Little Man


One of my very first blog posts, as a parent, was about my “Newborn Vampire” and how he had his days and nights mixed up. That was on my old blog and I’ve never figured out how to move the posts here.  This one started a few months later, and focused a lot on Little Man’s helmet journey and my mixed up emotions. Heck, it still focuses on my mixed up emotions!

Anyway, I’m talking about sleep because it’s a precious thing. I’ve driven around for an hour to keep Little Man napping–if he fell asleep in the car. Though I never drove anywhere to get him to fall asleep like some of my mom friends have. Thankfully I never felt that desperate.  At the beginning, Little Man was a terrible sleeper–particularly during the day. The only place he’d sleep was ON ME or in his infant carrier. The latter contributed to his brachycephaly.

Somewhere around 3 months of age, he slept through the night (STTN).  It was short-lived. And from 3-6 months, his sleep was erratic. Some nights he’d sleep from 10 pm (his initial bedtime) to around 5 am, then take a bottle and go back to sleep for 2 hours. Other nights he’d sleep from 10-2 and then from 3-6 and nap several times during the day. There was a dark period–from 6 to 9 months, where he was just a rotten sleeper. I blame that on teeth (got the first 2 just before/at 6 months and the second 2 around 9 months).  Thankfully, at 9 months, he began sleeping on his tummy. Once he did that, STTN was common and no longer infrequent. His bedtime was (and still is) at 8-8:30 and he usually sleeps until 6:30 am. So his average is 10 hours of sleep per night–I wish I could have 8!

Naps, however, took longer to get on track.  As I said, initially he’d only sleep in his infant carrier or ON me–until about 5/6 months when he got too heavy, I was fine with him sleeping in my Baby K’tan Carrier. He’d also sleep pretty well in his travel swing (once he had the DOC Band, I didn’t worry about that). But he never slept in a Pack-n-Play and that caused some issues, as it was his “nap place” at my office until he was 9 months old.

At that time, my in-laws moved and I got the crib they had for the grandkids. Little Man would sleep there–but only after I had rocked him to sleep and transferred him to the crib. And the naps were short. Both weren’t more than 45 minutes most days. And he’d almost always fall asleep in the car, on the way home, for about 20 minutes.

Finally at 11 months of age, I decided that enough was enough! I needed him to nap! So I let him cry it out (CIO) for naps. No Ferber checks. Just crying. The first day he wailed for about 30 minutes but eventually slept (sniffling in his sleep) for close to 2 hours). The second day was worse. But by day 3, he was napping within 10 minutes of being put in his crib. And until last February, when he turned 18 months, he took his first nap at home (at around 9 am, and I’d be at work by 11) and his second nap at the office, at around 1:30 pm.  Both naps were about 1-1.5 hours long.

Since he was 18 months old, he’s been on a “schedule” of sorts. One nap per day. The nap usually begins at 12:30 after his lunch.  He’ll sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, with 2 being the average until recently. Lately it’s been 2.5 to 3 hours. But if he sleeps too long he’s crabby.  But I think he is happier at night after his 3 hour nap. I know I can get much more done while he’s sleeping. And, when I’m home, I’ll nap too.  My husband doesn’t understand–he’s not a good napper. But I love naps and will nap whenever I can, especially while Little Man still does.

I’ll miss the days of napping when he eventually drops them.  I hope it’s not for a while. While it does limit my afternoon activities, I like naps.

Advertisements

I had typed up my blog earlier tonight but the draft failed to autosave as the new version of Firefox crashed. So I’m keeping it short.

Little Man turned 2 on August 14th.

His stats were:

30.2 lb (80th percentile for weight)

36 inches (90th percentile for height)

19 inches for his head circumference, but I never asked about the percentile. He was at 50 consistently, so I’d guess somewhere in that ballpark. It was also the last time head circumference is measured at a well child appointment.

In other news, we finally had professional photos taken. Most were of Little Man, but we got a family pic, too.

And I think it’s about time for Little Man to get a haircut!

More to come soon!

Last Thursday I was supposed to drop Little Man off at his school in the morning and then come back home to have my IFSP meeting with Early Intervention.  But when he woke up, he felt quite hot to the touch and I took his fever with an ear thermometer and it was 100.7 and he seemed somewhat clingy, so I kept him home.   I still had the meeting (in the kitchen, while Little Man watched classic Disney cartoons on the DVD player in the family room) and the plan is set for him to have speech therapy once a week and work with a developmental interventionist (generally a special ed teacher) twice a week–that’s 3 hours total per week.  We set simple goals (6 month) of speaking in 2 word purposeful sentences, saying his own name, responding to his name and following adult-led play for 10 minutes. I also want him to be less “dependent” on his Donald Duck toy. I guess more on this once the therapies start, by the end of August.

When the EI team left, I planned to give Little Man lunch and put him down for his nap. He just seemed not hungry, though he ate a little, and felt MUCH warmer. So I took his temperature and it was 101.7! This might not seem like a lot to those moms whose little ones have had fevers.  But this, honestly, was his first one over 101.  I managed to get some children’s Tylenol in him (Dude had picked some up, since we wanted to have it handy) and he napped, badly, for short periods of time. Maybe two 20 minute stretches. When he woke he was VERY clingy and we just watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the DVR.  I managed to take him out with me, for a short trip, to Rite Aid to get him Children’s Ibuprofen. Since his fever was still 101.5, I gave him Tylenol at 4 pm and then Motrin before bedtime.

The next day, Friday July 29th, he woke up feeling cool to the touch. But I took his temp again, in the ear, and he fought me like crazy. (Should have been a hint.) He was normal, but he was acting strangely. He kept crying and screaming and saying “Boo boo! Boo boo!” By 9:30 am he was spent, and I put him down for an early nap. I planned to sleep, too, as I’d had little sleep the night before, listening to Little Man crying in HIS sleep. But I called the pediatrician before I conked out and scheduled an appointment for 12:15, as his behavior was quite odd and I knew something was off.  We both napped and when he woke I gave him an early lunch (not that he ate much, but I managed to get some yogurt and blueberries into him) and we headed to the doctor.

Of course at the doctor’s office, he was running around like crazy and giggling. It was like nothing was wrong. So I thought I’d taken him there for nothing. And after a HUGE fit when the nurse tried to get his oxygen levels (first on his finger, then on his foot) and a broken baby scale (we used the “big” one and he was 31.8 lb), we were finally seen by our favorite pediatrician in the group. He checked Little Man out, listened to his chest, looked in his throat (no 2 year molars yet), left ear… right ear… YEP.  He had an ear infection!  That happened to be MY first illness (at age 3). So he’s copying his mama and earlier. Makes sense that he gets sick once he starts daycare/preschool, right?

We head home to get the prescribed Amoxicillin (pedi called it in) with a brief stop at my office (was there too long, but I had no choice) and I managed to “force-feed” him the bubblegum pink medication close to 4 pm. I thought he’d take a late nap, but nope. I think the flavors in the antibiotics are all sugar because he was so hyper after that first dose and I felt like a limp noodle. The second dose was easier but not by much. And Dude’s train was VERY late so he was in a pissy mood and got home late. He didn’t even want to see Little Man, which made me upset, since he wanted his daddy. But I put him to bed (around 8:15 or so) by myself and he slept mostly OK.

Now to add insult to injury, *I* came down with Bronchitis this week! So both of us are on antibiotics. Me, a Z-pack, since we’re 90% sure I’m allergic to Penicillin.  And with a switch in our health insurance, I had to pay out of pocket and am canceling other appointments this week. But that’s for another vent.

In less than 10 days now, Little Man will turn 2.  Time goes so fast. I’m grateful it took 23 months for him to get sick the first time.  And he’s doing pretty well now (day 8 of antibiotics) and did much better in school this week. I, however, am EXHAUSTED.

This has been weighing on me for some weeks and is a big part of why I haven’t been blogging again, like I said I would. What is a “typical toddler?” Does your almost-2-year old listen at all? Do they participate in circle time at The Little Gym, Gymboree or your local library program or Y? When you call their name, do they turn their head to look at you? Can they speak in sentences, even if only two words. Do they say something to get your attention or do they point and grunt?

My toddler doesn’t usually turn to look at me when I call his name. Though I’m pretty sure he can hear (and am having a hearing test on Friday to confirm that). My toddler says many individual words in response to something–like if Dora says “Who do you ask when you need to know where to go?” and he’ll say “Map!”  Or he’ll point out the hippo as the mouseketool in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartoon. But he won’t TALK to me.

And the tantrums. He’ll flip out if he A) Can’t do something he wants to do, B) Doesn’t want to do something, C) Is unable to do something (like put a square peg in a round hole) and D) if overtired or hungry. D doesn’t worry me so much. But A-C do. And the lack of speech. And the NOT participating at ALL (or barely) in his Little Gym class. So on June 21, 2011, I called New Jersey Early Intervention.  They took a lot of information over the phone and an intake coordinator called me and after our phone conversation, scheduled a free evaluation.  That was on July 13th. Little Man qualified.

The two evaluators, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist, found that Little Man has delays in 1) Communication, Speech & Language (which I expected), 2) Social/Emotional Development and 3) Cognitive ability. I had my first meeting with EI last week to go over the plan in general and my cost participation, as it has not been free in over 7 years and there is a copay based on annual salary. My next meeting is to set up my IFSP (individualized family service plan) and set up what type of therapies Little Man will receive. Once I’ve signed off on the plan, services begin within 30 days. So by the end of August.

So since then a lot of thoughts have been going through my head.  Are there JUST developmental delays going on or is something else wrong? Little Man has, in my opinion, some red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Though it could be typical toddler behavior. Maybe? I’m no longer sure of “typical.”  I’ve bolded the ones I’m worried about.

  • The child does not respond to his/her name.
  • The child cannot explain what he/she wants.
  • Language skills or speech are delayed.
  • The child doesn’t follow directions.
  • At times, the child seems to be deaf.
  • The child seems to hear sometimes, but not others.
  • The child doesn’t point or wave bye-bye.
  • The child used to say a few words or babble, but now he/she doesn’t.
  • The child throws intense or violent tantrums.
  • The child has odd movement patterns.
  • The child is hyperactive, uncooperative, or oppositional.
  • The child doesn’t know how to play with toys.
  • The child doesn’t smile when smiled at.
  • The child has poor eye contact.
  • The child gets “stuck” on things over and over and can’t move on to other things.
  • The child seems to prefer to play alone.
  • The child gets things for him/herself only.
  • The child is very independent for his/her age.
  • The child does things “early” compared to other children.
  • The child seems to be in his/her “own world.”
  • The child seems to tune people out.
  • The child is not interested in other children.
  • The child walks on his/her toes.
  • The child shows unusual attachments to toys, objects, or schedules (i.e., always holding a string or having to put socks on before pants.)
  • Child spends a lot of time lining things up or putting things in a certain order.

Little Man does line things up, but I wouldn’t say a LOT of time. But there are a few things that worry me.  I’m on a wait list with a developmental pediatrician to evaluate him fully–not just for ASD but for his development in general. Though I’m hopeful that some of the behaviors are just toddler quirks or due to his delays.

Honestly, I am becoming bitter about how “typical” (because I won’t say normal) others’ toddlers are. I have lots of mom friends from the internet and I love their cyber friendship and counsel. But when I see how well they are doing. Talking. Interacting well with others. Even singing songs. I feel like I’ve failed. I feel so worried that my son will not go ahead in life. And he’s not even 2!

Little Man is still SO affectionate–even though he won’t give kisses. He likes to snuggle. He likes to play with me and his father. He loves seeing his cousins. He mostly always has a smile on his face. But he’s not adjusting well to new situations (ie. daycare, that I started him in 3 times a week for a few hours) and the tantrums are getting worse, probably due to that.

I know I need to get over myself. There are children with REAL special needs and this could be NOTHING but a minor glitch. But I seem to obsess over things (always have) and it’s hard to get past this.

Little Man is my only child and I want the best for him.  And I want him to be typical. Once he’s there, then I’ll look towards exceptional.

Yesterday was July 4th and we have a friend who is a volunteer firefighter.  So Dude and I took Little Man to take a ride in a fire truck.  They sat in the front seat (I was in the cab) and they had a fantastic time. Dude mostly.  Men are just big boys, right? But I’m glad they had fun and it was a nice way to celebrate the 4th.  Here is Little Man wearing his new fireman’s hat!

Photobucket

So after we left, around 11 am, Little Man fell asleep in the car!  We didn’t expect that, and Dude needed new sneakers so we were headed to the Reebok outlet nearby. So I stayed in the car with our son as my husband shopped for shoes. After about 35 minutes (including the time to the store), Little Man woke up. So we decided to have lunch at Panera before heading home. We had yogurt for the kiddo and we got stuff there.

After our meal, Dude was in the men’s room and Little Man turned bright red and started grunting. I knew EXACTLY what was happening. Oy vey!  He then started screaming in pain. So I got him out of the high chair and he finished pooping–or so I thought–on my lap.  Dude came back from the bathroom and I let him know that I had to change the boy.  So off I went, hoping for little or no struggle.

WARNING: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF A MESSY DIAPER CHANGE AHEAD.

AGAIN, I WARNED YOU.

OK, HERE WE GO.

In the bathroom, the changing table was in the handicapped stall.  I got Little Man situated, putting a disposable pad under him, and I pulled off his shorts (left his shoes on) and opened the diaper to one of the biggest poops I’ve seen! He hadn’t pooped since Saturday, so I guess it was 2 days worth. It filled the diaper and was still coming out of his tush. As I pulled the diaper back, more poop came out.   I managed to wipe a lot away but still saw some poop just hanging there.  Like half in/half out of his tush.

I had to pull away the dirty diaper, because he began kicking and put his shoe IN some poop. Ack!  Got more wipes and put the dirty diaper and used wipes in a plastic bag (for used diapers, Munchkin brand). They he PEES all over himself and his clothing.  Starts SCREAMING!

So I’m trying to wipe him off and he then shits all over the table.

There is crap everywhere.  I had to wipe it off the table and him–and ME, since it was on my hands!  Then a wipe, with poop on it, fell on the floor!!!  Ack!

I’m not sure how I managed to get a clean diaper on him and bag his dirty clothes in another scented sack and also get most of the poop and his diaper in another. But I did.  And I tossed the refuse in a trash bin and tried to wash my hands, while my screaming toddler was attached to my hip.  Then I walked out, with my son only wearing a diaper and shoes, to tell the staff at Panera that they have a problem in their handicapped stall (ie. poop all over the changing station and the floor.) The woman doesn’t seem to understand, but I couldn’t linger and walked through the restaurant to where Dude was waiting.

“Take him!” is all I manage to say at first.

Then I shared with him, what I’ve just shared with you.  Dude helps me dress him in his “emergency outfit” and Little Man settles down and actually eats a bit more. I guess he had room, finally.

I use hand sanitizer to make up for whatever I missed during my futile attempt at washing my hands.  And then I have to pee. I am mortified and don’t want to go back to the bathroom. But I do.  And when I’m done–and have noticed the poop is still all over that stall–I let the manager know what happened.   Soooo embarrassed as I say it. But they’re nice and say they’ll take care of it.

We leave quickly.

So I’m not sure we’ll ever be welcome in the Panera on Route 202 in Flemington, NJ. Hopefully the other locations don’t know of my reputation.  Mom of the killer pooper.

Oh well, shit happens.

All over the place.

Yuck.

I know my kid isn’t the only one.  I have several friends, both online and in person, who comment how their 2-year-old (or older/younger) is flipping through apps on their iPhone or iPad. Obviously it’s common or why else would all these developers make apps for toddlers?  But it’s also kind of crazy how tech-savvy today’s toddlers are.

Little Man doesn’t really say much but he does know “on” and “off” and can name basically every character in The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dora the Explorer cartoons.  He says map and bappap (backpack) and Mou and MeeMee and Dasiy and Duck Duck.  I’ve mentioned that I allow him to watch TV and have admitted that I feel I let him watch too much. But it keeps him busy while he’s at work with me (my not-so-ideal situation) and it cannot be helped right now.

I actually made my iPod Touch toddler friendly. Basically Little Man has free reign with it.  Though if there is no Wi-Fi available, he gets mad when he can’t get his apps to work. I’ve created a monster!

I guess that’s it for now. I’m trying to get back into the groove of blogging.  I like writing and maybe one day I’ll be more attentive to this site.  I’ve considered returning to another blog site (with nice follower links) but then I’d have to figure out how to move this one. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

Joy is seeing your child’s face light up when he sees you.

Joy is hearing him say “Mama, ___” when he wants to share something with you.

Joy is the cuddles you get from your loving son.

Joy is knowing you are doing SOMETHING right in your life.

Joy is watching your little one discover how something works.

This is me and my pride and joy!

Photobucket

Next Page »