Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is that you Mr. Fuzzy?

Michael has been a mess since Monday night’s sledding. I know that the problem isn’t just because we let him stay up late one night to sled, but the rapid decline into overtired, raging tantrumdom started the next morning, so it feels like that was the trigger.

Tuesday was a normal terrible two’s day with normal terrible two’s tantrums. Michael refused a nap, which wasn’t surprising after his marathon three hour nap on Monday. He did fight some diaper changes and ran from me when it was time for jammies. But that’s pretty normal these days.

Yesterday started off well. In fact, Michael and my mom had a wonderful day. Michael had his gym class, which he loves. Afterward, he stayed in the daycare at the community center while my mom took her gym class. (Aerobics, gym. All the same in my book) They wrapped up the fun with lunch at McDonald’s.

Michael should have been exhausted, and he should have taken a nap. But he really doesn’t care about what he should do, and decided to play with the doors on my mom’s closet instead. Which was fine until it was time to come home. I’m not sure of the exact details, but it sounded bad. There was fighting and escaping and manhandling galore. By the time my mom pulled up to my house with him, she was beyond frustrated.

I’ve had Michael push all my buttons before, so I know she really needed to vent. As I was trying to unhook Michael from his car seat, she started to unload on me. She was speaking fast, trying to get it all out. I was doing my best to listen to her because she really needed a sounding board.

And that’s when I heard the scratching noise. My head wiped around and I instantly focused in on the source of the sound. There, on the gutter, was Mr. Fuzzy. He was scratching around, flicking that puffy little tail around and then POOF, he was gone. He squeezed under the edge of the roof, right into my neighbor’s attic. I finally caught MF making entry. BUSTED!

My mom continued to rant while Michael fought to make me put him down. “I want to play in the snow! I want to play in the snow!” and “He hit me so hard I think I’ll have bruises…” yet all I could do was focus on that stupid squirrel. I watched and listened to see if I was wrong about him entering the attic, but I wasn’t. He was in there. I knew it.

Several tantrums later, I managed to get my mom settled down, and satisfied Michael’s desire to play in the snow. (Keeping an eye out for MF the whole time.) Once Michael was inside and distracted, I returned to my attic to look for traces of squirrel activity, but found none. MF has breached my neighbors attic, but not mine. I’ll be leaving her a note about what I saw so she can have the problem resolved before he does too much damage. I feel bad that he’s in her attic, but relieved that I know what’s going on, and that it’s not going on in my attic.

As for Michael? He wasn’t too bad last night, but this morning he threw the tantrum to end all tantrums. I had to wake him up to get him ready, and he did not want to get up. The child that refuses to nap freaked out about wanting to GO. BACK. TO. BED. He screamed, he cried. I took him downstairs and he ran right back upstairs and tried to climb into his crib. I gave him a moment to calm down and he threw every book off of his nightstand. All 30+ of them. He threw his beloved binky and shirt and even punched me in the face. I was so shocked I didn’t even know how to react.

Clearly, the child needs more sleep. But I don’t know how to help him get it. I can’t force him to nap. I knew that the process of dropping his nap would suck, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. If this keeps up, MF won't be the only squirrelly one in the neighborhood. Soon, Andy might find me scampering around the attic, scratching up insulation and chewing on electric wires.

I think it's time to start the "and this too shall pass" mantra.


LauraC said...

Hey, I know that mantra!

Seriously though, if you have Michael on a tight schedule, I can't say enough good things about Ferber. It has NOTHING to do with CIO. It only took us two weeks to get the boys back on schedule after all the holiday madness.

Ferber's advice was counter-intuitive to what I thought. He said to keep them up as late as they've been chatting/singing and continue waking them in the morning at the same time every day. And waking them from nap at the same time every day. Then when they naturally start waking in the morning, shift their bedtime back to the right place. It worked like magic, although we had some hairy times in there.

Anyway, Alex has always been a TERROR when he doesn't get sleep so we've had to keep a very strict schedule. When the boys get that out of control (hitting us) they go in time out in their room until they can calm down. They are just so out of control that everyone needs a breather.

(Boo hoo on missing Raleigh trip!!!!!!!!!)

London said...

oy what a day! My child is thisclose to dropping naps forever and I am NOT HAPPY AT ALL!

Karen said...

Todd and I often say that Michael can't be our child because we both love to sleep but he surely doesn't. We do the same thing as Laura with time-out in Michael's room if he is inconsolable or won't listen to anything. We just put the gate up so he can't get out! Can't wait until Katie gets here for the real fun to begin.

Maria said...

The sleeping thing is tricky, especially when you have to be out so early in the am. The thing that worked for us was to start putting the kids to bed earlier. Slowly, every night, 15 minutes earlier, and they actually sleep later in the morning. I know it sounds weird, but the later the kids go to bed, the earlier they wake up in the morning. It makes no sense to me, but that's how it works for them. Our kids are all in bed by 7:00, and sleep until between 6:30 and 7:30 every day. I know it is really hard to put them to bed early when you don't see them all day, but it will make everyone a lot more sane. It takes a week or two to get the whole sleeping thing straightened out, but it is totally worth it. Oh, and you are too funny with only being able to pat attention to MF. I am the same way!

Anonymous said...

For what is is worth, I ditto all the talk on tight schedule. And then stick to it. Also, not sure on your son's exact age but the hitting has to be made aware that it isn't happening. I have raised 5 boys (still raising them) and I find schedule and consistency very important words. And definitely getting a handle on the hitting you. That will only get worse if ignored. Your mom (if full-time caretaker) will need to follow the strict schedule/consistency thing as well. Good luck.

Steph said...

We have been there with Cooper when he is off schedule, and it's tough. He NEEDS his sleep, but sometimes refuses to go to sleep. It's hard to stay on schedule all the time though, so once we're off, it's try and get back on again. I am worried Cooper is getting ready to drop his nap too and I DREAD that day!!!

Steph said...

Oh, and Holy crap- you found MF!

-Bridget said...

Joanna, I've actually seen research that said a lot of intelligent children actually need less sleep than other children. And your Michael seems to be quite the brilliant child. Maybe don't sweat the naps too much. If he is consistently without one, he'll adjust to that level of sleep before too long. It's the getting a nap one day and not getting one another that continues to mess them up.

Sorry you're having such a tough time. And your poor mother too!

Sounds like Mr. Fuzzy's days are about to be numbered. Or will this be Caddyshack, squirrel style? That should make for some fun blogging stories.