Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm going nuts.

I feel like moms who have little boys and who start to throw fits before they are 15 months old should be given a free, 1 hour massage EVERY EFFING DAY! I tell ya, this stage is just about killing me as a mother. I have never been so challenged as a mother before and I know this is just the very teeny tiny tip of the ice burg.

I have been rather cautious in sharing what we have been going through as I am just not quite sure how to phrase it. I have no words, really, to describe how I feel or how Logan is behaving. It's normal. That is all I know and all everyone keeps telling me so I am just cruising along doing my best, BEGGING God for patience nine thousand times a day, and then some.

To pin-point when the shift in Logan's personality and behaviors changed would be hard, but right around a year old sounds good enough. It's like a light bulb switched in his brilliant little machine of a brain and he knows so much more than we could have ever anticipated. It's really quite amazing, really. He get's what we're saying and doing, but he only expresses how he feels about it by crying, screaming and throwing himself on the ground. A new thing is him banging his head against the wall or the table--whatever hard surface is closest. He does it, cries and then stops, looks up at me like "SEE how mad you made me??!". 

As odd as it sounds, I am very proud of Logan. I am so proud of him for learning to express himself, all while I am feeling crazy and anxious inside because I have no effing clue what to do. Every child is so different and how we parent is going to depend on how Logan is behaving. I have amazing family and friends and it seems that just like when you're pregnant and the moment you say, "Well...he's been acting out lately" you get all that unsolicited advice. I am all for sharing tricks and tactics, but it is exhausting having so many opinions and thoughts coming at me from every which way. I am not sure how we are going to parent this behavior. It is so short-lived right now and it seems that distraction has been the best way to get him off of whatever it is he is crying over. But sometimes in a great while, that means nothing. My son is just as stubborn, strong-willed and determined as I am. Oy.

In other news:

I thought I might try out a mini blog challenge. I am going to just pull these awesome writing prompts as I feel like it pertains to me or I want to share something. No rhyme or reason to the day or whatnot. Bringing Up Bumble has started it so go check her out. Because it is so fitting, I am going to start with Day Seven, asking how I feel about the Cry It Out (CIO) method.

No one likes to listen to their sweet babe cry, but ever since Logan was six or seven months old we had to implement our own special version of CIO. Since becoming a parent and since using this method, I feel it is safe to say that this is a very "as needed" type of sleep training. We have only had to do it two or three times and both times lasted barely two or three days. That is how quickly Logan gets it and it's no longer an issue. We have not used CIO in quite some time (KNOCK ON WOOD!!). Sans sickness and teething, Logan is and has always been a great sleeper. He will normally sleep 10-12 hours a night and very rarely, if ever, wakes in the middle of the night. If he does, we do give him a second to work it out. Sometimes he has just lost his paci, which we no longer fetch for him, or a crick in the neck...whatever. He always goes back to sleep. I am grateful that I am no longer dashing out of bed mostly asleep at the smallest peep from him. I know he is okay.

Anyway, when we did have to implement some CIO techniques, we always set a certain about of time that we would wait. At first it was only two to three minutes, then five, then ten. Usually within in the first five minutes anytime we lay him down he goes to sleep or talks himself to sleep. CIO, in my opinion, has always helped us get back on track, especially if we take a long weekend away and his sleep gets all screwed up. 

So how do I feel about it? I think that CIO is not for everyone. But I do see some very clear benefits from it if and only if the parent is willing to commit to it. I never read and make recipes by the book. I always add in extra spices or sub something in for something else. That is kind of how parenting is. I love reading about certain things, but when it comes down to it, I am going to do it my way. End of story. Now, I do believe that implementing CIO BEFORE six months is too young and I also think that letting a baby cry (I mean really crying, not just fussing on and off) for more than 30 minutes is also not okay. I know that if I put Logan down and he ends up crying for more than 15-20 minutes, he is not ready for bed. Playing for an extra 20-30 minutes always helps him wined down a bit more and then once I lay him down again he does not make a sound. So for all you awesome mamas out there, especially with younger ones, take this advice, as well as everyone else's with a grain of salt. Do what feels right to YOU, not someone else.

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