Monday, November 7, 2011

Overtired kids

Niuniu is the sweeter one between the two of our children. However, he is a bit of too sweet lately since he has been coming to our bed every single night in the middle of the night for the last few weeks. While we enjoy very much his sweet kisses and hugs, we don't really appreciate his coming to our bed, night after night. This has happened coincidently few days after I made an authoritative comment on Julia's post blaming her inability to keep her sweet 3 yo Edward away from her bed. Little did I know, kids at this age like to join their parents in the middle of the night according to Dr. Google. You can imagine how embarrassed that I have been ever since. My excuse was that at least our first child Zhuzhu did not do such a thing.

About a month ago or so, Niuniu has started to be a usual resident our master bed. He is sneaky and quiet. He wakes up and comes to us whenever his first urination urge comes, I guess. It's impressive to us how he has managed not to fall rolling down the flight of the stairs so far (knock on wood for that will never happen!!!).  It's quite a walk from his room to ours - he needs to cross the hallway, go down a flight of stairs, pass the living room and another hallway to reach our room. At the first few nights, we'd taken him to the toilet and then put him back to his own bed. We'd sacrificed few good night sleeps to prevent him from getting a bad habit of intruding our adult life. I'd even followed The Internet's instruction to put few night lights in his room as I was told these green night lights could "catch the monsters"- assuming those are what he is afraid of. However, Niuniu is smarter than that, he does not believe Mommy's story. He even has discovered if his diaper was already wet, the sleepy/lazy Mommy would not likely to bother him with the toilet trip, but more likely to leave him where he is much longer, sometimes up to  next morning. So he's decided to wet his diapers before climbing in between us in our bed after a while. Just so you know, our master room has a queen-sized bed and Niuniu is not a still sleeper, he comes in between Mommy and Daddy, then turns, tosses, kicks, squeezes, until one of the two legal residents leaves the bed. Therefore, it has become a problem.

And we decided to do something about it... begging him every night before we tuck him in, "Niuniu, could you promise us not to come to Mommy and Daddy's bed tonight?" The understanding kid always smiles, nods his head, and says confidently, "No, I am not coming to your bed tonight. I'll stay in my bed, I'll, I promise" His words are loud, clear, and seeming sincere. However, he obviously did not care what the word "promise" means! One night, I put his sleeping bag beside our bed and told him if that night he came again, he would go there to sleep. So when he showed up in the middle of the night, I said pointing to the sleeping bag, "There, you sleep on the floor." He broke into extremely sad cry and I immediately caved.

So, we've let him slide thus far until last night.

Last night was a big deal, which made us realize that it's time to be firm with this little guy.

It seems like that our indulging his joining us in the middle of the night has becoming a signal for him to do whatever he wants to do. To spoil a kid does not take much, let me tell you. Sure, he had a few coughs, a bit of running nose, and a bit of fever a few days ago, which may have made things worse.

Last night, thing went extreme.

First, he threw tantrums before and at the dinner time. Then he screamed after being fed a little bit of food, finally he refused to allow anyone to put him to bed, eventually fell in asleep last my arms. However, he woke up when the Daddy was putting a diaper on him and the poor Daddy spent the next 10 minutes to put him back to sleep in his bed.

Niuniu had given us exact 2.5 hours of peace and quiet moment, which just enough for the adults - Ling, John (my ex-boyfriend), Fabrice, and I - to finish watching our Netflix rental movie and get ready for bed. Niuniu started screaming at top of his lungs at the moment that the Daddy was adjusting his watch to winter time, so our attending service was about 1 min later than usual. He cried so loud that woke up his soundly sleeping sister. Niuniu screamed louder at the time that the Daddy rushed upstairs to his room, the Daddy had no choice but taking him down to me so that he could go back to put Zhuzhu back to sleep.

Yet Niuniu was not willing to calm down in my arms either. He kicked me while continued wailing. He twisted his body to get off me as if I was some sort of monster. So I had to put him in the bed to let his anger out of the system. A few min later, the Daddy came down. Seeing Niuniu was not stopping, he bended down to call his name while gently stroking his shoulder. However, the usual soothing techniques failed to change the situation but only got Niuniu madder. Sadly not knowing what else could be done, we left the little guy alone. The 2 loving parents stared at our son crying for another 20 mins.

We did nothing but watching our son crying, for 20 minutes!

The last time Niuniu cried like this was 2 years and 8 months ago when he was about one month old. Niuniu at that time was overtired. I could not recalled what was the cause but he was doing exactly the same thing - crying at the top his lung and wanting to be left alone.

While watching our little precious crying on the top of his lungs, I realized how terrible parents we have been the whole day. We have been too greedy trying to fit all activities in one day - we overworked our little kids, hell, we even overworked our visitor, my ex-boyfriend and long-term annoying soulmate. In order to fit everything in one day, we got up early and fed the children in a rush. Then we packed them to do some hiking along the Randor Lake. Since Fabrice would need to be at his soccer game at 1:10 pm, we rushed the kids and crippled John to finish a whole loop. John did not understand the point of rushing through the beautiful forest with colorful leaves - it's indeed the best time to enjoy Fall leaves. We rushed to the soccer field at 1:40 pm only to be told that the other team did not show up on time and the game was rescheduled to 3:30 pm. Perfect, we not only did not miss the beginning half of the game, now we even could let the kids take their naps in the car on the way back home during our waiting time.

However, the kids decided that's the day to skip naps.

Skipping nap is not the only reason for Niuniu's annoyance, I guess. The rough play that Sango, a 10-tear old son of a soccer player in the Fabrice's team, put upon him can be another. Sango and Niuniu often play rough like typical boys. But yesterday was not the same. Since the field was much larger than usual ground and the mommies believed it was safe for the kids to run free. We were fully engaged in the heated soccer game for the entire time - the winner of the match would be qualified for the tournament and both teams played at their full strength. I "watched" Niuniu from the corner of my eyes and saw that he was laughing and running after Sango and his football. They did also a lot of flipping on the grass. Those activities following a hiking morning, picnicking lunch, and nap-free afternoon, Niuniu must have overworked.

Our little guy's solution to his exhaustion which prevented him from getting out of hid bed, traveling through the hallways, stairs, and rooms to our bed was screaming in the middle of the night.

Finally, the tiger mother in me forced him into my arms and asked him to listen to me: I told him in Chinese that the wolf outside in the woods would be awake by his howling. I said to him that he'd better hide under the Mommy's arms st that the wolf would not find him. Boy oh boy, I feel guilty just typing these down - he immediately stopped wailing and slid inside the comforter, quietly allowed me to stroke his back gently. It did not take longer than a minute, the little guy turned back to that familiar sweetie and felt into deep sleep.

I do scare my children in situations like this. I usually use either wolf or policeman and they are equally scary to little kids in this household.

P.S. Niuniu did not come downstairs after we sent him back to his bed last night. He also did not show up in our bed the night after. Knock on woods he stops coming from now on.   

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