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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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It has been a very busy couple of days.

On a whim, I made an appointment with a new psychologist and had my first appointment last night. I’m not sure what my first impression of him is. Of course, before I made the appointment, I did some research on the guy and he’s ex-Army, has a degree in forensic psychology and the whole time I was talking to him, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was listening to me and calculating the¬†likelihood¬†I would commit some sort of crime.

And he looks a bit like Sigmund Freud so in addition to me worrying about him deciding what crime I’m going to commit, I kept having this urge to ask him if he felt like Sigmund Freud probably did when he first started out listening to Jewish house wives who were unhappy with their lives.

I told Tucker about that urge and Tucker rolled his eyes so I’m going to assume it’s safe to assume that it’s probably for the best that I didn’t ask the shrink that since even though it was hilarious in MY head, I’m the only one who finds it funny. [Just like in my head that sentence made complete sense.]

The thing I hate about going a new doctor of any kind is the fact that you have to basically spend the entire first meeting rehashing your entire history.

YOU know everything there is to know but the new guy has no clue. So you go back over everything one last time and hope that you won’t have to do it ever again. And it’s not that it’s particularly emotionally painful or anything. Just the facts, ma’am. But it is a pain in the ass to recite it again.

Almost makes me want to type it all up, save it to a CD and then just hand over the CD when I first meet a new doc.

I have another appointment in two weeks and he mentioned that he might have me take a personality test. I absolutely HATE those things.

All of the questions are asked at least three times, three different ways and the whole time I’m taking one, I worry if I’m answering the questions the same way every time. Makes me want to scan back over the test to double check myself.

Surely I’m not the only person who does that.

Right?

Night before last, Tucker and I decided that we would start “The Ferber Method” with Oliver. And I just have to say here that I really hate using that phrase – The Ferber Method – since it has such a negative connotation associated with it.

The Progressive Waiting Approach is what Ferber has named it and it’s a perfect description since it describes the process to a T. If you’ve never read Ferber’s book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, I suggest you do before you make any broad generalizations with regards to it. Googling the method doesn’t give you all the information that you need to make an informed decision.

We used this with Cara when she was younger than Ollie and after probably the second night, I got the first decent night’s sleep that I had gotten in over a year. With Cara, her issue was that she would not go to sleep without being nursed and once she was asleep, it was practically impossible to put her down in her crib. The SECOND she felt the crib sheet, she was up and screaming and the whole cycle started over.

With Oliver, he falls asleep in like five minutes with Tucker walking him. Tucker puts him in Ollie’s crib and dude stays asleep for about four hours. Then, like clockwork, Oliver’s up at midnight screaming and demanding to be taken into our bed.

Since he was so easy to put to sleep, we had just been going with the above mentioned routine since we didn’t mind it too badly and Ollie was always so damn happy about the situation and I’m sure there was a small part of us that just didn’t want to fuck with the whole thing.

But, much like me making my shrink appointment, on a whim, I decided that I was going to find Dr. Ferber’s book and Ollie was going to sleep in his crib without coming to our bed in the middle of the night.

And the first night kind of blew.

He was pissed. Of course he didn’t get why Tucker was telling him it was time to go to sleep. And, of course he didn’t particularly care for being told that he had to go to bed and that Tucker wasn’t going to walk him around until he fell to sleep and then get snuck into bed.

There were no tears with this screaming. It was pure rage and the funny thing about it was that I was kind of shocked. I mean, Ollie has always been a pretty easy going kid and I guess one reason he has always been so easy going is because he hasn’t ever been forced to do something that he really didn’t want to do.

We went by the chart in the book just like we did with Cara.

The first “wait” is three minutes. You put child to bed, tell them to shut the hell up [I kid!] and then you leave the room. After three minutes, you go back in and make sure that child has not removed any important body parts, you reassure them that you haven’t magically disappeared and then you leave the room again.

This time, you wait for five minutes before you go back in. Rinse and repeat.

The third “wait” is ten minutes and every time after that is ten minutes.

Basically, you keep going back in their room every ten minutes if they’re still hollaring and you let them know you’re still there, they aren’t dying and that it’s a really good idea to go to sleep.

I don’t remember exactly but I think Ollie was out by the fourth wait. And that’s a big deal since that was the first time he had ever gone to sleep on his own. No walking. No nursing. Just him and his blue bear.

He woke up at 1am and was pissed and wet so I changed his diaper and started back over with the waits. This time, he wasn’t quite so willing to go to sleep.

If I was standing next to his crib, he would lay down on his pillow and close his eyes but the SECOND I left the room he was up and bitching again. I’m pretty sure it took about two hours for him to finally go to sleep. Mind you, that wasn’t two hours of constant screaming. That was twenty minutes here, followed by about ten minutes of quiet there and then he’d start up again.

To make sure I didn’t fall asleep and miss when I was supposed to go and check on him, I set my handy dandy kitchen timer to ten minutes.

Last night was MUCH better.

He was asleep within eight minutes of being put to bed and you would think that I would have been sawing some logs but I wasn’t.

You see, not only did I “train” him to wake up and nurse at midnight by continuing it way past when it was really necessary, he trained me by always waking up. My brain’s used to being up till about midnight since it knew it was pretty pointless to shut off when it would be required to start back up in just a few hours.

Last night I was in bed by 10 or so but couldn’t settle myself down to sleep. I tossed and turned and finally ended up reading a couple of stories out of this sci-fi anthology I have.

Of course, Ollie woke up at midnight, I changed him, kissed his little head and plopped him back in his bed. And you know, by six minutes, his ass was asleep. He didn’t wake up until 5:30 this morning.

Hopefully tonight he won’t wake at all in the middle of the night and hopefully I can train myself that normal people are asleep at midnight.

The title of this comes from something I tweeted yesterday about fixing my laptop being like taking one step forward and two steps back since I finally got everything cleaned off my hard drive but then lost internet capabilities due to deleted drivers. I won’t bore you with the gory details but just know that it’s all a huge pain in my ass and that you should feel sorry for me.

Also, when I got up this morning and started checking my work email and sending replies, I got this from ATT: Temporary Mail Block. If you don’t want to go to the link, basically it says that my email account has been sending out spam [which I knew nothing about] and ATT has blocked me from sending anymore email for the time being.

See?

One step forward and two steps back.

*Edited to add: I was nominated for this thing Babble’s doing – Top 50 Mommy Bloggers – and since I am both a mommy AND a blogger and well…I’m already nominated, I figure you should vote for me. Cause you like me and stuff. Click this link and then look for my blog name. I think I’m like 116 or something right now.*

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