Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Screaming Toddler Part 2

So I didn't know what to do. Milk was the first thing on my list to stop eating. I tried giving it up for a week. There was no change. I know, and even knew then, That you really need to give something up for at least six weeks to see a change, but I was in denial. I really like milk. I did not want to give it up. And with John he had a constant runny nose from 5 weeks to 4 months that disappeared after a week off milk. I beat myself up about every time I think back. How could I really let my little baby suffer like that?

The eventually she kinda stopped doing it. The occurrences be came less and I was living with it, hope, praying she would grow out of it. I moved her to her own bed at about 16 months. When she would wake in the middle of the night, I don't train or force my kids to sleep through the night, she would come into my bed. Sometimes she would wake up while I was still awake. I'd go up stairs stay with her until she went back to sleep. Sometimes it would take so long to get her back to sleep I would dread going up there and I'd wait. I'd give her up to ten minutes be fore I went up there and I would occasionally find her sleeping on the floor by the baby gate. So now I was tempted to sleep train my baby. Oh her waking up in the middle of the night screaming crying it was just bad habits. It CIO works for other people. I wouldn't let her go all night but ten minutes? So that was my new strategy. (bad idea. I still feel guilty about letting her cry to this day)

Ten minutes would go by sometimes and the crying wouldn't stop. I'd go up there and she didn't care that was there. It was like she was stuck in a frenzy. Her tummy was hard like she was pushing. I gave her all sorts of stuff to ease stomach cramps: tummy soother tea, homeopathy, belly massage, position change. She was screeching bloody murder. She was in supreme agony. Then I did it. I took her off milk.

It took about six weeks. It she stopped having stomach cramps. I gave her rice milk and goat milk and kept even cultured cows milk away from her for what seemed a long time. Then one day I allowed her to have some yogurt. I watched her for weeks every thing was fine. Then the night terrors started.

She'd come and sleep in our bed in the middle of the night. She'd wake up early morning screaming. Stuck in a frenzy. I had no idea what it was. I tried waking her it didn't work. She would scream and cry and yell at her brother in her sleep. She would answer my questions with no. Always no. No matter what the question. I would finally get her out of it after an eternity. Sometimes these attacks would happen once a night at 10 sometimes 3 times at 10, 12, and 3. Some times once a night at the other times.

I'm not proud of this but I used to use the TV as a baby sitter. I stopped that when I research night terrors. (do not try to wake up a kid in a night terror it just creates more problems.) Then they stopped after 2 weeks. Everything was fine for a while. Then the stomach cramps were back. I took her off milk. It didn't do anything. I didn't know what to do nothing was working. I had a new baby and Abby would occasionally need to be walked around in the middle of the night and I was tried and my sweet little girl was a crab during the day. It was like a snow ball she was sweet once and she became more irritable and angry and sad as she got older. The cramps were starting to hit her during the day. After awhile things settled down a bit and she just had about one stomach cramp a night. but she was cranky during the day. And she stopped having bowel movements for about 3 days. She was refusing to drink water. She seemed sick and dehydrated.

Something occurred to me that I didn't' consider she might be constipated. Could it be that she had something stuck in the wall of her intestines that caused bowel inflammation? Cow milk irritates bowels. maybe taking her off cow milk eased it up a bit but perhaps something little she swallowed when she was very little just kinda lodged itself in the intestine and was now making this a chronic issue.

I decided it was time for an enema. Psychologically and enema sounds traumatic and horrible, gross, icky, etc. My sister has a handicapped baby the same age as my daughter and she was telling me of the virtue of the enema, because she needed to do it for her baby. She said, "It is a tool for a mother to use when necessary, and it is not traumatic for kids. That is just something we are told by society." I determined this was the answer.

She pooped, a lot. That night she slept. All night. She slept every night all night for a long time. Months. Her personality changed and she was more like the little baby I had before: sweet and fun and kind. Then after a long time she got the cramps again. And she started to develop a low fever. I did it again. It wasn't effective because I just did a small one. So we tried it again a week later, doing a thorough cleaning. She pooped a poop that was big and shaped weird. It looked like a poop with a white thing as a right angle at the top. I've been told I should have dissected it. I was just happy it was out so I flushed it and my little girl came back. And we are living the good life. She doesn't wake up with stomach cramps any more. I hope they never return.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The screaming toddler

Most people know the agony of a screaming infant. The colicky baby. But have you experience a toddler screaming because of pain? Or a toddler screaming because they are stuck in a nightmare and can't wake up? My little three year old was the perfect 2 day old. She was mellow and happy and she continued this way until she was a bona fide infant.

At about 6 months my baby was a professional crawler. She got into every think and always found something to swallow that would end up in her diaper. Every thing was fine and good and the at night she started waking up with symptoms of colic. But 6 months don't have colic, that is what I was led to believe. My older kid would scream, but it wasn't scheduled, and it was relieved by nursing, even if I was empty. Anyway, My little baby would wake up in the middle of the night screaming, with a stomach as hard as a rock, and completely inconsolable. nursing her in a chair sitting up was how we ended almost every night, with me sleeping sitting up, sometimes with baby attached.

to be continued....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can I just vent a little?

So now I need to just let it all out.

The Baby is teething. She is whinny and needy and oh my gosh! She is also independent and stubborn and opinionated. So combine all those things with Easter preparations, house cleaning, meal planning and these two other ingredients:

Abby: who is composed of screaming vigor and mischief. Who delights in making her afore mentioned little sister scream.
John: Who is five and knows everything. And can do everything himself.

And you've got a recipe for a crazy mama.

I thought egg decorating would be so fun. So first I told the kids to wait while I prepared the eggs. Then I realized that I shouldn't die the eggs in our dinning room because it is carpeted. Then while I was lining the table, which does not belong, in the kitchen, My son decides to drop an egg in the dye, which was stupidly in the dining room. Thankfully no mess ensued.

Then in the kitchen Abby almost slipped and fell off her chair. Then things started to calm down as the baby began to crawl around my ankles for me to pick her up. No she does not want me to carry her on my back. I pick the baby up. I move everyone into the dinning room now that the eggs are dry. My son says, "I know how to do it." drops an egg breaks it. I don't like to wast food so I tell him to eat it. But I don't want him to eat all the eggs since they are for Easter. Then Abby sees John eating an egg she wants one too. I promise her a new one. She breaks a pink one. John and Abby pester me over who gets to eat it. I give it to Abby. John finds another egg (I had just made more) begs to eat it. He does so spinning around the living room.

"Stop! sit down while to you eat!" He continues.... John coughs, and coughs. I He is fine when he calms down I say,
"That's why you sit down while you eat. Go sit down!" He sits for two seconds. The Egg is gone he starts running around and asks me for another egg. Then runs up to me and, That's right he looses his lunch! all over the carpet all the way to the bathroom. Abby is making the baby scream (I buckled the baby in the high chair). Now they are upstairs in the bathroom fighting, disobeying. The baby is crying and the house is a mess. I still have to get a big enough Easter Basket for the family and plan on the Paska and Babka. *sigh*

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mothering a baby is different.

I remember when it was me and John. He was a baby and he was cute. When he cried I comforted him. When he was naughty I was quick to correct him I was always with in 3 feet of him. And it was great. I had a romanticized view of motherhood from when I was a teenager. I imagined life would be like this. Everything would work and be perfect. I would clean, nurse the baby, make dinner and everything would just flow.
  For me having John was a breeze pretty much. I wasn't used to being a house wife so I was still learning how to keep house and that was difficult but generally speaking it wasn't hard at all.

Then my little infant turned one.

My world started to slowly change. Taking care of a walking talking child is sooooooo different from caring for a baby that crawls and coos or just lays there. I cloth diaper, so the poop got gross as he began to eat more solid foods, but I expected that. Then  he started to run away. We would be somewhere, say the grocery store, he would ask to be put down so he could walk. Well I'm easy to get along with. I put him down. He ran away. He just ran as fast as he could. I'd catch him and bring him back. Tell him not to run away. He's gone before I can bat an eye. I'd bring him back. After the 6th time, I put him back in the cart. He screams and cries and everyone is looking at me. I feel like a terrible mother...

Then this little sweet heart begins to dump all his toys at home. He was such a dumper, cleaning up toys took a cumulative hour out of my day. Then he wouldn't eat the food that I made for dinner. He was going to eat the food I made for dinner. I wasn't going to be one of those moms. I'm not going to be a slave to my child's appetite, right? Wrong. After trying to convince him to eat, what I have given him, he staunchly refuses. I give in. Seems silly thinking about it now.

Chaos. Utter Chaos.

You know what, I loved every second of it. Ok not every second, but just being with my little man and playing with him, being a mother was awesome. It was so different from mothering an infant. Mothering a five year old is way different too. It occurred to me last night while I was picking up toys before my husband came home from work ( my kid does clean up his own toys now but finishing touches are needed.). That taking care of a little boy, mothering a little boy is the most different thing I have ever done in my life.

Yesterday he caught a spider and was searching and searching for bugs to feed it. He painted a bed sheet out side and scrubbed the paint off the patio. He dumped water on himself. He cleaned up the chalk that he was playing with outside. He helped his baby sister play with the scrub brush. He begged me for a snack, and to eat watermelon, and if he could have a cookie. And even with the arguing, because he knows everything, the back talking, the defiance, I love it. Every minute of it is great. This is the greatest my life has ever been, but it is way harder than I ever imagined would be, and way different from anything I expected it to be. Even though is so different from the romanticized version I created for myself previous to having a little kid.