I actually consulted my mom for her opinion on whether we should go for the nap, or give it up. She handles nap time 5 days a week, so she has a very good idea of what Michael really needs. As much as I hate it, I think she is right. He’s giving up the nap. So our goal is to make sure he gets enough nighttime sleep. His new bedtime is 6:00 pm. It’s early, and I don’t love it, but it’s what he needs. I’m not sure how it will work come summer, but I’ll worry about that if, and only if, it becomes a problem.
I also had to come to the realization that the tantrum that Michael threw on Thursday was beyond me. We have always been able to handle his tantrums and undesirable behavior with natural consequences and consistent responses. On Friday I decided to pick up several books to read up on discipline approaches. Standing there in front of the parenting books I realized that I hate parenting books. Feeling helpless, I kept scanning the section until I came across Weissbluth’s book about Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and so much anger welled up in me that I surprised myself. I had forgotten about throwing that book across the room…oh lets see…right about the same time that Michael was dropping from three naps to two (earlier than he was supposed to). I hate that book so much I didn’t even open it when Michael decided to drop down to one nap a day (Guess what, earlier than he was supposed to.)
Honestly, I ‘m not sure if the book has any useful advice in it or not. All I know is that anyone that starts off a sleep book with black box warnings about what you are doing wrong, and then takes 300+ pages to tell you how to fix it, does not understand his target audience. I swore that someday I’m going to read the book, organize it and condense it so that it can be useful to parents that have been surviving on 3 hours of sleep.
Once I realized I had all of this anger in me about sleep advice books, I was able to calm down and start over on my search. I picked up Touch Points and 1, 2, 3 Magic. I started reading Touch Points but I ended up frustrated pretty quickly. It’s an interesting book in that it explains what developmental changes kids go through, but it didn’t have any practical advice on what to do about it. Yes, I know that we are seeing a resurgence of aggression; I caught on to that when my kid punched me in the face. I want to know what to about it.
Which brought me to my next realization, I’m a slow reader. Ok, I know that, but when I’m just doing pleasure reading, I tend to forget about it. I’m always reminded of it when I really need the information the resides in print and cannot get to it fast enough. Twenty pages into a book, I want to see some answers. I don’t have time to dig through 200 pages of psychobabble when my kid is turning into a maniac. I NEED ANSWERS NOW!
Which brought me to a completely different realization that’s going to lead me off on a tangent. I exercise 4-5 times a week. I typically do about 60 minutes on my exercise bike, but I haven’t been getting the results I used to get. Andy has been after me to change up my routine; his point being that my muscles are too efficient in doing the bike, and I need to work different muscles to get a better workout. He’s right, but I’ve been very resistant to changing things up. On Friday, I finally realized why. I read while I’m on the bike. My resistance to change my work out has nothing to do with the work out, and everything to do with protecting my reading time.
At Laura’s recommendation, I decided to try out the 30 day shred. When I mentioned to Andy that I was going to buy the DVD he suggested I take a look at On Demand to see if it was on there. What do you know, it was! At which point I realized that while I’m a geek, it’s turns out I’m not the useful kind. I don’t fix computers, I don’t know how to work our new Blue Ray DVD player, in fact half the time I can’t even figure out how to turn the big TV on without shutting the cable box off at the same time. I’m technologically hopeless.
The 30 Day Shred led me to several realizations. One, Jillian is tough. Two, sneakers that don’t actually have laces that tie are not suitable for anything other than walking the mall. Three, sneakers are not cheap. And four, I have muscles in places that I never knew about before, and Jillian knows how to remind me about them. If I were to meet her right now, I’m not sure if I’d want to hug her or punch her. Either way, I don’t think my arms would be up to it.
Last night, I decided to compromise. I did Jillian’s workout, and then I hoped on the bike for 30 minutes. This way, I get a better workout, but I still preserve some of my precious reading time. I’ve set aside Touch Points in favor of 1, 2, 3 Magic. So far, it’s making a lot of sense, and seems to build off of things Andy and I already do. The book is clear and concise, and I’m making my way through it as quickly as I can.
Which brings me to my final realization of the weekend; I’m afraid of doing time outs. Anytime parenting brings out such a strong reaction, I try to figure out if it’s because the technique is “wrong” to me or if it’s touching on something from my own childhood that makes me feel uncomfortable. As I read the description of how the author suggests you execute a time-out, I agreed that it seemed reasonable. I even realized that my parents used that approach at times, and it worked the way he described it. I’m going to finish reading the book, and see if we can give it a go. But I’m still wondering just what I thought a time-out was, and why it made me so uncomfortable. I guess that’s a realization for another day.