Somehow, I still haven't felt very inspired to blog, though I was compelled to do an introductory post for my guest piece on kissing the frog this past Thursday. While the writing of the reflection was a healing process, the revisiting of it did bring back some painful memories that I'm still attempting to process all over again..
In the meantime, though Abby's culture later ruled out an actual infection (it's apparently just typical-for-her-age intermittent irritation), she's been doing much better since her trip to the pediatrician. Somewhere between her brief experience with taking "big girl medicine" and witnessing her friend voluntarily request to use the potty during a play date mid-week, I've observed a change in her attitude towards the process. As a result, we've had a record-breaking level decrease in the number of power plays and refusals to use the bathroom on a reasonable schedule.
The toughest parts of the week by far, however, have been the three or four evenings that Tom and I have spent sleep-training Mia. The decision to do it was as tough as ever; with each child I've tried it out of desperation and sworn never to repeat it for the next. However, she's been ready to sleep through the night since right before my last pregnancy and got off-track due to a regrettable dip in my supply just prior to the development of a significant interest in food. As my hormones have continued to level back out post-miscarriage, I've begun to fear that the waking habits that once sprang up out of need will continue on indefinitely now that her need is gone (my supply has recovered and she's eating lots of solids throughout the day, finally). It therefore seemed that she might benefit from some nudging, and better sooner than later, when those habits were truly ingrained.
Thankfully, she hasn't been so terribly stubborn as her sister once was. We've only had to leave her for one five-minute and one ten-minute increment each night (the first night she made it to fifteen, but not past) for about four nights, and she seems to have quickly figured out what is expected of her. Since she's now pretty good about being able to soothe herself, I'd like to think that the process- for her- was really about learning a new routine. Regardless, I've found the experience to be so painful that sleep has not come easily even once she ceased to interrupt it. There's always that lingering fear that I'm leaving her feeling hopeless and/or abandoned in exchange for the lesson. Perhaps I am, but as always I've had to weigh the pros and cons, and I don't want to end up cheating her siblings out of the parts of myself that will only be available to them (and to her) once the horrible sleep deprivation ends. It's my hope that in perhaps another week we'll both be feeling better rested overall, and all of the tears we shed to get there will feel well-earned, in the end.
|"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the cutest of them all?"|
|According to Mia, binkies (like all things) are for chewing.|
|Abby builds a zoo in the jungle of the living room.|
|Looks like Daddy's gonna need a bigger lap.|
|Mia pampers Michael: first, a nice rocking in his chair...|
|... followed by a hairstyling session.|
|"Homemade whipped cream: it is so good."|
|Little angel, deep in prayer.|
|Making steady progress.|
Overheard this week:
Upon pretend-answering her pretend-phone: "Hi, this is Abby. I'm a human."
In answer to her father's inquiry about what she wanted for dinner: "We should make something that tastes like chocolate."
(Complete with outstretched arms, head shake, and confused expression): "I don't know!"
"Zzzzz..." (We've had two nights so far this week in which she's slept right through. Hoping for more of the same.)