Monday, September 15, 2008

I dunno...I just don't feel much like writing lately. It's so much pressure! I'm writing for school! Whine, whine. So here are a few Charlotte updates.

1. Charlotte and sleeping. I promised a big post about Charlotte's sleeping habits a while back, but here's the (slightly) abbreviated version: Up until mid-July, Charlotte could only fall asleep while being rocked and sung to by one of her parents, all while sucking on one of our pinkie fingers. She never took a pacifier and wouldn't think about using her own thumb (gross! What were we thinking? seemed to be her reaction). Unfortunately, the finger sucking had gone from relatively peaceful to a bit more violent and toothy. Jeff and I had scars on our pinkies from Charlotte's chewy sucking. Ugh, I'm grossing myself out just describing this.

Suddenly, in July, Jeff couldn't take it anymore. He was putting C down for naps while I did bedtimes. While I thought we should wait until after our big move to try any new sleep training ideas, it became obvious that Jeff was about to crack. So I told him to do whatever he wanted. A few days later, I followed suit (my finger hurt!). We quit the finger cold-turkey. It was a rough couple of days, but surprisingly, she eventually adapted.

We were still rocking her to sleep, though, and then setting her in her crib. This began to take a long time. A long, long time. And after we moved to Lawrence, she began to only go to sleep for me, crying herself into hysterics when Jeff or anyone else would try. Fun!

The solution, surprisingly, was her big girl bed. The first night we had her bed all set up, she climbed up into bed all by herself, settled in under the covers, and fell asleep, all without any physical contact from me. I sat in the rocking chair across the room and sang my normal repertoire of songs (quite an eclectic mix, I must say, featuring show tunes, pop hits, and spirtual hymns). She fell asleep, I stood up and walked out of the room. And then the heavens opened up and angels flew down carrying fuzzy kittens and barbeque potato chips and cream soda for me. This has been the pattern every night since then (except for the giftbearing angels, sadly). She crawls into bed, settles in (sometimes this takes a while and requires some reminders from me or Jeff that it's time to sit still), and we sing until she falls asleep. I mean, not both of us. We're not in there duetting or anything. Although that reminds me...

TANGENT: Today when we were all sitting the dining table eating lunch, Charlotte started singing Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (one of her bedtime songs). Jeff chimed in, and then Charlotte wanted me to sing along, too. Then she requested that we all hold hands. I think that was one of the weirdest but also most special experiences of my life, to be sitting around the table holding hands with my husband and my two-year-old while singing "Back to the howlin' old owl in the woods / huntin' the horny-back toad..."

2. Charlotte and diapers. Charlotte is potty-training. Like many parents, we have resorted to bribery. For every successful potty on the toilet, she puts a sticker on the chart. At the end of the day, we count the stickers and that's the number of M&Ms she gets. Today was a nearly accident-free day, including a few public excursions wherein she used the public restroom. I have said the words "potty," "pee-pee," and "big girl underpants" more times in the last two weeks than I think in my entire life up to that point.

On the phone last week, Charlotte asked Uncle Awesome (my brother, Scott), if he wore big girl underpants. I didn't hear his answer.

3. Charlotte and growth. At the doctor today, we found out that Charlotte weights just over 27 pounds and is just over 33 inches tall. That's the 30th percentile for height and the 45th for weight. She's kind of a munchkin. She's still wearing 24 months pants and a few 2t things. But the doctor could not believe how well she spoke. At one point Charlotte came up to her and said "I want to play with the toys beneath the table. Can I play with them, please?" The doctor looked at her, blinked, and then laughed a little. I think it was the "beneath" that got her.

Sometimes I get stressed out about Charlotte's eating habits. She's a little picky, and some days hardly seems to eat at all. But the next day she'll do something surprising, like commandeer and eat Jeff's entire bowl of leftover spaghetti, and then move on to half a brick of cheese or something. Whatever, she's a toddler. What's the point of getting stressed out over her eating habits? I should be worrying more about whether I'm getting enough nutrients from the bottomless bags of barbeque chips I'm eating to help this baby boy develop well.


Kurt said...

Go Char!!! Strangely enough, I also have been able to go to sleep really well lately--and with the same catalyst: a big bed. I went to Ikea in the second week after I moved here and finally got a big bed. If Charlotte's anything like I have been lately, bedtime is probably the best part of the day. Sweet dreams!

Tena said...

Oh heavens how I miss your humor! hilarious. Glad she's sleeping for you! Might I add that we have a 5 year old, a 4 year old AND an 8 month old - ALL still in cribs?? Life is good. :)