When Andy was born I felt like I got a chance for a do-over. You know, when the first time around you just didn’t get it right and when you did it again you handled it much better. Well, Daniel was a challenging baby. Or should I say rather that I lacked the confidence to parent him with consistency. I thought I’d have all the answers this time around.
Let’s take sleeping for an example. Daniel slept in bed with Daryle and I since we brought him home from the hospital. It was when he was about a year and a half old that I couldn’t handle perching on the very edge of our bed any longer and he made the transition to a crib. In our room for the first few months of course. Heaven forbid that I could put him in a separate room.
Daniel had been what was then called colicky. He cried and cried and cried. For hours. I recall pacing all afternoon with him, handing him over to Daryle for the early evening and then pacing most of the night with him. Sometimes I had to just put him down and walk away for a few minutes to get a little breather. It was the toughest thing I’ve ever been through. He just wanted to be held. Constantly. At some point I picked up a very light fabric baby carrier and I carried him with me almost everywhere. We did everything together: made dinner, worked on the computer, cleaned the house, folded laundry and so on. Poor little guy had an extremely difficult time falling asleep as well. I was one of those moms that tried everything with no success. What I didn’t realize was that if I had picked a method and stuck with it, Daniel probably would have become used to falling asleep in a certain way and our troubles wouldn’t have been so bad.
With Daniel’s crying and sleeping issues in mind I thought that having Andy would allow me to try the mothering thing again with more success. If the boys were more similar in temperament this may have been true. Where Daniel refused to nurse, Andy has been very stubborn about taking a bottle. Daniel cried for hours and Andy, well, not quite so much. Daniel slept best when either cuddled to us or snuggled up with us in our bed. Andy, from day one, has wanted his own sleeping space. He doesn’t like to fall asleep on people and won’t fall asleep in bed with me.
Andy’s been fighting a bacterial infection as a result of the excessive scratching of his eczema. We had a very difficult time getting the better of it. The topical cream wasn’t quite effective enough for us, so he had to be put on oral antibiotics. He’d scratched his face so raw that at one point it was weeping. Of course it kept him up at night and when he did fall asleep, he would awaken in a short time because his skin was so itchy. Poor thing. Just as we had the infection under control he came down with the virus that Daniel had been fighting. For about a month now Andy, Daniel and I have been fighting the virus and at last the battle appears to have been won and we’re all feeling back to our normal selves again. Daniel’s energy levels are back, Andy’s eating like a horse and I’ve finally got some energy to do some things around the house and take the boys out every now and then.
One of the nice things about returning to normalcy is getting Andy used to sleeping in his crib again. I had been putting him to sleep in his swing for the entire time he was sick. He simply couldn’t lay down without coughing and the swing would help lull him back to sleep during the bacterial infection as well. Today is the first day he’s taken both his naps and been put directly into his crib at bedtime. Aaahh.
I put him down for the night a couple of hours ago and wouldn’t you know it – he’s already stirring. I’m hoping the couple of pats and standing beside his crib will do the trick, but I don’t think so. Uh-oh I hear him crying now. I’d better go and help him get back to sleep.