This is about the time I start to miss being pregnant, just a little bit. And this past week, let me tell you, I wish I was still carrying that baby inside because at least I'd have some hands free to deal with Kian.
Kian had a very rough week, last week. Mostly, in that his ears did not work, he couldn't listen for anything. And he's usually a better listener than that, being two and all you know, you can only expect so much. The novelty of the 'new' baby must have worn off. He suddenly realized "hey, mommy's stuck on the couch feeding the baby, I can do lots and lots of things. I can pretend I don't hear her, or do exactly the opposite of what she asked me to do, and she can't do a thing about it! hahaha". I'm pretty sure those were the thoughts I heard in his head. We learned a long time ago you can't say to Kian "don't....." because he'll turn around and do it immediately. You have to phrase things differently to get him to want to obey. He's a tester, but he does it so pleasantly, it's a very difficult thing to discipline. But, he's had his share of time-outs this week. I even spanked him because I couldn't handle myself anymore and I reacted (not the way I want to discipline, especially spanking). You know what he did? He laughed in my face and ran away. I know old school discipline would say I didn't hit him hard enough and do it again right? Nope. No, no, no. I"ve learned for him the best discipline is taking away his toy or privilege, not spanking or time-outs and certainly not yelling. That is way more affective on him than any time out. He just sits in time-out and counts (11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, okay... Soooorry!) and gets up.
It also takes effort on my part, even tired as I am, to calm down, get on his level and speak very calmly. If I raise my voice or he hears the annoyance and irritation in it he knows he's got me and he kicks it up a notch. It will be interesting to see how Karter's personality plays out after Kian. Kian likes to hear the entire explanation of things (no, you cannot touch the knife, it will cut you and you will bleed, instead of "don't touch the knife"). It's a curiosity that will serve him well in his education, school years and beyond, I'm sure. It's us finding a way of cultivating that while reigning in some other pieces. We've begun talking about being respectful, kind, polite and all the emotions so he has more understanding of why we do things and don't do things. It's starting to kick in. So, there was a lot of laughing and crying, all in one, this week. Mostly from me, not him.
Karter is doing well. He's very alert when he decides to be awake. Which, is part of the problem. He likes to be awake from 7/8 am to 10 am or so, and then from 8/9pm for a couple hours. He still is mixed up with days and nights, as he sleeps 4-5 hours during the day and I am waking him up to eat. But, at night he wakes up every 3 hours on the minute to eat. And when he's awake those times, he wants to eat every half hour to hour. It's a catch-22, really. When he sleeps those chunks, it lets me do things with Kian, an art project, catch up on laundry, cook with Kian, etc. But, then I get woken up a lot at night. Kian was so textbook baby, ate every three hours, nursed the exact amount of minutes each time, that I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do about this one. But, he's still so little and I know his days and nights will be figured out soon. Except the dark, dreary, rainy days don't help by hiding all the sunlight!
When he's awake he is starting to give us little half-smiles. He gave me a real smile Saturday after I left him in the car with my mom for awhile to run in the store. He is starting to coo and "talk" as Kian says, especially when Kian is being gentle and talking softly too him. He holds his head up pretty good when he's upright, loves to look around. He loves to be warm and swaddled. Kian could have cared less about being swaddled the few days after he came home. But, not Karter, he fusses if he gets cold at night, or if his hands and face are chilled, and usually ends up tucked in next to me to stay warmer. His eating habits are different and interesting. He gags and chokes easily while eating, and needs to be upright for a bit after eating. Not exactly like reflux, because it would be much worse, but probably a slight bit of it. Which, may or may not be from the dairy elimination diet we're trying. He does better when I don't have any dairy in my system. It's not easy, as every food has some random part of milk or milk protein in it! Shopping just got a lot more fun... So, he takes lots of breaks and burps a lot, which makes for extended nursing sessions, hence Kian taking advantage of my being stuck there.
I found exhaustion caught up with me. With Kian, I could sleep whenever he did, there wasn't as much laundry, no food to prepare for anyone but me, no toys to trip over or other kids to chase after. Now, I can't just nap unless they both are, and Kian needs potty time and meal time and to have something that resembles a routine. I felt so great after Karter was born I just ran with it and was doing dumb things like mopping floors. I should have rested a lot more, because it caught up with me and I haven't yet got back that sleep I missed. We'll get there... we're finding things to do with Kian-art projects during the week here at home, going to make a weekly library trip, and soon there will be a gym class I can take him too once a week. He needs to get out and be around kids, as that was a huge change for him from full-time daycare with packed, busy days, to lounging around the house. But, he tells me he doesn't want to go to school, just "stay home with mommy and baby Karter". Sounds good to me.