July 24, 2011

Snuggles and Snacks

I'm sitting at the kitchen table with Moe. It is just after 10am. He is full of smiles as we are eating breakfast following a very rough night. Moe didn't fall asleep until 10pm, was up screaming and crying at 2:30, then again, just briefly at his usual wake-up time of 7:30.

The whole week has been like this, at one moment stressful and difficult, the next full of joy and connection. Moe has been trying hard to communicate with me, leading me places by hand (a behavior the speech consultant suggested we encourage) and even approximating some words: "hu" for hungry, and "wawawa" for what I think was an attempt at water. These attempts to communicate comes with frustration as well, as Moe struggles to tell me what he wants, but is unable to find the right way to tell me. Or, on occasion, I push him to try a bit harder or I just can't give him what he wants at that time.

We've had some success with Moe on the potty as well. He's been taking his diaper off over and over again. I think it is almost always just after he's gone. Friday afternoon, I put Moe in his pajamas (the ones with the back zipper that he can't take off) because I was getting so frustrated. But I am hopeful that this is an early sign of potty-readiness, and I've started putting him on the potty in the evenings before bed. He's gone enough times that I think he knows what you do there, though the understanding that you go there every time, and the ability to communicate that he needs to go (before it happens), are likely a long way off. Still, I'm encouraged.

Moe had a lot going on this week. He started a new school and got some vaccinations at his four year old well-check doctor's appointment on Friday. I have to imagine he has a lot to process and hope that his sleep will even out soon. When Moe is sleeping well, the rest usually follows.

There were some great moments this weekend, and it seems right to wrap up with those. Jeff and Jelly were both napping on Saturday afternoon so Moe and I had some time to ourselves. He started running up and down the hall, so I positioned myself at one end. When Moe ran toward me, I held my arms out and he reached right up to me (not something he would normally do). It was so cute. I spun him around and he loved it. He ran back down the hall and back to me again and again, until I just couldn't lift him anymore.

Saturday night, Jeff had brought home some Yogurtland goodness. It was around 9:30 and Moe was having a really hard time falling asleep. I could see him on the monitor, tossing and turning. We dimmed the lights and brought him to the living room. He sat next to me on the couch, and I offered him some frozen yogurt. He wouldn't take it at first, but after testing the frozen yogurt with his fingers (for some reason he doesn't trust me enough to just take anything I hand him on a spoon), decided that it was awesome. So he snuggled up to me and we shared the rest of the yogurt. He was mellow and sweet, and it was a really nice moment. After the yogurt was done, we put Moe back to bed and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

I get really frustrated when Moe can't fall asleep, but we've all had the occasional sleepless nights. When that happens to me, it often helps to get out of bed for a little bit. With Moe especially, I'm always analyzing and solving. Sometimes, it's hard for me to remember that my kids are human too, and may just need what any of us might need: a snuggle, a snack, or a change of scenery.

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