Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lazy Parent Syndrome

Pumpkin has taken to waking up for the day before 6 a.m. again- sometimes well before 6 a.m. On Sunday, she was wide awake and ready to play at 5:15. This was only somewhat mitigated by the fact that she was in an amazingly good mood, which made her very, very cute. I think we could fix this if one of us would hold her and let her sleep in our arms after she wakes up at 5ish. But neither of us wants to do this right now. One of us gets up, gets her back down, and stumbles back to bed. Then , when she wakes up for good 15-20 minutes late, we curse, and I get up and nurse her and start the day.

She is also tending to wake up twice in the middle of the night to nurse, up from the one time that I had grudgingly accepted. To make matters worse, she is unpredictable in when she will wake up, and whether, once awake, she will refuse to go back to sleep without nursing. This makes it very hard for Hubby and me to work out any sort of nighttime routine that ensures we both get a reasonable amount of sleep. I suspect we need to use some sort of nightweaning technique to get rid of the extra nursing (and perhaps even both middle of the night nursings), but the neither of us feel up to tackling that, either.

We've also been unable to add any new foods to Pumpkin's reliable "will eat" list. We've discussed various ideas for how to try to introduce more foods (dipping sauces? consistently sending the same fruit to day care every day?) but haven't really worked up the energy to implement any of our ideas. We did try a ranch dip with her carrots tonight. She tried it, made the most adorable "that is disgusting" face, and then refused to eat any carrots at all. More energetic parents might have next tried the BBQ sauce we have sitting in the cupboard waiting to be used for this very purpose. Instead, we just shrugged and handed her more bread.

The consistent theme in most of our parenting issues right now is that we don't feel like we have the energy to try to improve anything. We did start doing the Signing Time DVDs with her, but that is because her day care forced our hand. They are teaching her signs, and we wanted to know what she was telling us. (So far, she knows a sign that may either be her interpretation of "more" or "cookie"- no one can say for sure, because the two concepts seem to be merged in her mind- and the signs for "car", "bird", and "please". I think she also knows "want", but I've only seen it a couple of times, so I'm not sure.)

I'm hoping that this outbreak of laziness is just a temporary thing, and we aren't slowly morphing into the sort of parents who let their children run wild because it is too much work to try to discipline them. I don't think so, because we have been quite strict about correcting her when she hits one of us. This is her latest trick to express displeasure, which would be cute if it weren't, you know, wrong.

Maybe it is summer that is making us lazy... but we live in coastal San Diego, so I can't really claim that it is too hot to do anything. Our day time highs are still in the mid-70s, after all. Maybe we just need a break from worrying about how she sleeps and eats. We've been worrying about her sleep for 15 months now, and her eating habits for 9 months. Worrying hasn't made it better. Maybe being lazy is just the thing we need to do.


  1. Co-sleeping. We learned how to doze and breastfeed at the same time.

    Only in a few western cultures is it considered normal to expect a small child to sleep alone in a separate room from their parents. I co-slept until I was 4 or so. My daughter co-slept until she was 3.

    She slept alone some periods, and wanted more comfort other periods--usually following an illness. We later discovered that her desire for comfort probably arose from sleep apnea following infections.

  2. And she only learned a few signs. But they were very helpful.
    Milk, more (which they confuse with want) followed by pointing to what they want, change. It sure is wonderful when they tell you when they need their diaper changed.

  3. Anonymous5:56 AM

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said being lazy is what you need to do. Maybe not forever! But it sounds as though you've had a worrisome 15 months, and maybe it's time to give yourselves a break?

    I know what you mean though - my son is 14 months and still not sleeping through. We co-sleep, so that helps, but it's not so great being kicked by a waking-up toddler at 4am...

    However! The whole laziness thing is probably a boon to you at this time of fussy eating, because otherwise you would go crazy trying to impose your will on a very wilful individual who has very definite ideas of what she wants and doesn't want and is finally getting to the stage when she can express that. Pick your battles, I say! When it comes to food, as long as she's eating, does it matter what she's eating (within reason, of course!)

    Good luck! And stay chilled... :-)

  4. I find there's almost always a "that's disgusting" face the first time I offer something new. The next time she doesn't touch it, and the third time she seems totally fine with it. Probably wise not to try the bbq sauce right away...too much new is probably overwhelming (I'm encouraging the laziness here!).

    We just started daycare on Monday, and she's absolutely refusing to sleep alone, so it is back to co-sleeping. I'm trying to decide if I'm happy or frustrated about this. This dealing with every new day as it comes is hard. So much easier when they're predictable. But predictable doesn't last.

  5. Hey, don't downplay the whole lack of sleeping thing as a major contributor to your "laziness." I know it is for us. When our Pumpkin is going through sleep regressions, we let so much stuff go and don't push thing because we just can't expend the effort.

    And the picky eating thing... sigh... We've only experienced it occassionally (usually during the worst of her teething), and that was enough to drive me nuts and pretty much give up trying anything but giving her yogurt, applesauce and bread.

    If you can, try to let the worrying go. It's all a phase. Or little one slept through the night the last three nights, and man I feel like a million bucks!!! And how did we get her to sleep through? By doing nothing. Again. It's just a phase. Even the long, exhausting ones. :-)


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.