Friday, August 26, 2011

Nail. Head. Hit It.

With Dante now attending a public charter school, hubby and I were faced with the fact that he was going to have to learn and recite the (stupid) Pledge of Allegiance everyday.  We waffled with the notion of teaching it to him beforehand without the whole "under god" phrase since it was not part of the original pledge and since Dante only knows the word "god" as being a word that we don't yell or use because it may "hurt people's feelings".

Before you start yelling at me that I've taught my son that "god" is a bad word, STFU and hear me out.  We taught him that phrases like "oh my god" should be replaced with "oh my gosh" because for some people the word "god" is important and we don't want to be rude.  We also taught him the difference between, "Look at that amazing painting of Jesus Christ" and "Jesus Christ, that painting just fell on me". Big difference.

Anyway, we waffled with teaching Dante the pledge beforehand without the 1950s Cold War era addendum but decided against it, believing that this would be a form of indoctrination that we, as Atheist parents, are completely against when it comes to religion and the like.  Let him learn and say the Pledge, whatever. It's not going to turn him into an evangelist sidewalk bible thumper.  Hell, I played the "virgin" Mary in a Xmas pageant when I was a kid and I turned out ok.  I also recited the pledge throughout my elementary years and was not scarred from it.  (Incidentally, I now do not say or stand for the pledge because I understand it to be a load of bullshit and I don't "pledge allegiance" to any flag or country. My allegiance is with my family, so stuff it. But, as an adult, that is my choice and my right.)

So the other day, Dante came home from school and with a solemn look on his face he said to me, "Mommy, I learned the Pledge of Unlegion today and I said the "under god" part".  I told him, "That's great! You can say it if you want to and if you don't want to you don't have to. Just do what you want!"  And I asked him to recite it for me:

I Pledge Unlegion to flags of the United States of America
And to restructive of witches stands
One Nation ....(then he whispered) Under God
With Limiting and Just Dance for All.

I clapped and said, "Great Dante! Now do you know what all of that means?"

And he calmly replied, "I have no idea, Mommy".


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cry Me Another River

I could sit here and totally lie and say that Nights Three and Four were pieces of cake, but I can't.  I know those of you out there who think I am a cruel mother, abusing her child with this "cry it out" process are smugly patting yourselves on the back, saying "I told you so", but I still think the process works and I am going to continue.  So stuff it. And I mean that lovingly.

Night Three was not too bad. I started putting him down for naps during the day, fully awake, in preparation for what was to come in the evening. He hollered a bit each nap-time, but was asleep within 20 minutes.  I thought that he was getting it, so when night rolled around, Randy, Dante, and I were semi-prepared for it to go smoothly.  Not quite.  Dorian was angry!  Boy was he angry!  He was so angry that I think he developed new sounds just to express how angry he was!  But it didn't last long, fortunately.  Randy only had to go in once for the water/cold cloth/I love you ritual and then it was over. Dorian, was snoring, snuggled in between Elmo and Tigger.  Overnight, he woke up at 1 to nurse and another at 5 (par for the course) and didn't get up for the day until about 7am, all smiles and giggles and "ma ma ma ma ma ma" when he saw me. 

Then.....last night....Night Four.... it all went to caca.

You know when you're sick and have to take antibiotics and the doctor always says, "It's going to get worse before it gets better"?  Well, that was last night. Times ten.  Again, during the day I put Dorian down for naps fully awake.  He would schmickle (i.e. fuss) for about ten minutes and then fall asleep.  All good!  So since it was the fourth night and he had been napping this way as well, I thought....well, we all thought, it was going to be smooth sailing when it came to bedtime.

We were wrong.

It was like we were back on Night One. No, let's say it was akin to negative Night One.  Yet, it wasn't the going to sleep part that was horrible, rather it was the staying asleep that we had a rough time with.  After his usual 20 minutes of fussing, Dorian was out cold.  Randy and I had a pleasant evening watching MasterChef, Dante wasn't disturbed by hollering, and by 10 pm, I was headed to bed (lol, I know, I'm a wild woman).  And then it began.  At 11:40, Dorian awoke. So I nursed him, thinking that he was just up early for his nightly first feeding.  Back in his crib by 12:15 am, I headed back to bed.  No sooner had I fallen asleep, he was up again.  I sent Randy in to take care of him since I wasn't going to nurse again, and since he is extremely attached to me, I try to be invisible during the process so he doesn't get more upset.  He fussed this time for about 10 minutes and we thought we were done for the night.  Nope. 2 am, 2:55 am, 3:30 am, and 4:30 am  he was up.  And all those times Randy laid him down, kissed him and went through the ritual.  I nursed him for the 4:30 waking and was back in bed by 5.  He's still sleeping now, but as I write this I can hear him stirring on the monitor.

Let's see what tonight brings. In the meantime, I'm going to my local Barnes and Noble and picking up this book, ASAP:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cry Me A River

In the spirit of achieving milestones with our children, Randy and I decided this past Saturday night that it was high time to "Ferberize" Dorian.  No, not Febreeze him (although the way the kid fills up a diaper, one would think that a good dose of Febreeze would freshen him up), but rather the "Ferber Method" of sleep training, better known as "cry it out".  Frankly, at 13 months and 22 pounds, it was getting extremely tedious (and heavy) to walk him to sleep every night.  "Walking" involved Randy, pacing up and down the living room, for upwards of two hours getting Dorian to go to sleep.  In the "old days" when he was a little tiny baby, I could nurse him to sleep and that would be the end of it, but now that he's a big boy, he's still nursing, but not conking out from it.  Dante had already weaned himself from the breast by this point, but Dorian is showing no signs of wanting to stop nursing and I'm not going to stop until he's ready (barring of course, that he is 35 years old and walking down the aisle, a la "Little Britain" style). What can I say? Dorian is a boob man.

I know that the C.I.O. method is a "Mommy War" topic, along with circumcision (our boys are snipped), breast vs. formula (I nurse but don't think formula is poison), religious indoctrination (guess which side we're on), spanking (never, no way, no how, nope, nada), and many others that escape me this early in the morning, but it works for us. Dante was C.I.O'd when he was about this age and he is not emotionally damaged or scarred from it.  Incidentally, you can read about our adventures with Dante's Ferber process HERE, HERE, and finally HERE. Gosh, he was so little. *sigh*

Anyway, Saturday night, Dante spent the night at Nonna and Nonno's and Randy and I decided that it was time to sleep train Dorian.  Having done this once before, you would think that I was prepared for the screaming and crying and guilt (and I'm not talking about the baby), but I wasn't, and it was a rough night for me.  Randy had to keep me from running into the room to swoop up Dorian, as any mother's instincts would dictate when hearing her child in distress, but I was strong and brave (and stuffing my face with ice cream......yes we all have our soothers) and I stuck it out.

Night one was horrible to say the least. Dorian literally howled for hours.  And I'm not talking regular "baby howl", no, Dorian was pissed! You could hear the anger in his voice wondering why the hell he wasn't being paraded all over the house.  Randy went in every 15-20 minutes with a cold cloth, wiped his face, gave him some water, told him he loved him, and would walk out.  I was not allowed in there, due to the aforementioned swooping, so I don't know all the details, but considering I was glued to the baby monitor with my ice cream and Kleenex, I have a good idea of the happenings that went down.  Finally, at about three am, Dorian threw in the towel and laid himself to sleep.  In the morning, he woke up giggling and smiling and clapping his hands to our "good morning" song, showing no signs of trauma, emotional scarring, and/or resentment towards his horrible parents for not letting him rule the household.

I was apprehensive about Night Two and ready for the fight.  Dante was home so Randy and I warned him that he was going to hear the baby scream and yell a lot and to not be upset. "Mommy and Daddy", we explained, "are not hurting Dorian. We are just trying to teach him to go to bed by himself like a big boy."  The stage was set, Elmo was prepped in the bed, storytime was over, the boys said "night night" to each other,  Dante was in bed, and I finished nursing. We were all prepared for "Howlfest 2011, round two".

But it didn't happen.  It didn't effing happen!  I put Dorian in his crib, stuck Elmo in his arms, turned on the music soother, kissed him goodnight and walked out of the room. He fussed (not cried) for about 10-15 minutes, maybe less, and then it was silent. Randy and I were shocked.  We peeked in on him and he was out cold, butt up in the air, snoring away.  Seriously, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe it.  Now here's the kicker. This was at 8pm.  He woke up at 1am for a feeding and was back to sleep by 1:15, and just now at 5 for another. He was awake this time after nursing as I put him back in the crib, repeating the steps from bedtime last night.  After walking out of the room, he hollered for about 5 minutes and then.....silence.  I checked in on him, and there he was, fast alseep.

Could it be that he's"getting it"?  Is this a fluke? One can only hope.  It would certainly be awesome.  Let's see what Night Three brings.