Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rachel ramblings

Recently Rachel's been having a hard time going to bed. There have been lots of tears and lots of screaming for the past few...weeks. It's been pretty much awful but it seems to be getting better.

I don't really have any solutions but I have learned a lot more about Rachel's sleeping habits.

I noticed tonight, while we were rocking and singing songs, that Rachel sucks her index finger. She never used to do that so I think it's probably because I weaned her. Yes, she's fully weaned. Hopefully. The last time I weaned her was in Spain. We went a full week without nursing and then somehow went back to 3 times a day. I'm not sure how that happened. So I had to wean her again. And now she sucks her index finger while she's falling asleep. Who knew?

Rachel takes forever to fall asleep. Sometimes I will peek into her room before going to bed--at midnight--and she'll be sitting up, playing with her dolls. Still. "Hi, mama!" she'll call out to me. She's so crazy. I never knew why she took so long to fall asleep until I was lying down with her one evening. She purposely keeps herself awake by naming body parts on herself and her doll; she watches for cars to drive by and follows the light that pours in through her window ("Oh, dat!" she says); and she listens for and tries to identify every sound she hears ("Dada!" "Pa-pa!" "Door!" "Caa!" "Baby!"). No wonder it takes her so long to fall asleep! If she'd just close her eyes and simmer down for a second she'd be out like a light.

Rachel really likes to sleep on her stomach. With her bum sticking up in the air. I don't sleep on my stomach anymore, but when I was little I always slept on my stomach, with my bum sticking up in the air. For some reason, even though I know Rachel likes to sleep on her stomach, I still put her to sleep on her back. "Back to sleep" is what we're told to do nowadays and I've been putting her on her back to sleep since she came home from the hospital. She always flips over, though. The other night I was lying down with her and she was on her back, trying desperately to fall asleep. She was squirming around trying to get comfortable, rubbing her eyes, and sighing exasperatedly. So I told her she could turn over and fall asleep on her stomach, if she wanted to. She flipped over and fell asleep like 2 minutes later. I thought it was funny that she would even try to get comfortable on her back...why didn't she just turn over right after I put her down? I don't know.

Rachel likes to pull her favorite blanket over her face to sleep sometimes. I don't know if she's just been exchanging notes with her friend Sam or what. I personally can't stand to sleep with covers over my face.

Tonight I put her down and she started to cry and I told her, "You don't have to cry. You can fall asleep without crying. You like sleeping."

Amazingly enough she didn't cry.

I've been using that reasoning with her all day and it's been working. And if it keeps working, I will keep using it.

"You don't have to cry about going potty. Going potty isn't a punishment. You're not in trouble. You just have to go. It's part of being a person."

"Why are you crying, Rachel? Do you need to cry? Are you hurt? Couldn't you just ask me for a snack instead of crying because you're hungry? You know if you ask I can get you the snack sooner than if you're crying and I have to guess what's wrong."

Maybe she just thought that she always has to cry when she goes to bed or goes potty or when she's hungry. I don't know. Maybe one day she'll tell me.


  1. I think they just haven't quite reached that stage of reasoning yet that helps them realise that they can actually communicate without crying (though I think they're getting there), since they've had to do it that way for so long - I used to have to do the same thing with my brothers when they were small, and then again with my nephew - tell them they would have to stop crying and tell me what was wrong or what they wanted, because I couldn't understand them. It always worked, too, oddly enough. :)

  2. Try two of them. What drives me bananas is whining....Olivia has gotten the trophey on that one....almost every morning and everying eveningon the hour ride in or from work.

  3. I just think you should know what an inspiration you are to me in patiently teaching children. I love blogs for this reason. Friends I've made throughout my life can continue to inspire me and give me ideas when I've run out completely.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I'm trying to do more myself, just in case I could ever be a help to someone else like you and others are to me!

  4. Thanks, Megan! You're so sweet! And I love reading your blog! I'm so happy whenever I see your name at the top of my "to read" list. Your boys are the cutest ever!

  5. Did you write this on your blog? I don't remember reading it.

    I always slept with the blanket over my head as a child--I would just open one little tiny crack to let fresh air in, just the tiniest bit.

    I am sorry that you have a child who is so much like your mother. She is stubborn, she bites, she cries, she can't sleep, she covers her head, she eats things without realizing she is doing it...did I miss anything?