kellianne: (2009)
It's taken me nearly three years, but I can finally feel myself easing into the waxing and waning of phases in a young lad's life.

The most recent weeks here at the Benson house have been a new special version of incredibly annoying. Niko is exploring all sorts of ownership concepts. Which means that there have been LOTS of arguments because when ever I say one thing, he naturally wants the opposite. Sometimes I can be patient with all his dilly dallying (shoot, that's one reason I'm happy to be staying at home right now. I got no friends and no where to go, so whatever!), but other times we actually do have things to do. A house still needs to be run and all that. Food needs to happen. Naps need to happen. Hell, going to the park to run him down needs to happen, too. FUN needs to happen! So it's hard to always be patient when the dilly dallying is strictly because he is going through some crazy brain development that is making him a total jerk.

During this most recent pain in the neck phase, I finally managed to keep my temper in check (this is not easy for a kellianne). Every day that ended, I took special pride. Another day when I didn't submit to assholery and become an asshole myself! But it was exhausting, let me tell you, to negotiate my way through 1538584378 conflicts a day. I just kept telling myself IT'S A PHASE IT'S A PHASE IT'S A PHASE HE WILL BE SO MUCH SMARTER WHEN THE TRANSFORMATION IS FINISHED!!

AND FINALLY!! Yesterday he woke up literally dancing and demanding a party. So we danced and partied, all day, and it was awesome. Suddenly he is speaking more clearly and acting so much more polite and empathic. We had a sitter over last night (the same sitter that he HATED 3 weeks ago) and he was pleased to see her. When she asked if he needed a bath, I said, "Well Niko, you haven't had any accidents today and you have had a bath for the past several nights, so I guess you can skip it!" and dude responded, "OH! Thank you for saying that mama! Thank you for saying I don't need a bath tonight!" and kissed me! What? So polite and sweet.

And this morning? More of the same. A perfect 2 hours long play date with no sharing issues AFTER a 45 minute bike ride that included 2 errands while he sat, perfectly chill, in his chariot. The other mom and I sat at the park and talked like adults the whole time while our sons played perfectly. Bliss. If every day were like this I would have a whole pack of kids!

I just want to put thanks out to the universe that that last phase (whatever it was) is over. I also want to enjoy this moment, because the tide will change again one day and I will again have to rein in my temper and tell myself it's just temporary.

Phew. You guys! Parenting is a weird and hard test on everything good I ever thought of myself before having a baby. Patience! Temper! Who knew the practice could be so consuming?


Aug. 20th, 2012 10:41 pm
kellianne: (Default)
I have this problem with stress when things don't go my way. I really need to work on it, but am not quite sure how to let go. If something is on my schedule, I want it to happen on time. I guess it's a modern times conundrum and a common one at that.

Anyhow, today Niko and I got into a sort of argument. I was super amped to take him out on a sushi date at the mall and before having him pick out a brand new pair of shoes. We talked about it several times and he seemed stoked, too. (Backstory! I bought him shoes online and he refuses to wear them, but needs new shoes- so I thought that maybe if I got him to choose the shoes himself it would be all good.)

He was kind of a grumpy pants at sushi, which can be par for the course after he spends the day in daycare. I think he just gets tuckered out from being the best kid on the block at daycare! Anyone who watches my kid talks endlessly about how good and how chill he is and this is not quite the dude we see at home so I know that he's just saving his tears for the people he feels comfortable around. But he still seemed stoked to look at new shoes - so we went.

But once we were at the store he was a NO NEW DON'T LIKE IT monster. So we went for a walk and he was a NO WALK DON'T LIKE IT monster. I asked him if he wanted to go home and he was a NO GO HOME DON'T LIKE IT monster and he plopped himself down on the ground. I walked a few paces away from him and we had a staring standoff for 5 minutes while I took some deep breaths.

When I felt my NONE OF THIS IS PART OF MY PLAN rage subside, I walked over to him and sat down. I said - Niko. I'm feeling really frustrated. I was excited to try on new shoes and go for a walk. You are using your mean words and it makes me feel frustrated.

He touched my cheek and said very seriously - Happy, mama. Happy.

I said - You want mama to be happy?

He nodded yes and asked - Hug?

And really, who needs to spend money on new shoes when you can instead have a huge hug on the floor of the stupid yuppie mall?

Keep on hugging, y'all. It helps with scheduling conflicts and more.


Jan. 8th, 2011 02:06 pm
kellianne: (Default)
It is really hard for me to read attachment parenting information on sleep. I was in complete agreement with all the information provided on them, and still feel as if it's so very important to soothe a crying baby.

But never letting an 8 month old baby who wakes up literally 20 times a night cry? I'm finding it to be impossible.

Lots of people ask how we're coping. I guess we're just doing whatever it takes with our "persistent personality/ high maintenance" nighttime baby. I am trying to gradually get our little crane to sleep on his own using baby steps. This week in particular, we've seen a lot of success (finally) when we put him down in the pimped out pack and play that's next to our bed and pat him to sleep. But sometimes, like today, he gets other ideas of how I should be playing with him when he is clearly ready to nap.

I let him cry for 10 minutes today. I hate doing it. I can hear his every little breath in our one room house, so you can imagine how connected I feel to his cries. He does not like to be left alone, ever. This is where the attachment parenting information really gets me... they talk about how your child will be so much more confident of your love and support through co-sleeping and never letting them cry... but I have not found this to be the case with Niko, at all. Niko doesn't like to be left alone, ever. He wants his parents, or anyone- really, to be at arm's reach. This isn't tough for us while living in our small space. But whenever I am out of eye sight for even a second, he starts to whine and cry. It breaks my heart that he would ever think that I am going to leave him there. I tell him all the time that I would never leave, but of course he couldn't understand.

Anyhow, I had to let him cry a little to get my point across. This was after reading him three books, nursing him, rocking, singing several songs, and patting him for 15 minutes. He cried for 10 minutes and then I pat his back for 5 more minutes and he fell asleep for a whopping 40 minutes. Whoop-de-fucking doo because every book I read tells me that any nap that is under an hour doesn't count. Whatever. Mind you, it took me 40 minutes to even get that nap out of him.

But, you know, even falling asleep in the (pimped) pack and play after crying for 10 minutes is a MAJOR improvement over what he was doing even a month ago. He wouldn't even sleep in that thing for the longest time. We had to make a serious issue out of it for naps and general sleeping without us after he crawled out of the bed and landed on his little face a few weeks ago (I can't tell you how much that broke my heart). It's how to keep him asleep that is the bigger problem. He doesn't want to stay asleep for more than an hour at a time and if I don't nurse him back down at night, he'll completely wake up and think that it's PARTY TIME. I am trying to sleep between 2am and 7am on the couch downstairs while papa takes over co-sleeping so that he can't just have the boob at his beck and call whenever he wants it, every half hour or whatever. Mostly because this WAS NOT WORKING for me AT ALL after several weeks of waking up every 30 minutes. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I was contemplating jumping off our building regularly at 3am.

Anyhow. Gradual night ween. Some crying. This no sleeping thing the hardest thing I have ever done, by far. I truly do feel as if we are saints for coping with this as well as we are. I would be utterly thankful for a baby who only woke me 4 times a night. I feel HATE for people on parenting boards who write things like "my baby has slept through the night since she was 6 weeks old, but now that she is 6 months, I am SO READY to get her to stop needing to be rocked to sleep all the time!" WTF?? Do you even want a baby?!

And that, my friends, is how sleep is going over here at the Benson house.
kellianne: (Default)
Niko seems to be getting better at lying down for naps, which is an terrific relief. Buster is really good at standing and rocking him to sleep, but he's just too heavy for me to do the same with. I tend to nurse him down for naps while we lay together, which is really nice, anyhow, especially because I know that our days lying down together and nursing to nap are limited. Anyhow, today, I rocked him and nursed him when we were interrupted by the diaper service at our door. I quickly put him into his pack and play (where he sleeps when he's not laying with us in bed) and expected him to fuss the moment I left him... but he went to sleep instead. Good job, little dude!

I meant to write in my Niko News a few days ago that he responded to a request that I've been pestering him with for a week now. He's been figuring out how to use his fingers and his nails, and loves to grab and scratch rhythmically. I've been imploring him to "be gentle with mama" while he nurses or touches my face. I show him how to be more gentle by moving his hands for him. The day before yesterday, he totally changed the way his hand was grabbing and stroked me with his fingers when I asked him to be gentle. It was so sweet and wonderful!

Today I gave him a teething biscuit for the first time. I quickly realized that he's far too little for a biscuit, but not before he figured out that he LOVES how they taste. So I took it away and put it into his mesh feeder. He gnawed on that thing for a half-hour while I sang to him and did the dishes. It was hilarious.

Now that I am back to work for three days a week, these domestic housewife days have become precious. Especially when they include afternoons with awesome mom friends and their own incredible babies. Work, too, is precious. I love being at Vain. My favorite clients are all back and I am a busy bee! I feel as if everything is in perfect balance these days, and I am so thankful.

Now, to finish dinner prep while he naps, then get ready to whisk him off to child care at the gym so I can get in a blissfully alone yoga practice. I do much better as a mother and a wife if I have a regular yoga practice! I seriously need to meditate on some specifics of being a better person at least twice a week, while stretching. If I don't do this, I feel broken in spirit and WAY broken in the back. Weight training makes me super hot, but yoga makes me super lovely and puts space between my bones. I like the balance between the two, too. Strength of body and spirit so I can get everything done with grace... while looking hot. Word.

All that said, thank goodness for cheap child care at the gym. It's so awesome to just drop him there for an hour and a half and not have to worry about it. Totally worth the membership.


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