No Rest for the Weary

DaddyN sent this article to me today:

Increased Risk of Death in Men With Insomnia and a Short Sleep Duration

Now this is important to us/him as he has always had insomnia problems and lately they have been so bad he’s had a sleep study done, and is on assistive medication, etc. The gist of this article is:

Compared to men without insomnia who slept for six hours or more, men with chronic insomnia who slept for less than six hours were four times more likely to die during the 14-year follow-up period.

*I*, however, noted the following statement in paragraph 2:

No significant mortality risk was found in women with insomnia and a short sleep duration of less than six hours.*

Why of COURSE NOT.  GUYS whose sleep is regularly interrupted and who can’t get back to sleep get the EASY out – they get the ULTIMATE REST BREAK.  While those of use who care for infants and children – who seem to be hardwired to wake up at every peep…do WE get a lucky break like that?! Nooooooo…

Sorry if I seem bitter….WST *IS* so getting better at sleep. I may get 2, 3, or even 4 uninterrupted nights of sleep per week now-a-days. But I admit to being pretty tired of being tired…

*At the end of the article they note that they followed up on women for 10.4 years on average as compared to 14 years for men, and that actually may have affected the results…

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Imponderables #1


You can never seem to find ALL of the monkeys from a barrel of monkeys.  I keep finding random monkeys in highly unlikely places – how do they DO that?

Why does the act of trying to cleaning a child’s room immediately trigger that child to come and drag all their toys out and play with them?

How does underwear suddenly become unacceptable overnight?  The panties she screamed to wear last night are totally shunned when getting dressed in the morning? (Good thing we have LOTS, she wears like 2-3 pairs a day.)

Why is it that the ONE thing the child wants at bedtime is always something that was left at school, or over grandma’s house?

Why does she always shut her door when she gets up in the middle of the night?  It’s handy, mind you, for waking me up/telling me she is up, but if she was quiet, she could get into all kinds of things – even rummage in the candy.  But no, she slams the door shut as she heads towards the bathroom at 2am….

Just thought I’d share. These kinds of questions keep piling up….

Hair Trauma – growing older may mean “spending”

Reading this post from Bri over on My Level of Awareness has inspired me to share my own current hair thoughts – trauma.

Sadly (for me), I  am finally contemplating a professional salon for my hair.  I’ve tried it perhaps a half-dozen times in my life (going all the way back to when I was 12) and was satisfied maybe three of the 4 times and exited in tears at least twice (BAD perm AND hair cut – wanted Darryl Hanna in Spash – got Def Lepard’s Rick Savage).

I am, needless to say, trepidatious. Not only am I an incredibly tight-fisted person when it comes to my appearance and what I consider “luxuries”, but a large portion of my identity is wrapped up in having long hair, and my experience is that stylists think “long” is just past your shoulders and try to convince you the same.  I also have zero time and patience in my life for “personal prep” – my usual hair treatment is “comb it and go” – perhaps putting it in a scrunchie –  and makeup happens like maybe once a year.

But I need/want to look more professional, and my hair has changed with age (gasp) and pregnancy, and I am becoming resigned to a need to change my habits if I want to feel good about myself in the mirror.

I’m going to have to spend time and money on it.  Ouch.

I created a person!

In two and a half months, WST will be 3 years old. I have found myself in wonder repeatedly lately – “Who is this person in my house and when did I invite them here?”

The answer, of course, is that I invited her here without knowing anything, really, about her.  So now I have a permanent house guest (resident really) whose personality is something of a continual surprise.

She is opinionated, difficult, demanding, and unreasonable. She is also articulate (most of the time), thoughtful, creative, and insightful.  Also funny, loving, charming, and kind. 

She is a whole person, with a solid personality all her own.

She is over 3 feet tall (and over 30 lbs, ooof), prefers shirts and pants/shorts, but takes spells of wanting to be in a dress. She loves shoes, and has a penchant for deliberately mis-matching her socks.  Also “green is her favorite.” She likes princesses and fairies on her panties, glittery things, and, when it is not cold, being naked.

She is attached to no one ‘thing’ or comfort object, but rotates ‘favorites’ regularly.  She likes books, dinosaurs, Pooh characters, and investigating things.  She hates sleep in the evening and wakefulness in the morning. She generally likes water play and baths, unless it is not her idea. She likes to yell, sing, hum, and dance and often makes up her own songs/tunes. She likes to run, jump, climb, play  on playround equipment without fear, and has learned to ride a tricycle. She likes puzzles and art and helping to cook (or clean – but on HER schedule).

She is an active, interactive, go-get it personality (when she is not being a floppy slug-like being in front of the TV on your lap). She has been called down for being bossy at school and at home. She has “best friends” and is well-liked by many at school/daycare (teachers and students).

Wow.  Less than 3 years ago, it seemed like it took FOREVER for her to learn to reach up and grasp a rattle – to become someone you could interact and play with.  Now I have a whole person who argues with me over English grammar, methods for imbibing liquids, and whether or not imaginary friends have appropriate transportation.

Now if you blink, you missed something.  Maybe even something major.

Anthony Hopkins delivered a line in Meet Joe Black, “Sixty years. Don’t they go by in a blink.”

Yeah.  Wow.  And I waited to have her until I was 41.  In only 17 years more, I’ll be 64 – and she’ll be 20.

17 years – won’t they go by in a blink. (Except, of course, for the portions/phases that will take eons to end.)

Insights on English – Age 2.75

OK, when I signed on to be a mom, I did not realize I would be getting a crash course in just how unreasonable and illogical American English is.

WST is clearly working out the grammar and pronunciation ‘rules’ for her native language – and she wants us to follow them too.

WST – “I sleeped all by myself in my own bed.”  Me –  “Yes, you slept in your own bed.” WST – “Sleeped. ”  “Yes, you SLEPT in your own bed.” “No, No mommy, not slept – SLEEPED. SLEEPED!” (Clearly I am a total dim bulb.)

We’re having this trouble with all irregular past words – goed vs went, bited/bit, doed/did, blowed/blew, breaked/broke, catched/caught, dig/dug, etc. (Gosh there are a lot – see more.)

We’re also having trouble with plurals – everything gets an S – foots, mouses, mooses, gooses, childs, knifes, etc.

And this, of course, was inevitable:

WST – “Those are yours and these are mines.”  Me – “Mine” WST – “NO – MINES.”  Me- “You say mine – not mines. WST – Noooooooo! These are MINES – not Yours!”

So – in sympathy for my daughter struggling to be understood, I hereby declare “The English langauge is stupid!”

Now – on to learn to identify the letters of the alphabet and all their sounds…HA!

Random Tips I had to Learn the Hard Way – #2

So – more random tips I have gathered from hard (or embarassing) experience:

Peer Pressure WORKS – part #1:  Little kids want to be like big kids – leverage this as needed.  WST was slow to transfer from bottles to any other drinking vessel.  (seh was slow to transfer from mom’s nipple to bottle too.) We tried LOTS of different types of sippy cup lids – trying to make them as much like her bottle nipples as possible.  Then her daycare told us – “solvi drinks just fine from a sippy cup here.”  Excited – we asked what kind of cup, only to find that it was, of course, the cheapest, rigid plastic sippy cup spout around. Nothing like her bottles.  BUT, everyone in the ‘big kids room’ was using them and WST wanted to be in the big kids room – SO WST happily drink from the same type of cups as the big kids.  Whee – peer pressure works!

ALL Sippy/Lidded Cups LEAK – ALL: No matter what the manufacturer says – left on their side on the couch or upside down on the floor, a puddle, however slow, will occur (especially if you sit on them). Some kids skip the sippy cup stage and go stright to regular ‘open’ cups and don’t find this out. [Open cups in general were very exciting for all of us as WST likes to ‘talk with her hands’ while eating  regardless of what is in her hands at the time (this is getting better).]  Some parents only allow their kids to drink in certain acceptable places – the child drinks, finishes, drink/cup is put away, and child goes on to other things.  This is not US.  As WST is and has always been a “snacker” – we are constantly worried about whether or not she has had enough calories/fluids.  We  allow drinking in almost any room, the car, outside, – and while in motion between these places. So cups with lids were a MUST (and still are most of the time). In trying to get WST to give up bottles, we experimented with “leakproof” sippy cups. They were not – not a one.  If you allow roaming drinking, you must always be asking yourself (and each other), “Where is her cup?”  Especially if it it is something other than water – as it likely cannot be ‘left out’ and needs to be disposed of before she finds it again if it has been ‘forgotten’ for too long.

Physics Works with ‘Straw-Cups’:  Straw goes into lid AFTER lid goes on cup – EVERY time!  Having read that sippy cups were bad for the teeth, and that ‘straw cups’ were preferable, we patiently moved WST towards using straws.  Once she had figured out the suction process, we bought her some “lidded” straw cups (see above for why lids.) Then each of her parents, in turn, had to learn the hard way that physics works – if you put the straw in the lid and then try to snap the lid on a cup full of liquid, liquid will shoot out the straw, making a mess.  Each of her parents seems to forget this about once every 1-2 months.  Sad isn’t it?

Clothing Cautions for 2-3 Year Olds: Buy overalls, one-piece pajamas, rompers, and even button/snap pants/shorts at your own risk. Toilet training happens at some point between 2-3 years old.  It is likely a several month process (if not longer).  During that time period, you want clothes to be dead easy to get off. Soft elastic bands on stretch pants are best. Honest.  And you want LOTS of them – as accidents WILL happen, and you will go through 2-3 pairs of pants a day at random points.  Silly us, we have roughly a dozen pieces of clothing for this age that she will likely never wear – as she will be too big for them by the time she can learn to take them off in time to go potty.

Peer Pressure WORKS – part #2:  If your kid wants to be like the other kids, having them in daycare from ages 2-3 will likely ease/speed potty training.  WST evinced an interest in ‘going potty’ from an early age – likely because her daycare uses an open-door potty policy. [This is somewhat startling for parents walking in the door – presented with random naked toddler butts etc. without warning.] We got her a potty early as a place to put her when we noticed her straining in the bathtub.  She liked it, and used it randomly for about 6 months. We then started a campaign of potty as soon as you wake up. That was going well, until winter, when you have to get naked to pee if you are wearing one piece pajamas (see above cautions). Then we went back to random – although we got “potty before bath” down pretty well.  At 2 and a half, we started to try to be more methodical and consistant about “use the potty’ – taking predictable accidents in stride.  At 2 and a half, WST decided on a potty boycott at home, and eventually, at school as well. Screams and tears greeted any attempt to put her on a potty at home – she simply siad no at school and stayed with the diaper kids when the others went potty. (Our theory is that she didn’t like accidents and decided that diapers prevented accidents.)  After about 2 weeks of this, her daycare teacher said, “Send me extra clothes and panties, I’m ready to potty train her.” With some trepidation (and a star chart at home), we did. One week (ONE WEEK) later, we had only one accident a day and a kid who never protested the potty at all. Now, one month later, I haven’t had an accident in 2 weeks. Wow. Peer pressure/example works, again! Oh, and experienced day care teachers KNOW what they are doing – far more so than 1st-time helicopter parents fumbling around…

Lastly, Old Fashioned Cloth Diapers Never Seem to Become Obsolete:  In my newborn post on “basic needs” I recommended cotton cloth diapers as superior burp cloths. Ok, I don’t need them for that anymore.  They do, however, seem to come in handy all the time – for spills, faces, hands, bibs, headscarves, awnings, baby doll cothes, “just in case” pads, emergency placements, and even “bases” for playing Pussy-in-the-Corner or Fox and Chickens. I had a dozen originally. I’m down to like 8 or 9.  Buy them – you won’t regret it.

Yea for Two Daddys!

From the official White House proclamation for Father’s Day  (emphasis added):

An active, committed father makes a lasting difference in the life of a child. When fathers are not present, their children and families cope with an absence government cannot fill. Across America, foster and adoptive fathers respond to this need, providing safe and loving homes for children facing hardships. Men are also making compassionate commitments outside the home by serving as mentors, tutors, or big brothers to young people in their community. Together, we can support the guiding presence of male role models in the lives of countless young people who stand to gain from it. Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.

Note that “two fathers AND a mom” is not listed, (blended families have actually been somewhat dissed in the above letter), but HEY – progress!

Oh, and note – I am now back from vacation – and you-all are owed at least one post on 3 adults (one mommy, an auntie and an uncle) taking a barely potty-trained 2.5 year old  to a primitive camping site for 10 days, bracketed by two , 2-day car rides (13ish hours total one way). WheeeEEEeeeee…..zzzzzzzzzzzz…snore.