His naps have been in half hour intervals so he has ALWAYS been fussy and tired. This past week, if he has not been sleeping, eating or bathing, he has been crying. I have gotten maybe ten minutes of pleasantness each day where I can get those rewarding smiles and goos that make all of the other fussiness OK and, let me tell you, it has NOT been balancing out!
Usually the binkie is the only thing that always soothes him so it has been getting an extra workout this week. In desperation, I went to facebook to seek some answers. I posted, "Why in the past week is my baby suddenly inconsolable around 6 or 7 pm?" The general response seemed to be that he is learning to fight sleep so he is probably just really tired and having a hard time getting to bed.
Taking that advice in mind, I rolled up my sleeves and put Sander to be early that night. Right around six o'clock. It wasn't too bad, he was asleep and I felt pretty proud of myself! My baby was asleep before he could get too fussy and I would be able to get some me-time. Then, right at 6:30 pm I heard this terrible shriek coming from the nursery. It was like he was waking up to purposefully scream at me, just to spite me.
I tried to give him his binkie, but he just cried around it. I tried to rock him, walk around, put him on his tummy, but nothing worked for an extended period of time. Finally I got him to take his binkie and he sat with me until 8:30, sucking on it and looking mad at the world, but totally awake. Finally he went down.
This week I have also been trying to break him of the habit of falling asleep in my arms. The doctor at our two month check up said I need to put him down while he is drowsy so that he can learn to put himself to sleep because that will make our lives a lot easier in the long run. Well, Sander does that wonderfully when it is nighttime and everything is dark, but not so well in the daytime which could also be a contributing factor to the appearance of our demon child.
Finally, Saturday, a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds. Or rather, a ray of my old sweet Sander baby broke through the demon baby facade. Saturday was a clean house day and Sander slept most of the morning while Casey got in his bike ride and I did other chores around the house. Casey got home from his bike ride and I was able to finish cleaning the kitchen before Sander woke up. Then I thought, "oh no. He's awake. That means he'll need to be held and have his binkie in his mouth until he goes back down in a couple of hours and I won't get anything done!" So I went and picked Sander up and he cuddled up to me, put his head on my chest and tucked his little hands underneath his body and quietly looked around at the world while I walked around.
It was amazing! My sweet baby boy was back! Then, it got better! I put him down on his playmat in the nursery, which he used to hate, and he entertained himself while Casey and I cleaned our bedroom, the bathroom and the living room. Did I say it was amazing, because it was! I couldn't BELIEVE how good he was being. It continued all day and into the week. I had forgotten that he could ever be content while he was awake and not sucking on his binkie! Plus, he started going to sleep on his own after we laid him in the nursery, wrapped him up in a blanket, gave him his binkie and a kiss on the head and closed the door.
Looking back, it was a hard week. And the thing that made the difference for me was honestly scripture study. Studying my scriptures made the difference between being exhausted and frustrated at the end of the day and being exhausted but still patient at the end of the day.
Now Sander has come back better than ever. He is full of smiles and happiness and it seems like he as grown developmentally. I feel more like he is interacting with me and less like I am interacting with him and trying to draw a response. He seems much more engaged in our playtime and is doing new and exciting things every day!
Hallelujah! The demon child has gone and sweet Sander Jay has returned! Well, maybe the demon child isn't completely gone- I'm sure there will be relapses. But at least he is on hiatus. For now.