Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five More Things I Should Know By Now

OMG! I just realized I'm a jackhole!
Every once in a while it occurs to me that I should pay more attention. Because there are certain things that I should know by now and I just don’t. Or maybe I just choose to block them out. In any case, please use the following as either cautionary tales, amusing examples of how I am stupid or further evidence of why someone should probably call the authorities.

The Much Maligned Cheetos Directive:
Go ahead and judge me. I can’t stop you. But I have recently embraced the dark side. Some may call it bribery. I call it strategy. Do not underestimate the infrequent and deliberate use of cheetos as an effective parenting tactic. I can get the little terror suspects to clean the playroom in about 15 minutes for a .99 cent bag of neon orange junk food. I don’t do it very often, but it’s my fail-safe when things start to derail. Some people use carrots and sticks, I use cheetos and taking away the Wii.

Every human being requires sleep, except of course for mommies.
My youngest does not sleep. She naps. She demands to be snuggled at 3am or screams the house down. She is two and a half. About a year ago, we had her sleeping through the night and it lasted for quite a while. It was amazing. It was like someone had ripped the film off my life, in the manner of a very surreal Claritin ad. Suddenly I felt like myself again. I could function, finish a sentence, even occasionally summon the energy to do something that I had forgotten about for several years; like scrub behind the toilets or pluck my eyebrows. Now I am back in a sleepless hell, deep inside The Blur and have accepted that it is my lot. I no longer fear the need to prepare for the zombie apocalypse as I am already a zombie. So that’s at least an upside.

You will always win, ear infection. And that’s why I hate you. A couple of months ago, my toddler got an ear infection. A very painful double ear infection that made her pitiful and puny. DAMN YOU, EAR INFECTION. Damn you to hell. That’s when everything melted into a giant puddle of warm. She stopped sleeping and we couldn’t get her back on track. And this time, not sleeping (after having a taste of what life could be like if I was well-rested) was like a karate chop to the cranium. It was awful. And then Kate had an “a-ha moment” where she remembered that ear infections always furck up your program. They’re like mommy-kryptonite. And we did a double facepalm, because we should’ve known that.

The One Minute Car Nap.
The very next afternoon I was confronted with another taco-kicking realization. On the days when you most need your kid to nap, anti-mommy forces deploy the most nefarious of sleep-related enemies. Here’s the scenario: your child really needs to sleep because (insert critically important reason here). Your kid nods off in their car seat for about 45 seconds, usually just as you’re pulling into your driveway. You have a moment where you think: “Hurrah! I will plop my child in bed and have maybe a whole hour or two in which I can pee alone/pay bills/ bathe myself/facebook/fold laundry!” Then you stupidly try to remove your child from the car. That one minute car nap has fortified your offspring so that they think they have slept. There is no getting them down for a real nap after that. There is only whining. And tantrums. If you’re lucky, you may be able to work in an early bedtime. But probably not.
Potty training is so very, very special.
You know what’s more awesome than spending several hours per day in the bathroom with a toddler begging them to poo? Doing it at the pool. In the putrid, damp, public restroom. In 101 degree heat. It would be wrong and bad of me to just toss the kid a pull-up, take her to the picnic area, and tell her to do her business, right? Well then I decided to be wrong after three 20 minute trips to the potty during a 2 hour pool excursion. And this is why she’s still not potty trained. Yay me.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

33 comments:

  1. Bye-bye cow milk ... bye-bye ear infections.
    (cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, too; so sorry ... bye-bye)

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  2. Oh, the ear infection! It has befallen us twice in the last six months. The last one (smack dab at the beginning of our trip home at Easter) started with bilateral pink eye and bilateral middle ear infection. Rx two separate drops and off on our 9 hour car trip. Drops *seem* to work until we get home and boy spikes a fever. Bilateral middle ear infection moves to bilateral *inner* ear infection with a side of strep throat. Rx the most foul tasting penicillin on the planet, 4 times a day, please! Thank GOD the boy is a trooper and chokes down the meds for 10 DAYS.

    And I'm completely avoiding the potty training (he's the same age as mini-mini me). It makes me into crazy-can't-lose-her-schmidt-b/c-I-never-had-it-contained mommy.

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  3. Ahhhh, the one-minute car nap. Happens to us, too. And, yes, every time I think I will get a real nap out of the deal. It gets to the point where I play the music more loudly and open the windows thinking, "PLEASE wait until we get home... no, no, don't close your eyes yet!!"

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  4. I have gone to insane lengths to avoid the one minute car nap. Sometimes I win, but usually not. Then my day is filled with no nap time and cranky children, making me thus decide to live as hermits who never leave our house so that we never, ever miss a glorious nap time again.

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  5. I HATE-HATE-HATE those one minute car naps...but what's even more annoying is when my early bird kiddo wakes me at 5:45am (JUST as I've fallen back asleep after my husband has left for work) and then when I've finally had coffee, fed him, and roused myself up and planned to go somewhere the crazy child takes a full on car trip nap for the duration of time it takes to get where we are going...and then OF COURSE won't nap later (cause after all, he got a FULL 15-20 minutes in!!)!! We are talking at 10-freakin-am he goes and takes a long car nap!! Whuck?!!

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  6. omg, the one minute nap! we have SO BEEN THERE. I will give my kid pure sugar before I have to deal with her falling asleep in the car for 3 seconds and not napping for the rest of the day!

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  7. My friend calls it the $50 nap because she ends up driving around wasting gas so the kids will sleep.

    Oh and let's not forget when we WANT them to sleep im the car and strategically time a long roadtrip around naptime; that is when they act like they just had an IV of espresso and are howling for another fix. Good times...

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  8. Oh the one minute naps are awful! My two are mostly out of that "needing" a nap so the few minutes they get in the car are usually a blessing in disguise.

    My youngest is 95% potty trained and the first few weeks going out in public were AW-FUL. I was convinced I was the only Mommy making 3 20-minute trips to the bathroom for one meal out. Then one time I heard someone in the next stall uttering the same words I'd been whispering to my daughter: "We are not leaving until you poop because I am not coming back into this bathroom!" Oh if only that worked...

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  9. So then it would also be wrong to bribe them with the $1 scratch off lottery tickets? It is how we survive the grocery store....by mom giving them a buck and letting them gamble if they're good....haha :)

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  10. Try taking your not-yet-one year old child to a hockey game un-napped. Of course the one minute nap starts just as you pull in the parking lot. You now have cranky child for the duration of the game and nowhere to allow her to crawl around to at least not get bored.

    This is why we got babysitters for our last several hockey games...!

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  11. Listen, I don't want to scare you, but you need to get that little terror suspect sleeping as soon as possible, because menopause is coming, and believe me, your lack of sleep then will leave you positively breathless. You will not only be used to getting unbroken sleep by then, but you will be older and crankier and harder to recover from all-nighters, where you find yourself getting up to pee a ridiculous number of times in the night (really, you cannot believe how active your bladder can be while you are sleeping!). Seriously, you only have a few good sleeping years left; don't let her steal them! I wish you luck...

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  12. Curse you ear infections, cuuuurse you!! /shakes fist in air. Seriously though, it's the worst! My youngest isn't sleeping well after having a double ear infection months ago. Now I am just used to being a zombie. At least I will be prepared if we have a zombie apocalypse.

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  13. AAAHH...I wish I had read this a few weeks ago, as I was learning about the one-minute car nap with my first child the hard way! At least it only took me two or three weeks to figure out that I do not have the suave magical powers of doing a nap-transfer from car to house.

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  14. I don't even want to know how much gas I wasted during my 3 nap-hating childrens' $50 naps. I'm sure it made a huge dent in the college and retirement funds, though. :-(

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  15. Oh, I went through that right after big boys second birthday. I was prego with #2 to boot. Turns out, he has allergies, and was working on a sinus infection.....took us 3 weeks to figure that out. Have you tried allergy meds? Claritin is pretty safe, though he's on zyrtec now (bonus, it can make them sleepy). I'm sorry you are in zombie hell.

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  16. Oh man, I thought I was the only one who experienced the one minute car nap. It makes me feel better, somehow, that I'm not alone in this. What's even worse with my 19 month old is he'll fall asleep in the car, barely wake up as we take him out of the car seat, sleep the whole time we're carrying him up to his room and POP his eyes open wide awake the instant his little body hits that crib mattress. And then scream for as long as we can stand to leave him up there.

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  17. I was blessed with two little darlings who are now fighting through their teens. We were luckily to have two healthy babies 18 months apart and we would have loved to have had more, but it wasn't to be. Now though I think two was enough, as I see younger friends dealing with younger children I feel blessed that I have teenagers. Mind you they sleep at inapproriate times, want enormous amounts of food, make too much noise or don't talk at all, and they wont be teenagers for ever....

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  18. I bribe with M&Ms and the potty scenario is just... /shakes head... /facepalm... Yeah 3 and a half and my oldest IHP is still in pullups.

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  19. So ... Is it bad that I begged my nine year old son to not go to the needy girl's birthday party at the gymnastic's place this weekend and then ended up bribing him not to go by using these words 'if you don't go, I'll spend the money I would have spent on her birthday present on you.'

    Worked like a charm. I got to stay home and polish my Mother of the Year trophy instead of run all over God's green earth buying a gift, changing clothes, driving to the other side of town, driving back home, driving right back to get him all for 'cake will be served' at a 4-6 pm birthday party on a saturday!

    Whoa! Got a little judgy there. Sorry! Was just trying to hit on the bribing point. I'll just add a --- ;) --- and it'll all be better!

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  20. Mom of the Year here (*insert sarcasm*). When we go anywhere around nap time, it's my husband's job to pester the hell out of our daughter all the way home. Yes, it sounds awful, and it is. But it keeps her awake, and then she's extra tired by the time she gets to lay down. Works like a charm :-)

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  21. The double facepalm is the best thing I've ever seen. EVER. And I can totally picture you and Kate doing it in unison. Also, my little guy got sick 3 weeks ago and he, too, forgot how to sleep. It's killing me. How can a 15mo be up every 2 hours? That's worse than a newborn. I wish I could take you out for a Starbucks so we could commiserate.
    xo
    GL

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  22. I remember these days. Not fondly, of course, but I do remember them. I have a bajillion tips and tricks that I could share, ones that I learned along the way while I was dealing with potty training boys without the male parent's assistance ... or dealing with chronic ear infections that ruptured ear-drums ... or dealing with chicken pox and a newborn in the house ... or ... or ... or ...

    Yeah, I'm glad they're teens now. lol!

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  23. Oh goodness, yes. The nap thing especially. I am currently in the worm hole of no nap today with my youngest who after a 5 minute nap in the stroller on the way home from playground, is now running around like a maniac while I try to keep him from waking up his older brother. And I just want to put my head through a wall because he also refuses to sleep through the night (at 15 months old). And don't get me started on the potty training. Thank goodness I read this today or I would be in tears right now instead of laughing.

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  24. My oldest daughter refused to go to sleep and stay asleep, waking us up every few hours each night. It was horrible. I was exhausted, got sick and ended up with pneumonia. And then I watched an episode of SuperNanny...first one I ever saw. The episode focused on how to get a controlling, monster non-sleeper to stay in bed. That show changed my life and within 3 nights, the sleep problems with my daughter were GONE forever.

    Here's what you need to do:

    Follow a calming bedtime routine. Before she gets into bed, make sure she has no reason to get up - she’s been to the toilet, she’s had a little water - and it’s clear that you expect her to stay in bed now. This way, if she gets out of bed, you won’t be drawn into a discussion about why she’s up, and you can get on with the business of getting her back to sleep:

    * The first time she gets up, remind her that it’s bedtime, lead her back to bed, give her a kiss and a cuddle, and leave the bedroom.
    * The second time, do the same but use a firmer voice and make the kiss and cuddle brief.
    * The third and any subsequent times, say nothing at all as you lead her back to bed, tuck her in, and leave the room. This is the hard part, and it’s very tempting to give a cuddle. Remember that a gentle, consistent approach will convince your child that you’re there for her, but that you insist she sleeps in her own bed.

    The first night we tried this, my daughter got out of bed 13 times that night before finally falling asleep emotionally exhausted by my lack of attention to her drama. The second night, 5 times. Third night...straight through, problems gone. If you can't do step 3 you will never solve the sleep problems.

    Good luck, stay strong. It will be crazy difficult to do, but so worth it to sleep a full nights sleep again. Hang in there.

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  25. Car nap = taking a little ride around town. Of course, at these gas prices it makes one think twice. But, better than a kid who "thinks" they've had a nap and is a holy terror of cranky.

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  26. I have been known to sit in my driveway reading a book while the wee one car naps in the back.

    Also, potty training for poop? I just waited until it was her idea. May not be the Gwyneth way to do it, but we avoided the power struggles and the pleading. Not even 2 months later she does the whole shebang all by herself. I don't even have to wipe her because she is a big girl and insists on doing it herself.

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  27. Admission. When my boys were nap age and fell asleep in the car? I'd pull in the garage, close the garage door, roll their window down, car off, radio on, and I had a rotary fan I'd flick on that would blow air in their face (unless it was winter.) Grab their monitor and stick it by their car seat, in the car, and I would leave them right there.

    Oh, yes. Yes I did.

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  28. oh the one minute car nap. Sometimes we take a 45 minute drive to my MIL so that she can watch my little one, only to have him take a much needed nap, as we turned the corner down their street. barking dog, slamming front door, and boom. baby's awake. again. I hate it.

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  29. LOL I love seeing stuff like this! It makes me feel not so alone and stupid. However, I do have to say that I caved to my desperate need for sleep when Minions #4 &#5 came along... TOGETHER. When we finally bought a house big enough for us AND all the minions to sleep in separate rooms (It's a beee-u-ti-ful thing, lemme tell ya.). I happen to believe that a child *will survive* a few hours of screaming, and I declared war on the middle-of-the-night, mommy-come-get-me-cuz-I-wannits. We moved in, and MOMMY GOT EIGHT STRAIGHT HOURS. It is the awesomest feeling ever to wake up and not want to strangle everyone.
    On the potty training front, don't feel too bad. None of mine were potty trained much before 3 and they're not fire-lighting, animal torturers yet. :)

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  30. I soooooo agree about the potty training. Waiting until the daycare providers insist I help them potty train. Otherwise, I see no incentive (for me, that is). The moment they get potty trained, it's like months and months (and sometimes years in my son's case) of dragging around multiple changes of clothes, going nowhere unless there is a potty within 5 feet of where we'll be, not traveling in the car for longer than 3 minutes... Where's the motivation for PARENTS?

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  31. Haha! I too have paid for $50 naps, until I learned to use the car as my nap weapon! No child can resist a quiet drive! I bring my magazine, snacks, crochet, and phone w charger and get my mommy time in my driveway reclining in the ac in my leather bucket seats! Take that whiney little people!

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  32. I hate the one-minute car nap!!!

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  33. When I got back into the driver's seat, I asked the driving teacher if any of his students had gotten into accidents and he said no. I was sure I was going to be the first.

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