Friday, November 17, 2006

To sleep, perchance to, you know, uh...

Okay so yesterday I was going on about sleep and how Dude's not so much into it and then he had a pretty good night. I went and blew it by missing his cues this morning. He had about half an hour's nap, late. Then it was ridiculously difficult to get him down for his nap, but I managed to sneak him, asleep and snoring ever so cutely, into his cribby. I can only imagine his outrage when he wakes up. "This is NOT where I fell asleep!"

I have done just about a complete 180 on the sleep tip. When Perp was born, I was all, "Crying it out? Barbaric!" And actually, if you're talking literal cry-it-out, pop-em-in-and-go, I am still against it. And it's still barbaric. But if you're talking fading techniques, going in at regular but longer intervals to soothe and comfort, well hell, I'm a convert.

Part of it is just that I have a lot more on my plate, and taking naps every day with him, sleeping in late with him, having him next to/on me close to 24 hours a day just isn't really feasible. Perp lucked out on that, no doubt. I worry sometimes, since I can already see that Dude is not nearly as elastic as she was. Don't get me wrong, he's able to bounce back from most insults fairly easily, but it takes longer and he's just more ... I don't know, closed than she was or is. The other day we stopped by a friend's house to say hi, and her dogs came rushing at us, barking, wagging, slobbering. You know, doggie style. He
f r e a k e d out. Lost it. Cried. Screamed. Tried to climb up my arm onto the top of my head. Perp just never got scared by anything. She had her first stranger danger moment when she was about 18 months old, for God's sake.

It's hard to know what to think. Is he like this because he doesn't get the time she did? Is it innate and it wouldn't matter what the birth order? Both? Whatever it is, I'm at a loss. I don't know how to deal with it. He is clingier, whinier, harder to please, tougher to cheer, generally the opposite of his sister. Hell, even I have to work to get him to smile or laugh. He goes about his day with a suspicous look on his face. "Are you allowed to do this? Are you certified? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, LADY??" It's a bit insulting, frankly.

I suspect he needs more of a routine to his day than P did. I'm not sure how to make that happen and still get her out of the house for activities and playgroups. I'm starting to think a regular babysitter who stays with him while she and I go out is the way to go. And oh, how they laughed. As if. The only sitters around here are in high school. You know, during the day. When we need to go out.

Anyway. So I've been letting Dude work it out a bit in his room at nap- and bedtime. There have been a couple of days when I had to go in multiple times to comfort him before he falls asleep. But yesterday at naptime, I wasn't out of his room more than five minutes before he crashed. Go Dude! Progress, perhaps.

In other news, I'm cleaning like a mad thing, including scrubbing the bathroom floors which hasn't happened since the cleaning lady started. Remind me why I pay for a service that I'm not getting?

Crazy: NPR is doing a Science Friday on fatal insomnia. Eerie.

1 comment:

gearhead mama said...

Sleep. Good.

I'm no expert, but I think a lot of it boils down to personality. A friend has a daughter (first child) and son (second child), and they sound the reverse of yours. Her son is the most easy-going kid ever ... always sunny and smiling, and not phased by anything.

My daughter sounds a lot like Perp ... very rarely afraid of strangers, couldn't care less when I leave, and so forth. Very easygoing (probably would have been thrown by the barking dogs, but only momentarily). Unless she's sick. But I know lots of "first" kids that aren't like that.

I think it's personality.