Friday, May 14, 2010

Crap, guess it's time to start really parenting

I picked up Cameron from daycare on Tuesday and got to talk with her main teacher Miss Melba for a few minutes. In that time I learned two things:
  1. For the third week in a row Cameron has consistently only been "resting" in her crib for her morning nap;
  2. She screams and screeches if she isn't fed her meals or snacks first

The first one I can handle. I've been toying with the idea of bringing her down to one nap for a while. I've been resisting because she still sleeps 2-3 hours in the morning and another 1.5-2 hours in the afternoon on the weekends. But going down to one nap will allow us more flexibility in our day, a good thing now that we have joined a local community center. Cameron has also been extremely tired in the evenings which has pushed her bedtime up to 6:30 PM. Now that I will be commuting from uptown (with a daycare drop off in the opposite direction) I probably won't get home until 6 PM. It would be nice if we can put her down at 7:00 PM instead. I'm hopeful that Miss Melba speaks truly and by eliminating the morning "resting" period Cameron will sleep 2+ hours in the afternoon. As it stands now, she just sleeps for an hour which is not enough and hence the 6:30 PM bedtime. Please speak up if you have any advice about going down to one nap. Also, has anyone maintained a one nap schedule in daycare but two at home successfully?

It's the second item on the list that has concerned and caused me to run out to buy a book recommended by Laura, "Your One Year Old: The Fun Loving, Fussy 12-To-24 Month Old." OK, maybe I snuck in a few books for me with the order but hey, that way I qualified for free super shipping :-)

I've noticed that Cameron has definitely entered the feisty, fussy stage, especially when it comes to food. Part of it is our fault. We will give her some green beans or fruit while waiting for the rest of her dinner to heat up and cool down enough for her to eat. That means she is receiving her meal in piecemeal fashion which causes her to screech when she sees stuff she didn't like and not stuff she does. As of three nights ago we are now making an effort to get her food ready in its entirety before giving it to her. Then when she starts screeching and throwing her food, she is "all done" and down she comes. I still hate that she doesn't eat much in the evenings so we are still using the evening bottle as a crutch. I expect that to be phased out by the end of the month at the latest. She is still getting her molars in so I don't want to push it. Honest question for my readers, "How long did you/will you give your child a bottle?" I figure if Suri Cruise still has one at 3 years old I'm OK with phasing it out around month 14.

Basically what it comes down to is that I don't want a wild child. I don't think that Miss Melba related Cameron's mannerism as a reproach to me (or wait, maybe she did???) but I did see it as an area that we should be working on with Cameron. Especially if she ends up being an only child she will need to learn how to share. I guess part of me hoped that daycare would help with that (and it will) but we need to be doing things at home to reinforce it as well. Full honesty here: I also don't feel quite ready to really parent, you know what I mean? Toddlerhood may have more sleep for me but it certainly has it's own stressors, doesn't it? I'll let you know what I think about the book but as always, any and all advice or commiseration is welcome!


Stephanie said...

I left the transition to one nap to the daycare people. Jesse will occasionally still take two naps on the weekend, but it's usually cause we're running around & the car makes him sleepy.

The food fussiness is NORMAL!!! Do not worry about it at all. They will eat when they are hungry and they WILL go through phases where they randomly decide not to like their "favorite" foods.

Plus, I kept giving him a night bottle until our 15 month checkup when the doc told us to phase it out. (Actually, it was about another month b/c we were traveling for the holidays) But if you're using sippys already, then you should be fine.

Amanda said...

I'm right there with you about the "little attitude". I can't get over how differently they behave just a few months into the toddler years. It was a bit rough at home for us when Holden first dropped his morning nap at daycare and we were having to put him to bed about 30 minutes earlier than normal. But after about 2 weeks he adjusted and we were able to move bedtime to 7. Also we still put him down for a short morning nap on the weekends if we are home and he is acting tired.

Your not the only one with food problems, I hear all the time that one day they will eat like a bird and like a horse the next day. I think its par for the course in the next 2 years.

Since she already has a sippy, just change her bottle to a sippy, you can still give it to her at bedtime. Maybe make DH be the bad guys on this one. I know Holden was OK with it b/c he still really wanted the milk. Holden has been refusing his night time milk this week so we might be done with it all together :(

Drew said...

I am an only child and I think I share well. Well, I do not share food well. Which is ironic for this post, and especially since J is doing the exact same thing with the food now. Literally, I almost cried the other night. I cannot handle his refusal of cereal and mushed foods, his throwing of finger foods. He refuses the bottle too (we only get it in the morning, and one at 5 now - that is it). When he refuses the food it drives me mad and immediately I think we are raising a brat.

I am so worried about raising a bratty child. As I like to say, I am awesome, and so was my dad - so how did we get away with being excellent only children? (are you smiling and my only-child-smugness here?)... There is a good chance J will be an only too. So, I guess I am just really sensitive to his tantrums and fits, especially since he is only 10 months old. We were at a kid's gym the other day and he was whining and crying for no reason. I guess it is the teeth. But I need help. I feel I especially need help because it is just me. I need professional help!

OK, this is YOUR blog, not mine. But I needed to vent, and perhaps also let you know that I am counting on you to figure all of this out for me and post it so I do not have to worry. Drew

Mommy, Esq. said...

Food refusal and tantrums are normal. Don't take it personally. If you ask a nutritionist they will say you offer good foods and if they don't eat not to sweat it. Didn't you read Child of Mine?

Stacey said...

I guess I'm less concerned about the food fussiness than I am about the fact that she is showing poor manners by screeching and demanding to be fed first all the time at daycare. So we definitely need to work on that! We are also on Day 3 of Operation No far so good. I didn't want to jinx it by writing about it in the blog but the comments don't count, right?

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

I have a different approach with Miss Madi. I just go with the flow. I don't force her to sleep when she's not tired and some days she takes 2 naps sometimes just 1. I still give her a bottle at night because she still wants it. She started refusing daytime bottles a few months ago so I figure she will let me know when she's done. I really don't see the big deal. I spent so much time from 0-6 months trying to get her doing what she 'should' be doing and it never worked long term!! Madi will scream when she doesn't get her food fast enough too. She throws more than she eats too. These are all phases they will grow out of so I wouldn't worry to much. Your a GREAT Mom and she will turn out fine because of you not what a book tells you to do. Madison is going through a clingy phase that can last for MONTHS and it is seriously driving me insane!!!!!! I just tell myself 'this too shall pass!' all day everyday.... :)

I'm totally jealous of how many naps she is taking! i could get so much more done!

LauraC said...

The boys were on one nap at school and two naps at home for almost six months.

15 months is when we really thought we would go crazy with the food throwing and pitching. Most of our kitchen floor would be covered with rejected food! Nate did the screeching thing for food too and basically at school he had to learn to wait his turn. Nothing you can do about it at home, that's their job!