Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Harry Joseph, 21 Months Old

Dear Harry,

What leaps we have made this month, pumpkin-bear. At the risk of jinxing everything, I'm going to come right out and say it. You are on a bedtime routine.

Video (Curious George, your hero and constant companion.)
Lights out w/music and photos on iPod, then songs from Mama.
Asleep in under 15 minutes.

We've been doing some techniques with you after discovering that you may be what they call "Sensory Seeking". You crave activity, motion and stimulation and that keeps you from being able to settle your body. One of our Early Intervention workers suggested using squeezing massage and big bear hugs to help send slow-down signals to your brain. To that, we added my warm scented rice bag for you to have in your lap during your nighttime video. It has helped you relax enough to realize, "Hey! I'm tired!"

The next thing we did was warn you that "After George, we go night-night." For a few nights, that lead to screaming as we brought you to your room. We were firm about keeping you in your room and told you "All done. Bed or chair." when you would go screaming to the door. There were a few really rough nights. Twice, I gave in to more video after you would not calm down. Each time, you were asleep in minutes. Another night, you kept finding toys in your bed and I just got angry. I left you screaming with Daddy for 5 minutes while I calmed down. When I went back, I apologized to you for getting mad and took you to the rocking chair. You snuggled in to sleep in under 5 minutes.

Now, more often than not, you say bye-bye to George when the show ends (sometimes a smidgen tearfully, but not really crying) and let us carry you to your room where we do our thing. Your bedtime has become more and more consistent and we can depend on you sleeping through most nights. Once you are out, you are really out. Daddy still sleeps with you, mostly so I can hog our bed and not be woken if you do wake up. (You are working on molars, after all.) Let's be realistic, though. I'm your mom. I usually wake up 60 seconds before you wake. The other night, I was able to sneak in and give you teething tablets before you woke up all the way. But we know that your baby brother is going to upset the apple cart soon, so having Daddy with you is a good preventative. It won't be like we are taking Mommy away from you at night.

Speaking of which, this is my last monthly entry with you as an only child. I know you are too little to remember what it was like to have Mama and Dada to yourself, but for us it will be bittersweet. You've become our world and your world is about to change. I expect it will be very tough going for a while, but I know we will work it out. By the time your brother is 6 months old, you will think it has always been like this and so will we. Just like Daddy and I cannot remember or imagine life without you, we will all feel like that about Nathan soon. We have a busy month ahead of us, sweet pea. Go easy on your parents, if you can. We're doing the best we can.

All my love,

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