|Toddlerhood: the best and most complicated times...|
Things have been really hard here. There's been a greater parenting challenge going on; I just haven't known what to say. I've never wanted to only highlight my success stories as a mother on this blog. There are plenty of those out there and they often make the writers seem like liars which in turn causes the readers to feel like failures. What do these women writing about motherhood know that the rest of us don't? It's easy to write on glossy paper. It's easy to make it all seem shiny.
Sleep seems to have been our biggest issue here. That, and picky eating. It's easier to find amusing things to say about that, though.
It was just over 22 months before Tristan slept through the night. For the majority of the time he woke up 3-6 times a night then it was only 2-3. Then, like magic, he slept. We had some really good months and then he learned to crawl out of his crib.
BOOM...back to no sleep. It took a couple months for him to adjust then he learned to settle himself down by building pillow forts and that was just fine.
We share a bedroom with him because we live in the city and it's what we can afford. I don't know a lot of people in our situation so it makes brainstorming a little more difficult. There are a lot of people who choose to co-sleep (that means sharing the same room) or bedshare (that means sharing the same bed and is often confused with the former term)...but the child still has their own room hanging out somewhere else in the home.
What do you do if you don't have a back-up room?
One of the last times I wrote about sleep we were in pillow-fort-bliss. Then...he learned how to turn the doorknob. Now what? I had a few options with childproofing locks but they didn't work. He was able to snap off one within a minute of it being installed and the others all fit too snugly so they became a doorknob turning aid. Definitely not helpful!
We can't try a lot of suggestions because we rent. In our lease it says we aren't allowed to alter or install anything (and they mean it). But the most highly suggested idea has been to lock him in (after we install a lock, of course). Now I hear that it's the latest hot topic around the internet (in a bad way) in part because this guy was brave enough to share their story.
I can relate to this couple, though, other than 1. the child has their own room and 2. I assume they have monitors. Video monitors are expensive and until now we haven't had the need for them. We'd just take a few steps to the right and check in on him (or listen - I can hear everything from outside the room).
The night he turned the knob and raced out proudly I put up a high child gate that had just been given to us for the kitten; I had set up an area under the stairs for her litter box. She can get in and out but Tristan cannot. I quickly moved that to our door.
Now what? He opens the door and alternates between having a fit and sweet talking us. I am reminded of a ride I loved growing up at Disneyland. My brothers and I rode The Pirates of the Caribbean so many times and waited for the funny part where the pirates are in a jail cell and a puppy sits holding the keys just out of reach.
If we let him out he runs around and continues his night of playing until we go to bed...or more specifically I go to bed. He is always full of joy and quite content to stay up however long...
But he still isn't happy about going to bed. Once we're all tucked in he is awake for another hour and it isn't until he is asleep I can finally join him in dreamland. He wakes at the usual time, while in the meantime I've re-developed newborn anxiety. I'm slightly asleep, slightly awake waiting to snap awake like a ninja if needed. I get up once or twice before morning worried that something isn't right but it's fine. Once asleep he stays asleep if we're all asleep. If he wakes and we aren't in bed that's another story.
Follow that? I'm writing in an overtired haze...
So after two months of being a doorstop where do we go from here? How can we make either bed in our room seem alluring? He still needs his nap but I try not to let them go too late. I've been inching them earlier each day to see if that helps.
I'm truly stumped.