Monday, March 30, 2009

Big Boy Bed progress report

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath to hear how the Big Boy Bed is working out for us, haven't you?

To our shock, it is working out beautifully. No, really. It is.

The first night, granted, was rough. Drunk with freedom, William was in and out of bed until nearly midnight. Even after David and I turned off our bedroom lights, William tiptoed into our room and crawled tentatively up onto our bed a few times. We ignored him, while stifling giggles, the first few times.

Then finally, I got up out of my nice cozy bed and walked him back to his room. It was around 11:50, so I said, "William, it's nearly midnight, and it's time for you to settle down."

And William replied, "Midnight? Like in Cinderella?"

And in one of my finer moments in parenting, I said, "Yes, and you might turn into a pumpkin if you don't to go sleep now." And I turned the lights off and made my, my exit.

Hey, it worked. He stayed in his bed after that. He can take it up with his therapist in a few years.

Friday was a long day, and we were all pretty wiped out. The silver lining, however, was that William went to bed without a fuss at 8 p.m. on Friday night, and the next time either of us saw or heard him was at 7:30 on Saturday morning. He had stayed in his bed all night. All night. (Or as far as we know, which is the same thing in my book.)

Amazing. Simply amazing. Grand Canyon-Statue of Liberty-Mount Rushmore amazing.

The best part is that William did it again on Saturday night and again on Sunday night. AND he's mostly managed to restrain himself from the lure of unfettered freedom during naptime, too. Okay, yes, today was a little trickier and involved a mid-nap trip to the potty and a few M&Ms. But he still managed to stay in his bed for almost two more hours, which is remarkable, really. He's still not entirely convinced that he needs a bedspread on his bed, but we'll work on that.

And I had one hilarious moment this morning that is a direct result of the Big Boy Bed. William woke up and scampered out of his bed this morning, only to come into my room and find me still sleeping. I hazily remember him gently crawling up onto the bed next to me and scrambling aroud for a few seconds before climbing back down. I dozed back off for a little while. When I woke up, I turned over and there, lying in the bed next to me, was my old baby doll, Amy, who often stayed in William's crib with him. He had brought her to snuggle in the bed with me so I wouldn't be lonely.

Is this just a wonderful reward for surviving the Terrible Almost-Threes?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

At long last...the Big Boy Bed is here

So this is what William's room looked like as of about 4 p.m. this afternoon:

And this is what it looked like at 6 p.m.:

That's right. We put up the Big Boy Bed at last.

Right now, it has the Wall-E sheets that David picked up at Target, although we do plan to get some nicer sheets for it soon, too. (William has specifically requested Star Wars sheets, and David enthusiastically agreed that his son needs Star Wars sheets. Needs them.) I still need to buy a quilt or comforter and shams for it, but at least it has some sheets and a pillow.

William was so pleased with the new bed, he could barely stand it. As soon as we got it all put together, he threw himself on his new bed with a great sigh of delight. Then he sat up and declared, in what was just short of a royal proclamation, "Take the crib away. I'm too big for it now."

I suggested that maybe he just sleep in his crib again tonight, and he looked at me like I had grown a second head. He rejected that idea. The crib is still up, but no one is sleeping in it, except for poor lonely Pooh Bear and Knuffle Bunny.

William is here:

As for first experiences, I am also expecting a first experience tonight. I am expecting my very first experience with a toddler creeping into bed with me in the middle of the night.


Gratuitous picture of William from Cheekwood last week:

Tomorrow is another day

It's early, but so far, today is better than yesterday. Aaron is here, distracting William while I try to get some work done. We created a Good Behavior chart, and so far, William seems eager to live up to it. So cross your fingers.

And I feel it's only fair to report that we did have one small victory yesterday. Frustrated with being alone in the house with William, I ordered him into the car to run some errands with me after an early dinner. It was only when we were about to leave that I remembered he was wearing underpants. But we went out anyway, and guess what? He stayed dry the whole time. We did make a short pitstop in the bathroom of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and William willingly went potty. And we made it home with no incidents (of the potty variety).

One day at a time, one day at a time, da da da da, one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've heard about how some kids are worse at three years of age than they were at two. And I'm starting to really believe it.

William, at almost three, is far more of a handful now than he was even six months ago. In fact, I'd say that his current stage is the hardest I've ever dealt with, aside from the early months when all he did was nurse and not let me sleep.

I am so exhausted. I am exhausted, physically and emotionally. I am exhausted from trying to curb the bad behaviors--the hitting and the throwing things and the pushing. I am exhausted from trying to institute time outs. I am exhausted from trying to encourage good behavior. I am exhausted from dealing with his constant defiance.

And I am exhausted from failing.

I just lost it this afternoon. I tossed William into his crib, since it's the one place he can't escape. And I shut the door to his room and called my parents and cried.

I just can't do this. I know that children at this age are a bundle of impulses, and I know that they are just asserting their independence and pushing every button that they can. But I feel like my child is doing it far beyond anything I've ever seen from anyone else's kids that we know. Nothing seems to be making a difference.

And I really don't know where to go from here. I just feel...defeated.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The list

Took William to Target today. (I wore my red shoes, so I could click my heels together and chant, 'There's no place like Target, there's no place like Target, there's no place like Target.' Because you know, there really is no place quite like Target. If you just tried to say Wal-Mart or KMart, well, all I have to say is 'you poor poor deluded thing you.')

I had jotted down a short shopping list the night before. After I plunked him into the cart, I dutifully turned over the list to him so he could be the Listmaster. The list was very exciting. It had the following items on it: kitchen soap, bath soap, brown socks for David, waterproof mattress pad, napkins and Goldfish crackers. This should give you a sense of the thrill-a-minute life I lead, no? At any rate, that was my list. We bought the stuff on the list, plus oh, $20 or $30 worth of other random stuff*, and we headed home. (*Target has a $50 minimum, you know. And by minimum, I mean, absolute bare minimum. It really should be $100. Just hand over $100 when you cross the threshold. Don't expect any change.)

Tonight, at bedtime, William was "reading" a favorite Frog and Toad story called "The List" to David and me. I asked William if he remembered what was on our shopping list this morning.

He thoughtfully considered the question before confidently replying, " candy."

And you know what? For a few seconds, I sincerely wished my list really HAD had "books, toys and candy" printed on it. The small pleasures that make us happy, you know?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quickie read

Nice post today on about how competitive mothers can be: Mommy Wars. And no, even though I contribute a weekly post to the CoolMomsCare blog, I didn't write it. But I'm glad I read it.

I can pedal!

As it turns out, William can actually pedal his tricycle by himself. We've been encouraging him to do it for awhile, but usually he'll pedal a few times and then whine for us to push him again. See below:

But after getting a report from Miss Aubrey that William is a fast-and-furious pedaler at school, we've decided to encourage him to power his own self a little more often.

But of course, sometimes he still wants Daddy to push him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sneaking a treat

So this morning, I was working upstairs on the computer when I heard a rustling noise coming from downstairs. I immediately suspected my lovely son of getting into something yummy and off-limits from the pantry, so I went to investigate.

"William, are you eating something?" I called as I walked down the stairs.

A second later, he popped into view. He was holding a crumpled handful of pink plastic. He unfolded his palm to show me the empty wrapper of Hello Kitty fruit treats, which had been in a goody bag he received recently.

"Yes," he said. "I ate the catfood, Mommy."

Friday, March 13, 2009

The CD player

I didn't mean to let a whole week without a post go by. Gah! A week in the online world is like a month in the real world. Sorry, y'all. I'll do better. I've been snowed under with some freelance projects, but I'm slowly digging myself out.

In the meantime, the most interesting news about Prince William is his newfound addiction to the CD player in his bedroom. I'm about to just suck it up and spend some money to get him a kiddie CD player so he won't destroy the clock-CD player that's in his room right now.

It sort of amuses me and makes me feel old at the same time to think that whatever CD player I buy will be the equivalent of the little red and white record player (yes, I am that old) that I had as a small child. But instead of listening to Disney books on records with the little chime that tells you to turn the page, he's all into hip-kid music like They Might Be Giants. Well, and since he's still his father's son, the Star Wars soundtrack. I wonde whatever happened to that old record player I had. I remember listening to "Sleeping Beauty" (yes, really) and "101 Dalmatians" and a whole bunch of others on it. Later, Mom and Daddy upgraded and bought me a bright red Panasonic tape player that ground out a lifetime's worth of Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson songs. Ah, the '80s.

So if anyone's bought a super-indestructible CD player recently, please let me know the details. We need one ASAP.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What's he up to now?

Random photos from the small snowfall we received on Sunday:

Let's see. Since the Great M&M Caper, we've had a couple more interesting episodes happen here.

About an hour or two after the GM&MC, I had to do another phone interview for a freelance story I'm working on. As I was winding up the phone call, I started hearing the toilet flush, over and over. Like when your child is too quiet, a constantly-flushing toilet is also a bad sign. Not just a bad sign. A Bad Sign. Still on the phone, I walked out of my office and down the hall to William's bathroom.

There he stood, bare-bottomed with a very poopy diaper down between his ankles. He was wiping his bottom with a wipe, then flushing the wipe, then wiping with a new wipe, then flushing it. And had been doing so for awhile, apparently. Judging by the meager amount of wipes left in the box, I estimated that he had to have used up at least a dozen. Maybe more. I gasped something about a poop-tastrophe to the woman on the other end of the phone and hung up to help him out. He's never tried to do that before, but you just had to know he'd try when I was attempting to get something else done. But you know, I have to give him props for trying to clean himself up. That's the sort of thing we do want him to be able to do. Er, but without so much flushing.

Last night, I was again working on some freelance stuff while attemping to cook dinner. I was dashing back and forth between the computer and the kitchen. William was off allegedly entertaining himself, although he occasionally intercepted me to, I don't know, tell me about Darth Vader or the castle people or something. On my last dash upstairs, I noticed a package of hot dogs on the dining room floor, so I stopped and grabbed it and threw it back in the fridge. Five minutes later or so, I returned to the stove and started cooking some vegetables.

A minute or so later, William toddles back into the kitchen and hands me the now-empty package of hot dog, save for an inch-long piece still left at the bottom. "I ate the hot dogs," he reported.

He had eaten THREE uncooked hot dogs directly out of the fridge. Three cold slimy turkey hot dogs. I sputtered all over the place, sort of grossed out but mostly trying not to laugh, but not doing a very good job of doing so. "Wha, wha, wha...but WHY?" I finally managed to spit out.

Apparently, he was hungry and he wanted hot dogs. He had just eaten a (cooked) hot dog for lunch a few hours earlier, but I guess he just wanted more. And I guess the whole uncooked-ness didn't bother him because he ate THREE of them like that. THREE. (I'm a little hung up on anyone eating an uncooked hot dog at all, much less multiple uncooked hot dogs). You'd think I didn't feed the kid. But as I remarked to a friend on Facebook, hello, does he look like he's starving to you?

Every time I think, hey, I think I have a handle on what to expect out of my son, I get a surprise. Not that I have a good handle on how to get him to stop kicking and hitting sometimes, but I at least knew that it happens and I have to deal with it. But I never saw the Three Hot Dog Incident coming. Who expects that? I mean, it never ever would have occurred to me to say, "Hey, William, please don't go into the fridge and eat the raw hot dogs in there, okay?" And I couldn't really get mad at him because I hadn't ever told him he couldn't eat three uncooked hot dogs.

But we did have a nice little chat about asking Mommy for food when we're hungry. But given that this is the same kid who found a way to get M&Ms, I don't know how effective the chat is going to be. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Melts in your hand

So, I was checking my email a little while ago, and I kept hearing this weird rattling sound. I stuck my head out of the office and peered around. The door to Wiliam's room was shut, and I could hear him puttering around in there. His CD player was playing, so I could hear music, too. I went back to the computer.

A few minutes later, I finished up my email and went to see what William was up to. He opened the door right as I got there and said, "Mommy, can you put this jar of Em-Ems back up?"

Remember that big glass jar of M&Ms that I put in the bathroom to entice William to go potty? William had taken it down from the bathroom counter, somehow figured out how to unscrew the huge lid that I never thought he could get into. Behind the closed bedroom door, he then feasted on the candy 'til his little heart's content.

Astonished, I looked at his face, smeared with chocolate. His hands were smeary, too (don't listen to the Mars folks: M&Ms certainly do melt in your hands). As he smiled and offered up the jar, I sputtered with laughter (really, you would have laughed, too). And then I tried to regain my composure and be stern.

"William! How many of these did you eat?" I asked, surveying the amount of candy left in the jar. I estimated that at least a quarter of the candy was missing, maybe more.

"I ate a lot of them," he reported.

Good grief.

The jar is now on top of the armoire in my bedroom in the place more commonly known as Toy Time Out. Who knew I'd need M&M Time Out, too?

Monday, March 02, 2009

DST starts this weekend

Public service announcement time.

Hey, y'all, did you realize that Daylight Savings Time starts this coming Sunday? That is, March 8. Yes, it does seem early. That's because it is earlier than we're used to it starting. It used to start in April. But now that it lasts later into the fall, it starts earlier in the spring, too.

I'm actually looking forward to it. First of all, I'm pro-anything that allows there to be more daylight later in the day. Nothing is more depressing than darkness at 5 p.m. on a cold, grim day. This is particularly true when it would be nice to take my child outside and let him run around but can't because it's dark outside. I'm looking forward to pre- and post-dinner walks around the neighborhood again when it warms up a little more, too.

Secondly, William's sleep schedule has been a little wonky lately, and I'm guardedly hopeful that DST will perhaps result in him sleeping a little later in the morning. Please, God. It worked last year, and it would be very, very helpful if it worked this year, too.

So fall back, spring forward. Bring it on.