Monday, March 3, 2008

More transitioning

The transition is going well. Sometimes, I think, a little too well; Oliver has not hit the wall that one would expect a fifteen-month old to crash into head-first when he realizes that the woman he knows as "Mommy" is gone and not coming back. Maybe I am underestimating the malleability that a 10 hour-a-day daycare setting will impress on a young child. I don't know. All I know is that while Oliver is not keen on letting me out of his sights, he's also not wailing in the corner ... which is precisely what Jo would have done. Atticus and Logan, not so much--that's the power of having an older sibling to hang on to, you know.

Oliver is learning the tough truth about sleeping, though. Turns out that he has had two deeply ingrained habits that we are in the process of (gently) breaking: number one is falling asleep in front of the television with a bottle and a blanket, and number two is being given a bottle every time he stirs at night. Because he slept in a bedroom with his fostermom and her two children, it was imperative that he be kept as quiet as possible. Having lived in an apartment with an infant, I know what that looks like--jumping to shush every whimper or threatening whine. In my case, I ended up with Logan sleeping cozily at my b**b for ten months while my husband and I got nary a wink. In Oliver's case, his fostermom filled the bill with one of the three bottles she kept ready at her bedside.

Seeing as how we don't have television, per se, there's no way that his habit of nodding off in front of the tube is going to be indulged. He's taken this quite in stride: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is apparently a reasonable substitute for American Idol. In a pinch, at least. I've been deliberate about establishing a solid routine of bath, story, bottle then bed while he's still fairly lucid. He's cried for as much as five minutes when I've laid him down, but he tuckers out fairly quickly. And lest you think I'm an absolute monster, I am still letting him have his binky to sleep with. Even though that drives me nuts. See, I'm not such a witch after all.

As for nighttime wake-ups, we've only had one significant event. The first night he was with us, Oliver's cold was so awful that he coughed and snuffed and snubbed through the first half of the night. When 1 a.m. rolled around, he had had enough. I gave him a bottle per his fostermom's instructions, but did it by picking him up, rocking him until he finished, and putting him back in bed. Guess what? That was no good, no good at all! Mr. Man wanted a leaking nipple in his mouth for the next few hours ... and he was incensed that I'd offered a poor facsimile of what he was used to getting. We went back and forth for about an hour--me soothing and patting and inserting binky, him relaxing, dozing off and then getting hopping mad the minute he realized I had no intention of letting him sleep with a bottle. Dh did his turn at the helm, too, don't worry: he has taken up post as Adult in Charge of Medicating Tonsillectomy Victim. That means he's up every four hours, like clockwork. Poor him.

I think we're getting the hang of this whole older-kids-and-a-baby thing. It's certainly different than life with three under five was back in the day. I'm having to remember all the tricks of the trade and balance the demands of raising children who can actually think beyond their next meal. It's a whole new world. Wonder what next week will look like?


Oh Joy! said...

I love how you write!! :) Thanks for the update on Oliver! Oh great! The lil guy just brought me my diet pop after drinking a big gulp of it...'s quarter 'til... I can see him being up for another hour or three.

Steve Sensenig said...

Our paths are so similar right now. Today was day 1 of "permanence" with us (after a two-week transition where we had our new 18-month-old during the week and former foster family had her for the weekends).

And yes, we're still doing the binky thing during sleep time, but lately she's been tossing it out of her crib at some point during the night, so I think she's about ready to not have one.

So glad you are getting your little one, and I hope it continues to be fun for you.

As for us, it's one 15-year-old and one 18-month-old -- quite a contrast!! hehe

Karla said...

What fun! Enjoy the ride!

Paula said...

You "almost" make me want a BABY again. For now, I'll live vicariously through you & then wait 20+ years for grandkids. :0)
Enjoy every minute!!!

anya* said...

you didnt offend at all! i had just never even thought of what you said, and our sw never mentioned it either. after talking to my husband we decided to remove them (photos) until it is finalized, which isnt until 6months post placement. our children have been legally free for quite awhile (over a year), so it may be less sensitive then it is with oliver, but definately not worth the risk.
the only way i could see getting around it would be to make my blog private- but that isnt fun! then we wouldnt have discovered one another!

btw- is there a way on your blog to send an email directly to you?

much love, anya*

anya* said...

also- i can SO relate to your post! the little one is 18m and has lived on a rotating diet of top ramen and crackers. my home made whole grain toast with almond butter is just not cutting it. haha. eating it the biggest issue here, all 3 of the kids just have really terrible nutrition/habits that are going to take awhile to break. and i was so nervous about our little boy lincoln (11 months) and our new little one sharing a room, and it has gone so smoothly lately. linc is the hardest of the 5 since he is still waking at night to nurse.

oh, and i had to laugh about the tv/american idol comment. the older ones asked if we have 'comcast' - we dont, but it is remarkable how quickly they have adapted to season one of little house on the prairie (on dvd) when that is the only option! lol.