Just this little guy being his usual goofy self
Owen's summer has been full of major shifts. My sister-in-law came to visit on the last day of the school year marking the official beginning of our time home together as a family. A time when I get to pretend I stay home with my littles 24/7. And this summer included a long list of transitions. First, on the docket was potty training. As a second born, the idea of pottery training Owen was far less intimidating than the first rodeo with Henry. The main hurdle with training Henry wasn't the training part at all. It was the mental space I had to get over when you do anything new with a little one. Getting into a routine that works, that feels relatively easy, and that lets you get out and about isn't super simple to achieve and life always throws some curveball at you to undo your baby steps of progress, so the idea of intentionally disrupting the "calm" was the hardest part for me. Once I got out of my own way, and we started the three day long process, it became apparent that this wasn't as hard as it originally seemed. So doing it a second time with Owen was easier to get started. And the little guy was definitely ready. Having a model in his big brother, he simply followed Henry's pace and he is always so eager to be like his brother that he waited in line behind H in the bathroom and we are officially out of diapers in this house. And just like that one of the biggest defining attributes of babyhood is extinct for us.
But if we are "advanced" in one area then we are "babyish" in another. We landed on a red-eye from California at the beginning of August and took away Owen's baby crib rail determined to transition our big kid into a toddler bed. The first night went well. Exhausted from his travels, Owen only attempted an escape once before resting his head for the night. David and I patted each other on the back for shedding one more baby-layer in our dedicated summer to big kid transitions. Then.....reality hit. For the next week, Owen ramped up his efforts to intimidate us. David left for Florida with Henry and I was alone doing a 2+ hour bedtime drama. Owen would scream, kick, tantrum, and leave his bed at least 1,000,000 a night. When he finally gave up the ghost, he slept so poorly waking up multiple times at night crying out for me and was "up for the day" at 5AM. When you go from solid, good sleeping to crappy sleeping you start to wonder maybe, just maybe, you made a mistake. Everyone you talk to about these big kid transitions tells you to stay the course, be firm, and hold on to the change. And I totally subscribe to this ideology. But every night Owen's refusal lasted longer and his commitment to waking up and having disturbed sleep grew. So while Owen might be pottery trained, he is back in a crib. Immediately after putting his crib rail back, he delightfully said, "my cribby." At bedtime, he snuggled in with his stuffies and went immediately to sleep and stayed in his bed until 6:30AM and he even napped again for 2 hours. He clearly feels secure and comfortable in his crib and has no desire to escape his cozy baby bed....yet. So do I feel like we made the right decision? In reality yes. We will just try again at some other time when he and we feel ready again.
But to end on a high note of transitional success, we tossed out all of our baby sippy cups. This was definitely a reactive step on my part. None of the boys were really even using them but after feeling like we "failed" on our second major transition of eradicating cribs, I cleaned out the entire kitchen cabinet of baby plastic cups, spoons, utensils, etc. Immediately, it gave us more kitchen space to think about what the boys could use now as big kids, and felt like another chapter ended: no more soaking plastic cups, sippies, and plates. Every night since Henry was born there was some plastic kitchen equipment that needed special tending and now that was not a part of our routine and it felt both liberating and sad. We almost don't have babies anymore. And that leaves us with a lot of feels. I both want them to continue to be funny, spunky, creative, and playful "big kids" but I also want them to stay just like this and cuddle in their footie pajamas forever. Why can't we ever just have our cake and eat it too?
This past weekend we took a family trip to Salem. It was so great!! Spring is definitely about to hit Boston and Henry is in such a playful stage of his toddlerhood that running around and watching him explore is truly the best. He is such a little toddler who is invested in deep discovery and tactile experiences. Picking up rocks, splashing in puddles, and running in the wind help him learn about his world and remind me to take a pause and pay attention to things. I go through each day too fast and I love that Henry is slowing me down because when was the last time you explored the under side of a clam shell and really took in its beauty?
It is so hard not to call Henry a baby. Of course, he will always, ALWAYS be my little baby, but the definition of a baby no longer applies to him. Instead, we have this amazingly independent, creative, loving, curious, playful little boy in our home (and in our hearts). By far this has been the best of times. As he was working his way through his first year, I cried for how quickly he was growing-up. But now, now, I see how awesome it is! He is just so darn FUN these days. It's been a while since I wrote a little Henry update and felt like I needed to share some of the cute things that are going on with this little gentleman of ours. As I have come to find out, unfortunately, if I don't write it down it fades away from my memory and since my iPhone doesn't have the storage space to record every second of our days together, I better write it down!
- Henry is talking up a STORM! Every day from the second he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed he is a little chatter box. And we can have little "conversations" with him too. For example,
- David: Good Morning
- Henry: Morning
- David: How did you sleep?
- Henry: Good, puppies?
- Later in the day:
- Me: How was baby school?
- Henry: Good.
- Me: What did you play with?
- Henry: Blocks
- Some of our favorite words these days include: Moccasins, Cucumber, and Puppies because he says these words with various intonations. Sometimes high, sometimes deep and low, and sometimes laughing. He is really playing with sound and repeats the last word of every sentence you say to him. #parrot
- Running around is the best way to get from point a to point b these days. He loves lapping around the first floor, running in the park, and diving into his Yogibo bean bag. He is ready for a tiny tumbler class for sure!
- He eats like a champion which is fantastic. He has finally started to eat starches although they still remain his least favorite food items. Give this boy fruit, veggies, and meat though and he will tank up!
- January was a BIG month. Henry committed to his New Years Resolutions and gave up both his nighttime bottle and his binky. Way to go little man!
- Blocks, blocks, blocks all day every day
- Play-doh, Play-doh, Play-doh, he cannot get enough of carrying round his little plastic play-doh cutters and slicing and dicing that stuff.
- Hanging out with friends and exploring our neighborhood has been so fun, as well. Henry can really play now, call his friends by name, and is working on his sharing.
- SNOW! Last year when we took the little one out into the snow, he would cry and fuss. Clearly being immobile and placed in a bank of snow was not pleasant. Now though he can run around, kick and carry the snow, and try out a little sledding in our front yard.
- There are SOOOOO many more updates going on of course, but let's leave it as, this is such a fun time in our family!!
I now just hope that the transition to adding our new little boy to the family goes well!
There is a name that cannot be mentioned.
As long as we don't say this name out out, fingers crossed, I think we did it. We successfully weaned Henry of this binky ways.
Obviously, he shouldn't head off to college with a binky habit, but the idea of getting rid of the binky seemed like a fate worse than death. We were all sleeping SO well. After dinner, was pj time, followed by stories, a kiss and a hug, and binky in the mouth, and off to sleep Henry went from 6:30PM to 6AM. During this magical time, David and I had the place to ourselves. We wildly would hang out, snuggle, make dinner, catch up on "Making a Murderer" or the "Bachelor" and get some much needed uninterrupted shut-eye. Why would we ever intentionally end this?
At Henry's 18 month appointment on January 2, our pediatrician recommended weaning the binky before the new baby arrives in April. I sat in that appointment and sheer panic rose up inside of me, what?!? I thought you were going to listen to his heart, weigh and measure him and let me continue to just be this stellar parent (haha)! You are telling me, that the thing that has gotten us to sleep beautifully is now the enemy. Say it isn't so! After the appointment, I contemplated whether to share this information with David or withhold the pediatrician's recommendation in order to secure my bedtime. Obviously, I had to tell David, but I knew he would bite the bullet before I could and move us toward binky removal.
And, he did.
David was ready to start right away with "Henry's New Year's Resolution" to be binky free in 2016. I begged to wait for a long weekend. At least then we could salvage some sleep because we both knew HOW in LOVE with his binky Henry was. And he not only had one binky but he had 8 scattered about his crib. A complete smorgasbord of binky for the little man. The one thing to our advantage was that Henry mostly kept his binky habit to the crib, we had stopped letting him take it all day long and reserved it for naps and sleep. Thank goodness.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend arrived and David had a dream that Henry would go cold turkey on the binky. I was hesitant and sweaty and scared to say the least.
Day 1: David is home alone with Henry for nap time. Removes said binky from crib. It is a struggle. Henry calls for his friends, begs for his friends, but the sleep monster finally takes him. At night, we battle for an hour. Every 10 minutes, David or I go in, pat his back and listen to our little baby call out for his binky buddies.
Day 2: I am ready to crack. Naps don't seem to be too horrible, but this night is atrocious. From 6:30PM-8:30PM Henry is inconsolable. His binky has forsaken him. In 10 minute shifts David and I rotate in. I talk to him quietly and pat his back, he will lay down and settle and close his eyes, but the second I leave the room he is up and crying again. Have we created a new sleep issue? I am BEYOND second guessing myself. David holds firm, reminds me that it will get better and takes over the shift work.
Day 3: What is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Instead of two hours of utter sadness, Henry is asleep (probably because he is so darn tired) after an hour of back pats and quiet mumblings every 10 minutes.
Day 4: The habit is "kicked." This is the first night he doesn't mention the word binky as we lower him into his crib, this is the first night he doesn't cry out. Instead he stands in his crib and stares at the door (we can see him on the monitor). He watches the door and rests his head on the crib rail. Then after 20 minutes he lays down and goes to sleep.
Day 5: We all sleep.
My fingers and toes are crossed that this is indeed all it will take to be purged of the binky. I worry though that there could be a regression, but mostly I am really proud of Henry. He went from a little dude surrounded by binky love to a little dude who no longer needs his beloved to fall asleep and that is no easy task for such a little guy. I am also really impressed with David. He totally understood what to do, stayed calm, loving, and supportive. He helped Henry and me. Maybe I was more attached to the binky than anyone else in the house. David deserves all the credit on this transition. He kept me sane, and truly comforted his son without ever wavering in his intention or his love. It was a painful 5 days, but now we are sans binky!