Thursday, February 19, 2015

Coping With Houdini

We're still trying to cope with this new-found talent of the Little Duck's. Basically every day since his first escape I've found him asleep someplace other than his crib. A lot of people's advice has been to establish a firm bed time routine, for both nap time and bed time, so that he realizes "Okay, this is happening now, sleep happens next." But we've already been doing that his entire life. So... yeah... not really advice that does us any good unfortunately.

Another piece of advice was to establish a reward system for staying in bed, but since he's not yet talking there's no real way to convey this abstract idea to him. I mean he grasps language, if I give him simple instructions (up until now), he'll follow them pretty well but he's always been a good boy, so we've never had to explain "do the good thing not the bad thing and get a treat!" You know? That concept is completely foreign to him.

Persistence was the only solid advice I've been given really. Because persistence could work for any child, mine, yours, older, younger, speaking, not speaking. What I've done is simply refuse to let him escape for any length of time.

Nap time has pretty much gone the way of the dodo, even when he's visibly tired he will rarely actually go to sleep during the day when he knows he can instead run up and down the hall cackling like a madman. I've taken to just loitering outside of his door, waiting for him to open it. Then tsking him and plopping him back into his crib so that he learns to at least remain in the nursery for an hour of 'winding down' time, so that he realizes if he isn't going to sleep it's not going to be a fun toy party with Mom all afternoon.

That seems to be working somewhat. After his third escape attempt yesterday he finally remained in the nursery looking at books and playing with stuffed animals rather than trying to come out to play with us. So he managed to actually get about an hour of quiet time. Which is so important. Even if he refuses to actually nap, giving him a cool off period where he can just chill safe and happy prevents him from getting over-stimulated, I've found. Which makes bed time easier.

Case-in-point, last night was the easiest bed time routine all week. After a small snack while I read him a story, I sang him a lullaby and put him to bed where he went right to sleep! That hasn't gone so effortlessly since this whole 'climbing out of bed' thing started. Until this morning.

From about 8 moths onward, Jude has always gotten up in the morning at 8:00 AM sharp. No matter what time he got to sleep (earlier than usual, later than usual), he wakes up at 8:00 AM. This morning he got up at 5:00 AM and started running around. Ugh! Aaron took him back to the nursery, held him until he began to doze off, and put him back near-asleep but the moment he left the room Jude cried and followed. So I went in for a try and rocked him until he was totally asleep then put him back to bed, but he woke up when I put him down. Not ready to give up on him actually getting a decent amount of sleep, I stood with my hand on his back until he dozed off again but he got up and followed me the moment I left the room anyway!

We spent a whole hour trying to get him back to sleep without success. So I tsked him for coming out and took him back to bed where he did not go back to sleep but at least remained playing quietly for an hour without further complaint. After that Aaron stayed up to keep an eye on him so I could try to get some sleep, but Jude REALLY wanted my attention and kept coming in and ripping the covers off of me, trying to lift my head off the pillows with both hands, yelling at my face, and pulling up my eyelids with his tiny fingers to smile at me... rofl. Super cute, very precious, but man am I tired.

Aaron escorted him away to watch Sesame Street, but he kept running up and down the hall laughing so I didn't get much sleep. I managed to catch maybe an hour before Jude came running to me with the lid and straw to his new cup, insisting I'm the only person on Earth able to fix the problem. "Uh, where's the cup part buddy?" Oh, on the floor sitting on top of the big wet spot that had clearly been your juice.

I'm so tired my eyes actually hurt. It feels like it's almost dinner time but it's not even lunch time yet. Long day ahead!

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