhone.
But somehow, it works and I don’t mind it.
In most fantasy books, magic users need to be given limits to balance the power. The wizards mix with the non-magic users and have access to the same non-magical technology as everyone else. So with the addition of magic, that makes them insanely powerful.
Most fantasy authors deal with this by limiting magic – too much drains you, for example.
But that doesn’t seem to be true in the Potterverse. If anything, when young wizards come of age they start using magic completely gratuitously, for the sheer joy of it.
Harry seized the wand lying beside his camp bed, pointed it at the cluttered desk where he had left his glasses, and said, “Accio Glasses!” Although they were only around a foot away, there was something immensely satisfying about seeing them zoom toward him, at least until they poked him in the eye.
“Slick,” snorted Ron.
Reveling in the removal of his Trace, Harry sent Ron’s possessions flying around the room, causing Pigwidgeon to wake up and flutter excitedly around his cage. Harry also tried tying the laces of his trainers by magic (the resultant knot took several minutes to untie by hand) and, purely for the pleasure of it, turned the orange robes on Ron’s Chudley Cannons posters bright blue.
This is treated as being not so much wasteful, but just pointless and needlessly complicated – as if you used your cell phone to call the friend sitting next to you, or piled your kids in the car just to visit the people next door.
Harry’s ridiculous use of magic just causes him more problems – he gets poked in the eye and makes a massive knot in his sneakers.
Fred and George similarly manage to create a huge mess in the kitchen when magically “helping” their mother.
‘FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!’ screamed Mrs Weasley. ‘THERE WAS NO NEED – I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS – JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE ALLOWED TO USE MAGIC NOW, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WHIP YOUR WAND OUR FOR EVERY TINY LITTLE THING!’
‘We were just trying to save a bit of time!’ said Fred, hurrying forward to wrench the bread knife out of the table.
So if the only reason not to use magic is to avoid complication and occasional mistakes, doesn’t that make the wizards insanely powerful?
In the Potterverse, pretty much all of the characters are magic users, and that really levels out the playing field. As Fudge points out to the Muggle Minister, when everyone can do magic, no one gets ahead:
The Prime Minister gazed hopelessly at the pair of them for a moment, then the words he had fought to suppress all evening burst from him at last.
“But, for heaven’s sake – you’re wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out – well – anything!”
Scrimgeour turned slowly on the spot and exchanged an incredulous look with Fudge, who really did manage a smile this time as he said kindly, “The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister.”
In this scene, Rowling seems to gently chide us for our childish notions of the power of “magic”. (As an aside, Rowling sure likes the expression “for heaven’s sake” doesn’t she?)
We, as Muggles, use the word to apply to anything that we don’t understand. We see it as a powerful and magic cure-all, but to the wizards of the Potterverse, it isn’t. It’s just… a technology.
When everyone can use the same technology, there is no excess of power. It’s just normal. And sure, wizards can use magic against Muggles, but isn’t that part of what Harry Potter is all about? Magic as might and preventing the misuse of it against Muggles?
Even wizards like Mr. Weasley, who like and respect Muggles, look at them with a sort of condescending fondness. The balance of power is definitely out of whack. Or it would be without the Statute of Secrecy.
The Ministry of Magic spends an incredible amount of time trying to prevent wizards from using magic on or around Muggles. They also enforce laws to restrict the use of it.
So in a way, yes, there are restrictions on the use of magic. But they aren’t based on waste of power, the way they are in most fantasy worlds.
The limitations on magic in the Potterverse seem to be three-fold:
There is one other thing, however, that helps aid the balance of power, although many wizards don’t actually seem aware of it:
There is also a major lack of modern conveniences.
Rowling’s wizards don’t have electricity. They don’t have engines (as far as I can gather, the Hogwarts Express appears to run on steam, but more likely, it runs on magic). They don’t have washing machines, television, telephones or computers.
They JUST have magic.
Magic is everywhere in the Potter books, but with it comes an entirely different culture that is scientifically WAY behind modern Muggles. Wizards never needed to explore the other laws of the natural world. Magic is what the wizards use to do everything, from household chores to medicine.
Outside of magic, they are woefully ignorant.
They don’t know how to phone a friend, stitch a wound, or how airplanes stay up (Mr. Weasley is desperate to find out, but I could have explained it to him at the age of 12).
You have to wonder if they even know why Newton’s apple fell from the tree.
They don’t have plumbers, so God knows how their plumbing works. Magic, no doubt.
Even those with a keen interest in Muggle technology get confused.
“They run off eckeltricity, do they? Ah yes, I can see the plugs. I collect plugs. And batteries. Got a very large collection of batteries. My wife thinks I’m mad, but there you are.“
Basically, this means that Benjamin Franklin had a better grasp on science and innovation than Rowling’s wizards do hundreds of years later.
That’s quite a handicap, really.
They can chop potatoes with a spell, but they don’t have food processors or blenders. They have pictures that move, but they don’t have movies. They have wands, but they don’t have guns. They learn transfiguration and charms in school, but they don’t learn physics, or calculus, or literature for that matter.
Astronomy is the closest they come to a non-magical science class, but again, I get the impression that their idea of astronomy is much more based on Galileo than on Stephen Hawking.
Thanks to this absence of technology, Rowling’s wizards are often confronted by problems and inconveniences that wouldn’t be an issue for Muggles, like how to have a private conversation with someone who is far away, or how to transport an entire family, kids and all, from one location to another.
Transportation is definitely a recurring problem in the Potterverse. The wizards have invented a wide array of ways to travel, none of which seem wholly convenient:
Getting messages to each other is another problem:
Even if the wizards did discover the “magic” of a Blackberry or iPhone, or the kind of connectedness you can achieve with Facebook, Hermione tells us that too much magic interferes with Muggle devices. So you see, it has to be one way or the other. They can’t have both.
Magic seems to bring its own problems with it.
Madame Pomfrey has cure for the common cold in her Pepper Up Potion, and a broken bone is no trouble, but magical diseases like Dragon Pox and Spattergroit, or amnesia and insanity caused by evil or simply bungled spells seem to be much more difficult to cure.
I’m reminded of a guy I went to school with, who liked to tell me,
Science is the solution to all of the problems we wouldn’t have without… science.
I think the same could be said of magic in Rowling’s wizarding world.
All in all, I am satisfied. The attitude towards magic is, on the whole, refreshingly unique, and I loved the sorts of inconveniences that it brings. A refreshing change from the indestructibility of Meyer’s vampires.
I wrote a book! Not about Harry Potter, but a satirical feminist response to Twilight. If you like my writing, maybe check it out!
I can’t decide whether this is working or not. The second night Babby had caught on to our game, and was not so easily tricked into falling asleep. There was a lot of screaming, and singing, and rocking, and screaming.
Now, a week after we’ve started, I’m exhausted and I don’t know whether to feel encouraged, or discouraged.
I have been fairly consistent about getting him to fall asleep off of the breast. I’d say a real lapse only happens once every couple of days or so.
Babby no longer bursts into heart broken tears when we lay him in the crib, and he no longer objects to being taken off of the breast and sung to sleep. GENERALLY speaking.
On several nights, like last night, Babby’s wake-ups have been much more spaced than usual, occurring after three hours stretches instead of the usual 1-2 hour stretch.
Often putting him down for nap time or after a wake-up at night takes no longer off the breast now than it did when he was on the breast. Sometimes, it’s even faster.
On multiple locations Babby has rolled over in his crib with his BACK to me and laid there quietly until eventually drifting off into sleep.
For both his naps yesterday, at bed time, and all three wake-ups in the night, Babby drifted off to sleep on his own while staring at his seahorse while I just sat and hummed in the gliding rocker.
There are sometimes nights like the night before last, where he has woken up every hour and then taken an hour or more to go back down EACH TIME.
Sometimes the long sessions are because he won’t stop screaming and kicking his feet, and other times they’re just because he has decided that he would rather play in his crib than sleep, but then starts to scream if we just walk out and leave him to it.
I swear, when he rolls over and gets up and then SMILES at me while standing in his crib, it’s more frustrating than the screaming. If I could just find a way to stop him from FRIGGING STANDING UP, I would thank God on my knees.
If he is lying quietly on his side with his back to me, I can’t tell when he’s really asleep, and if tip-toe out the room before he is properly asleep, he starts to scream and we have to start ALL OVER AGAIN.
The thing that is really frustrating is that everyone talks about teaching him to soothe himself, etc etc.
Well, what if the problem is that he doesn’t want to be soothed? Babby just doesn’t WANT to sleep. He fights it at every pass. Remember when he was a newborn and wouldn’t sleep for EIGHT HOURS AT A TIME?
He has a million tricks for keeping himself awake and he uses them even when he’s sobbingly, eye-rubbingly tired. He seems to think that if he falls asleep, God will eat him.
There’s the kicking feet trick, which he does much the same way I might jiggle my leg to keep myself awake on the road late at night.
There’s the flailing arm trick, which he uses the same way.
The most annoying trick is the Lazarus trick – just as we think we’ve gotten him to sleep, an arm shoots out, grabs the rail of his crib, and then he just, like, HAULS himself out of unconsciousness as he pulls himself to standing FROM HIS SLEEP.
Perfect Girlfriend, who has raised her own child plus multiple siblings, says she has seen babies who can’t soothe themselves, but never a baby that just HATED sleep like Babby does.
So, should I be encouraged by nights like last night, where he woke up three times but in three hours spaces and went to sleep without too much fuss, or discouraged by nights like the night before last, where he was up constantly and fighting sleep like his life depended on it?
Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity… Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend .
The above quote has been mis-attributed to many, including Stephen King and Andrew Futral (who re-blogged it) but was actually written by someone named Robin Browne. Whoever she is, she hit the nail on the head.
(A note about spoilers: I will keep Harry Potter spoilers to a minimum, only letting go the kind of information that you could pick up from your standard movie trailer and have probably picked up on already, unless you live in a world without other people. Twilight spoilers, on the other hand, abound, because I can’t “spoil” Twilight any more than I can “spoil” a compost heap.)
One of the things I most appreciate about the Harry Potter series is its rich exploration of right and wrong, good and evil.
In Harry Potter, good guys and bad guys are not clearly defined. Good people sometimes do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things. The person you percieve as a villain in the beginning of a book is rarely still a villain by the end, and some of the people you thought were good turn out to be pretty damn evil.
What if your intentions are good, but your actions are bad? Does that make you good, or bad? What if you do something bad “for the greater good”? What if you do bad things by accident?
Harry Potter addresses all of these questions, and answers them as well. Rowling’s answer?
No one is all good or all bad. You can even be on the side of “good” and still be deeply evil.
We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
One of the things that intrigues me most about Stephenie Meyer is the divide between what she thinks Twilight is, and what it actually is.
On Meyer’s website, she talks about the apple on the cover of Twilight and the quote that opens the novel.
I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase “the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Isn’t this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is.
Really? She does? Because I am not convinced that Bella would recognize evil if it tried to kill her.
On top of that, Bella herself is a right bitch.
Quick – what’s the first thing you think of when you think of “good”?
If your answer is “Bella Swan”, congratulations! First, you fully agree with what Stephenie Meyer thinks, and second, your medication dosage needs to be reviewed immediately.
Meyer certainly seems to percieve her own work as a thrilling tale about the nature of good and evil, choice and fate.
I see it as a story about a whiny brat with absolutely no morals, who never learns that she is not a good person.
So I can only form the following conclusion: Stephenie Meyer is seriously confused about what constitutes “good” and what constitutes “evil”.
The funny thing about good and evil in Meyer’s books is that they don’t seem to be largely correlated to right and wrong, being nice or being cruel.
As far as I can gather, having read the Twilight Saga…
“Good” means: Friends with Bella.
“Evil” means: Not friends with Bella and/or has red eyes.
Therefore, I am evil, and so are albino bunny rabbits.
A new post at World Moms Blog!
I have an update on the sleeping situation, as well as the next Twilight post, coming down the pipe, but today Babby is 11 months old, so I want to talk about that.
ELEVEN MONTHS? WHAT THE HELL?
WHERE DID THE TIME GO??
WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO FOR HIS BIRTHDAY???
HOW CAN HE EVEN HAVE A BIRTHDAY; HE’S JUST A NEWBORN BAAAAAAAAAAAAAABY!
Good news: The sign for milk has reappeared with avengeance. Babies are strange.
He had a well-baby this past month and we discovered that he is 18 lbs, and still in the 15th percentile for weight. That’s good, it means he’s holding his own. Maybe not making any insane strides in the weight department, but growing at a normal pace.
His length is dirt-average, coming in at 50th percentile.
His massive melon head is in the 85th percentile.
That’s right: 15th, 50th, and 85th.
So basically, he has a skinny little body under a massive head. Like a lollipop. Or a bobble-head toy.
It means that one friend’s 3 month old is only 3 pounds away from surpassing my nearly-one year old, and another friend’s son has left Babby in his dust, by hitting 19 pounds at the 6 month mark.
But don’t we all wish our babies could stay small for longer? So I don’t mind.
I like him just the way he is.
But holy crap, I need to do something for his birthday, and I have no clue what to do.
If he were older, I would throw a kid-centric party at a local indoor play place, or perhaps a miniature train ride place or similar. But Babby isn’t really old enough to enjoy play grounds, and most of my B.C. friends don’t have kids, so it would mostly be a bunch of adults standing around in a place that had far too many clowns on the wall for any normal human to feel comfortable.
So then I think about throwing a more adult-centric party, because after all, isn’t this more a celebration of PH and I surviving the first year than an actual party for Babby? HE doesn’t know that he’s going to be a year old.
But some of my friends do have small children, and it seems weird to throw a first birthday that is absolutely no fun for kids.
Then there’s the matter of sheer volume of guests.
I’m the sort of person who likes to have one cohesive group of friends whom I see regularly. However, between my friends from my old work, PH’s friends from his old job, a fight between those friends from PH’s old job (resulting in half of them not speaking to the other half, and us caught in the middle), and a couple of old friends from our university days who now live out this way, we have multiple groups of friends, some of whom don’t know each other, and others who (even more awkwardly) aren’t speaking to each other. All of these friends fawn over Babby and would expect to be invited to his birthday.
Oh, and neighbours who invited us to THEIR son’s first birthday, and are expecting us to return the favour.
Luckily, Babby never seems to get overwhelmed or overstimulated by large numbers of people. He thrives on it (how did we end up with an extrovert? HOW?). So despite the baby-book warnings of keeping parties small, Babby really wouldn’t mind a massive party.
Problem: Our living room is tiny. We had seven friends over last night and you couldn’t walk through the room comfortably once everyone was sitting down. Legs everywhere. A part with
Our complex does have a “party” room, which is really just a big empty room near the pool with a playground outside. We could reserve it for the day, open up the doors, and let everyone come to us. The kids could play in the pool or the playground, and the adults could stand around and talk.
But then that leads to awkward standing-around-and-making-conversation situations, which, as an introvert, I find exceedingly trying. I would probably spend the whole time stressing over whether everyone was having a reasonably good time, and trying to share myself around between three or four different groups of people, who would probably be standing around in odd bunches.
Or we could reserve a table at a local restaurant. Babby loves eating out, and is always well behaved. It would put a set time limit on the party (long enough to eat), and people would be able to just sit down and converse with their neighbours.
That would be good.
But that isn’t much fun for the few kiddies (average age about 4) who would probably attend, and then what about cake and presents? Would a restaurant let us bring in a separate birthday cake?
Oh, and as a separate issue, as he approaches one I am finding “Babby” to be a less and less appropriate nickname for him. I think I need to either out his real name, or adjust to a more personality-based (as opposed to age-based) handle for him. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
The first night went way better than I expected, and I can’t help but wonder if it was a fluke.
First of all, here’s my strategy:
I’ve decided to concentrate on getting him to fall asleep in the crib. I want to build up the classical conditioning so that he believes that the crib is a place where he CAN fall asleep.
Everything else, like night weaning, can wait. One battle at a time. This part is more like the No Cry method, which moves in stages, but slightly more extreme, because I’m skipping ahead a bit.
Like my friend recommended, though, I have decided be consistent and determined about it, even if I had to pick him up and put him back down a zillion times.
So after his normal bedtime routine, I started to nurse him down on the bed as per usual. Now, normally, as he begins to doze off, he begins alternately falling off the breast and then frantically latching back on as he wavers between wanting to sleep and wanting to stay awake.
This time, the first time he pulled himself off, I picked him up and carried him to the nursery. He decided that he DID want to keep nursing, so I sat in the rocker and nursed him for another couple of minutes. Again, his eyes drooped, and he pulled off. Then he stiffened, arched his back and began the struggling fussing that so often characterizes a difficult night. Instead of trying to cuddle and soothe him, I dumped him in the crib.
As I could have predicted (because we have tried this in the past when he starts fighting us like that) his fusses switched to high pitched screams of rage. But I started to pat him rhythmically and sing Old MacDonald to him, and he stopped crying and focused on me.
He was asleep by the 15th animal or so.
It was like a miracle.
He stayed asleep for an hour and a half, and when he woke up I give him a quick nurse and he dropped back to sleep before I could get him back in the crib.
He stayed asleep for another hour and a half. The next time he woke, I gave him a quick nurse and I DID get him back in while he was dozy but awake. More patting, more Old MacDonald, and he was asleep.
Before I went to bed, my friend texted me, and reminded me again, “Consistency is key!”
So it’s unfortunate that I woke up at two in the morning with Babby snuggled up against me on my booba, and no memory of how he got there.
Perfect Husband doesn’t remember either. Sometimes he brings Babby to me in the night, but he has no memory of it if he did.
So that was a flaw.
But when Babby woke at 3:00 am, I moved back into the nursery and didn’t come out until he had fallen asleep in his crib. This time took a little longer – I had to take him back out several times and re-offer him the breast. When he finally did fall asleep, though, he did it just staring at the seahorse while it played, and I just sat nearby and tried not to fall asleep.
I tiptoed back to bed at 4:30, feeling accomplished.
He slept until his usual 6:30 – in his crib!
His morning nap was easy. Nursed, laid down in the crib, and then patted, his eyes rolled back in his head almost as soon as Old MacDonald began, and he slept for two and half hours.
I decided that I was clearly awesome.
I had forgotten that the afternoon nap is usually a much bigger struggle.
On the bright side, it was a typical struggle, with him biting me and then crying for the breast, and then biting and arching his back. When he does this he often gets rocked to sleep, but this time I just kept putting him in the crib. I sang round after round of Old MacDonald, but he just kept getting more rageful. The fact that someone outside was trimming hedges with chainsaw did NOT help.
He would rage, I would nurse him, he would bite me, I would dump him in the crib and sing, and he would rage again.
After an hour, PH, who was home sick with a migraine (poor man – not the ideal time for a screaming baby) spelled me off and the change startled Babby into drifting off.
…We’ll see how tonight goes…