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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Springtime, crazy time

So, spring. In my garden, the flowers are in bloom. They are beautiful. Finally, there is sun and a clear sky. We can have breakfast in the yard, we can welcome guests there, and our children can play outside without even having to leave the house. It’s the time when everything wakes up. But spring is also the time where my mind and my body have a little disagreement.

My mind wakes up, singing Simon and Garfunkel to itself: “Hello lamp-post, what's cha knowing, I've come to watch your flowers growin', Ain't cha got no rhymes for me, do-it-do-do, feelin' groovy!”. My body, however is sleep-deprived and tired, and the winter was a long one. It is more in a Velvet Underground mood and it responds:  “ I am tired, I am weary, I could sleep for a thousand years!”

My mind has billion ideas per second. I know it’s been very active lately, what with the blog and all that, but it is even more creative in the spring. It goes, to put it in Coldplay’s words: “And I could write a song, a hundred miles long”, to which my body answers with some Beatles lyrics: “Please, don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me, leave me where I am, I’m only sleeping!”

On top of being sleep deprived, and tired, I am dealing with two different children, who each have two different issues that are extremely hard to coordinate. First, we are currently potty training K. She’s been using the toilet for a while, and we let her go when she wanted- still with diaper on.

At some point, I heeded the advice to let her run without diaper. The results were such that I had to clean after her all the time because she refused to tell me that she had to go (which was no problem when she had a diaper on). And so, diapers it was, and when she said she had to go, we did go.

And so it went until I had enough. I went cold turkey on our daycare where I told them Klara doesn’t have a diaper on, and can they please deal with it. It usually goes well until around 5 o’clock when she is tired, and has an accident.

Transitions. From weaning off to eating adult foods, and now potty training. With K., it is difficult. Not because she is afraid of changes. On the contrary, she is brave, and loves trying out new things. But she is also The Girl Who Does Everything Her Own Way And Takes Her Time Doing It. Not that it’s a bad thing doing things your own way. But potty training? Sorry, no. That’s much more mess that I am willing to accept.

We’re making progress. Now she lets me know she has to go even without her diaper on. She can go long stretches during the day without diaper. It’s just so frustrating because it seems it’s taking forever for her to reach the point where I don’t have to get involved.

Besides taking care of K’s… output, we’re working on J’s input. See, she’s not gaining weight as well as she should be, and last month she’s even lost some weight. And she’s so little. I don’t mean being little is a bad thing (says who?), but that when a little child is losing weight, that’s not good at all. And that is not easy, either, especially with the drinking. Because J. can't decide which type of bottle she likes most. One day, it'd be the read one with the soft "nipple". The next day, it's the green one with a hard beak. Sometimes, she prefers to drink from her sippy cup as if it was a normal cup- without the lid on. And other times, she really likes me to give her milk with a spoon. Yes, a spoon. Argh.

Seriously, this is the worst timing ever to change the Consultatiebureau, but this is what we had to do. The nurse at the new Consultatiebureau gave me advice that was perfectly contradictory to the advice we got from our old nurse, who seemed really reasonable. She said we should feed Julia 5 times a day (and it’s totally working because now she’s gaining weight again). The new nurse said that 3 meals a day are enough.

Oh, and the service at the new Consultatiebureau? Don’t get me started on that. In our old place we could see the nurse in her room even if we went to the so called inloopspreekuur (every Consultatiebureau devotes an hour on one day to parents who don’t have appointments- for example to see if the child is gaining weight and they don’t want to wait for the next appointment). At the new place, the nurse was sitting in the waiting room, where all the mothers were changing and dressing their babies. They could hear all my questions. I had to stand, J. on my arm. She never invited me to sit down, and made it very clear that my questions were a waist of her time. Her advice was nothing special (the type that is all over the Internet), and I probably knew more about some things than she did.

Potty training takes up much of my time. But so does feeding a child who has to be fed regularly and I never know which bottle J. will prefer any given day. I never know when K. is going to have an accident. Of course, she can sit on the potty herself, but that doesn’t prevent her from proudly bringing me the potty to inspect and admire, splashing its content all over the place. And of course, this has to be dealt with immediately, or well, you get the idea. But J. has to get the time she needs to eat and drink as much as she needs. How to do that? 

Did I mention that I am sleep derived and tired? J. doesn’t nurse anymore but she still wakes up in the night for other reasons. Sometimes, K. does, too. The first whole week I get to sleep the whole night through every day, will be a cause for celebration. I am so tired that it’s getting dangerous. I have almost cut off my nail while cutting some bread, and K. has just managed to cut off some of her hair with scissors she grabbed in that second I wasn't looking. I must be more careful.  And that is even more tiring.

Other than that? My mind and my body have managed to agree on a solution. They will go shopping together. This is both relaxing and creative. I think I will join them.

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  1. Oh, I SO know the feeling. I have a million ideas of what I would like to cook, bake, organize, read, write, go see and do, but I am physically so tired too. Perhaps it's the spring, perhaps it's being a parent of a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old and the fact that we've been more sick this spring than ever before. We were sick the whole month of February, had a few weeks in between and now we're sick again. :((

    Ps. Good luck with pottytraining. I know how frustrating that can be. My daughter never used a potty. She absolutely hated it. We bought her this ring for the toilet that makes it possible for her to sit on the toilet without falling in it and she used that till she was four.

  2. Thanks, Tarja. We also started with the toilet, but she somehow discovered the potty and preferred it- . I would have preferred the toilet. Anyway, I don't really care as long as it's not diapers. And as for being tired, I think, it's all of those things, because all those things alone make you tired, and together they are exhausting.I hope you get better soon.


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