my kids are good sleepers, surprisingly so most of the time. this is not to say that they always go to sleep easy, although with ada this would be accurate (if falling asleep and staying that way were an olympic sport, she would likely win gold), with cohen it would not. since he graduated from the cage to freedom the going to sleep has been a crapshoot. still, it usually doesn't take forever (ie no more than 30 minutes) of up and down before he is fast asleep until morning.

then there was last night.

i put him down for the first time at 7:45, he was up again every 2 minutes for an hour and a half. seriously. i wish i could say that those 45 times up and down wore him out enough that he fell asleep at 9:15, but alas i can not. at this point i buckled and crawled into bed with him where he continued to fidget/poke me in the eye/pull my hair and laugh for another 45 minutes. 10 o'clock and i am now mad. the unhappy voice comes out and the finger starts wagging. he breaks out in hysterical laughter. i feel defeated. marko shouts from the living room "if you don't want him to laugh, you need to say it like you mean it". what is this improv class? i do mean it! i had a list as long as my arm of things i wanted to get done and slowly it was becoming clear that none of it was happening. i tried again and it turned out that this time i could find my inner "mean it" voice. quickly his laughter became tears, became my enormous guilt, became a huge hug and a kiss, became the return of his laughter. damn it.

10:30 and the game is still on. this time we are sitting on the couch, him in my lap drinking warm milk with a grin on his face, me on the verge of tears, 7 loads of laundry piled at our feet. back into his room i open the patio door a crack and sit on the end of his bed. the breeze is nice, but it brings with it the sound of voices off in the distance, voices that are enjoying the company of friends, maybe even drinking a beer, laughing. as i sit there all i could think about doing was yelling out into the night sky "whatever you do, don't have kids!"

the next half hour was a blur, i think i cried on the front porch and threw my hands in the sky and whispered "why?" and then marko went in and yelled and then hugged and then there was silence and we thought we were good. we weren't. 11:08 marko hugs him one more time, places him in bed and says "no more!", and that was it, he finally fell asleep 3 hours and 23 minutes after it all began.

he woke up again at 4am.

i got to sleep through that portion of the program, but as it was explained to me it involved a great deal of crying and cajoling and very little sleep until sometime around 5. he woke for the day at 7:30

which brings us to this morning. i tried to get him to nap at 11. i thought it was going to be easy, i mean he only had a handful of hours sleep, but he wasn't having it. for an hour we struggled back and forth, me in the bed and then out, him calm and him crying. there was yelling and hugging. it was essentially a condensed version of last night, until just after noon when he came back into the living room, pulled out his soother and said "tooth!" while pointing into his mouth.

this is an enormous revelation because:

a. it has been determined that cohen likely has a speech delay. we have been waiting to get in for an assessment and have an appointment for the end of the month. he will repeat words back at us but he never uses them to express himself, there have been no shouts of "more" or "down" or "now". mostly he babbles in some african language and points. so "tooth!", although he has said the word many times before, in this context is worthy of celebration.

b. it's his tooth! it had never occurred to me that there might be a logical reason for all the ridiculous fussipotness, i just assumed he was being difficult, testing boundaries, reveling in making my life hell. who knew? sure enough when i looked inside i could see that two of his back molars are on their way out, the gums swollen and bloody. poor guy.

so i dug into the cupboard and found some motrin. he gulped it down like the candy it is and then sulked in my arms for the 25 minutes it took to kick in, and then he fell fast asleep. she is sleeping too, which is a bit of a miracle really, 2 hours to myself in the middle of the afternoon! the question is, do i tackle the list or take a nap...


m said...

Nap! Always go with the nap.

As you know, sleep is an issue in our home. What you described (minus the happy ending) is the sucky reality in our home. Also minus the nap. I think those days are behind us.

I've been wondering about Atticus's speech, too. He's getting more words now, but two months ago, I was fretting. He still speaks largely in his own language, but he's actually able to communicate now. We almost took him to a speech pathologist, but decided to hold off. Someone told me that Einstein didn't speak until 3. That's my personal cut-off. If Atticus is still speaking like this at three, then we're off. Until then, I'm just pretending he's a genius.

t said...

i was thinking of waiting until 3 as well, but it was dreena who changed my mind. as you know she is an audiologist and sees a lot of kids that have speech delays, and knows the way the system works. she cautioned me that waiting until 3 would mean 3.5 before he would actually get into therapy, if he was lucky, and often this means a delay with kindergarten. she also said that 99% of kids don't have a problem and just come to it on their own later, but there is no harm getting on the list, just in case. in the last two weeks though cohen has started to take off verbally, so i think given more time he is going to be fine. we will still go for the assessment and i will let you know what they have to say, maybe it will be useful for atticus. last night at the park cohen said "i'm going to get you!" when we were playing tag. that's a whole sentence!

t said...

oh, and no more naps?!? poor poor marita. i hope i have awhile yet before that is my reality, i am not sure i could handle the alternative.

Alexandra said...

HI Tara long time no speak its Lexi just wanted to give you a heads up that my son's best friend didn't start speaking until 2.5 boys are apparently a lot slower than girls in the language department. Its good you have him in an assessment but I just think he will talk by 2.5

Just wanted to give you the heads up and Ada is adorable the marker on her is too funny though


m said...

Holy, a whole sentence?! That's awesome. I also have a theory that some kids hold off because they know you want it so badly. Hence why Atticus didn't call us Mom and Dad until two weeks before turning two.

I can see Dreena's point. I don't think waitlists are as much of an issue here. They have a pathologist where the boys get their shots and it doesn't seem like it's long to get an appointment.

Another reason why we're holding off, is that I'm wary that bringing him to a specialist will make him self-conscious about his speech. Atticus is really sensitive to stuff like that (being discussed) and I'm worried that it would give him an unnecessary complex. (And I'm in no way saying that this would be the case with Cohen. I don't think he'd be bothered either way.)

Mathias (and my entourage) said...

sleep! sleep! sleep! Always nap when the baby naps! I still do! I always look forward to it. I don't get cleaning done, but I get sleep! It's important. A happy, healthy mom is much more important than a clean house. Besides, who remembers if their house was clean and tidy when they were little? Go! Nap!

Trish said...

D's just started talking in the past month or so for us and he's caught up to the other kids really quickly. I think sometimes it takes a awhile to get them started but then there's no stopping them. Here's hoping C is just taking his time.

cheesefairy said...

amazing how pain is an impetus for starting to express feelings..next word: DRUGS! We go for the ibuprofen at the first sign of unjustified fussiness. We don't teethe well in this family.

But oh how I laughed at "what is this, improv class?"