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Monday, January 28, 2013

Hell Week...

You know what people forget to mention SUCKS when it comes to raising kids? Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed, that's what. Just when you think you're in the clear, you've got almost two years behind you, have established good sleeping habits and your kid is basically the world's only 2-year old who's adjective should be 'terrific' and not 'terrible', the boat is rocked and everything is turned absolutely upside down!

Toddler beds weren't even on my radar; I was ill-prepared to say the least. I thought I had at least another 6 months or so before we would have to start worrying about that whole thing. Our nephew, Hank is almost 3 and he still happily sleeps in his crib. Our friends, who have seemingly more rambunctious little guys than we do, all have yet to get rid of the ultimate safe haven. So when we got back from Hawaii last week and Hayes effortlessly swung his leg over the side of the crib one night in an attempt to get out, I was definitely taken by surprise.

The monkey making his grand escape...
This wasn't a one-time-only occurrence, folks. The little monkey soon thought of it as a game, so our only choice was to rock him to sleep every nap and nighttime before the big boy bed arrived. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Try rocking a kid who has the energy of somebody who has just ingested a liter of Jolt to sleep when they have no interest in going to bed. Throw in some violent kicking and hitting (accompanied by maniacal laughter every time I loudly protested, "No!") and multiple middle of the night wake-ups, and you have what we went through last week. Good times, let me tell you.

So toddler bed was ordered and arrived on Thursday. Everybody says to make a big deal out of it, let the child be involved, have them help you pick out some new sheets... All great advice for someone who is of normal age when making the transition, but not our Hayes who, at 23 months is at the early end of the milestone spectrum and doesn't understand what the hell is going on. 
We enlisted his help in assembling the bed and tried to make a big deal out of it throughout the day. We went into night #1 with a solid plan and told each other that no matter how long, we would do whatever it took to get him to sleep in there. Fast forward two and a half grueling hours and over 450 times of putting a laughing, crying, wailing, screaming, then laughing again toddler back into his foreign bed and the evening ended with an unhappy baby, a mama in tears and a dad who resorted to ye old faithful rocking-him-to-sleep technique.

Explaining to Hayes what's going on...
Getting him excited for the bed... This was before the 450th trip back into his room.
 Keep in mind, this entire time, Grant and I are both sick with our second colds of the year and everyone is crabby and tired, especially Hayes, who is used to clocking in 11+ hours of uninterrupted sleep in the comfort of his crib. So let's just say tensions were high around the Kibbutz!

We quickly decided that the Super Nanny technique was not going to work with our persistent little guy so we abandoned that idea and moved onto some other tactics. Grant tried sitting in his room for a whole hour in silence one afternoon while he was supposed to be napping. The result of that experiment wasn't a tired baby, but a lesson in Feng Shui from a 2 year old. We tried leaving him in the room and locking the door so he couldn't get out. 5 minutes later, that experiment was over (come on, you know I don't have the heart for CIO). We tried reading his books in bed and patiently waiting for him to calm down and go to sleep. Result: an angry mama leaving the room to get dad to take over, who once again, needed to resort to the rocking.

On Friday night, we had plans with friends for dinner and happily left Hayes in Nini and Pa's (new names for Grandma and Grandpa) hands. We were sure he would still be awake when we got home but alas, a miracle occurred on Livonia Street... 3 minutes of back rubbing and the boy was out!

Saturday evening wasn't very kind to Grant and me - seems the norovirus made it's way into our home and helped us both get reacquainted with our bathroom floor (Hayes still hasn't gotten it, thank god). At 4:30a on Sunday morning, after a fainting episode and what was bound to be a serious plumbing bill, we called up the grandparents and told them they needed to come up stat. To make a long story short, Nini was able to hone her craft a few more times on Sunday and although it's not the most ideal (gone are the days where we can leave Hayes awake in his room and expect him to go to sleep on his own), for the short term, we have a new technique (one that requires a great amount of patience, a firm rub and quiet-as-a-mouse tippy toes) that seems to do the trick and we're hopeful this new week will bring back a sense of order in the sleeping department around here!

It was a seriously trying week, which crescendoed with the worst stomach bug I've ever seen but it will be a story to tell and we survived.

Here are a couple snaps from the weekend, when we were actually able to get out of the house before Norovirus 2013 made it's nasty debut.

Ready to brave the cold rain...
LACMA Metropolis

Keep an eye out for Hayzey's 23 month pics later this week! Can't believe this is the last "month milestone" we'll be observing!

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