First of all I have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who commented, tweeted to me or wrote me an email in response to my last post about the possibility of Owen having asthma. His wheezing is 99.9% gone, thanks to a weekend of nebulizer treatments every 4 hours and although some congestion remains in his chest, he seems like he’s feeling fine. Most importantly your stories reminded me that there are FAR bigger things in the world to worry about, and even if he has to live with asthma, it doesn’t have to negatively impact his life! He’s going to be a happy, healthy kid, with or without a little eczema here and there or asthma once in awhile. And chances are good he could still grow out of all these little issues and I’ll forget all about this nonsense.
Instead of wrapping myself up in what ifs, I’m going to try my best to stop analyzing his skin for dry patches, stop rehashing in my head everything that passes through his lips and just let it be. The worst case scenario is that he eats a food that he is intolerant of, and the eczema returns. Not such a huge deal since we know how to treat it and manage it.
Now I’ll let you in on his latest phase. Ahem, emphasis on the word phase because THIS IS JUST A PHASE, RIGHT?! I guess I knew this day would come. He was bound to break out of his angelic little “go with the flow” attitude once in awhile. I think it’s called demonstrating independence, or becoming a big boy, or growing up or something silly like that.
Bathtime and bedtime used to be precious, happy moments of quiet playtime and snuggles and lotion massages and pajamas and the sweet smell of clean baby and slow bottle drinking and lullabies. Now it’s more like wrestling a greased pig to the ground and trying to hold a hurricane in my lap long enough to drain a bottle.
Let’s start with the bath: Now that Owen has learned to stand up, he wants to do it all the time. All day long, all he wants to do is pull up and stand and walk. Apparently the bath is no different. As soon as his little butt hits the tub, he’s pulling up on the wall and standing and trying to walk. Obviously this is incredibly dangerous in a tub filled with water, so I’ve taken to taking off my shirt (or letting it get soaked) and wrapping one arm around him while I try to get him to sit back down safely. No dice. He locks his rock hard legs and flat out refuses to sit down. He’s been practicing this refusal to sit for several months now, but it comes in particularly handy in the bath. The more I try to respond with a firm, “No.” and making him sit (thinking I’m being all calm and controlled and using this as a teachable moment), he grins and laughs. Apparently “No.” is the funniest thing he’s heard all day.
Once I slap enough soap on his body to call it a bath, we head to his nursery for what used to be a lovely little ritual of lotion and singing and love pats and kisses. As soon as I lay him down on his back, there are tears. Tears and wails such that I never, ever hear any other time of day. I haven’t really heard Owen cry much beyond an “I bumped my head” whine in months. MONTHS. And now, every night, as soon as I lay him down on the changing table… tears. I try to get a diaper on him while he tries his best to flip over and crawl away. I’m lucky if I get a handful of lotion on him before stuffing him into his pajamas. Last night I started doing this part on the floor and allowing him to stand so that he wouldn’t scream, but it is HARD to put a diaper and footie pajamas on a standing child!
As soon as we’re sitting in the rocking chair and he’s drinking his bottle, all is right with the world. You would think the child is starving, except that he eats a big dinner (his 3rd solid meal of the day) about an hour prior. Since I am a Weissbluth believer, I thought maybe he was overtired. But we’ve had the same bedtime for months and he’s had the same naps as usual recently. His awake time prior to bedtime is usually not more than 3 hours. I moved it up by 15 minutes, didn’t help. Moved it later by 15 minutes, didn’t help. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that his nursery is brighter because the spring/summer sun shines through his blinds brighter than it has in the winter. Not sure about that theory yet. I thought maybe he was getting another tooth and Ibuprofen would help. Didn’t help (although, to his credit, I gave it right before his bath so it didn’t have time to work before that fussy time).
At least once the bottle is gone he goes right to sleep like a little angel, so it’s just the post-bath/pre-bottle time period that is so strangely fussy. Any ideas that I haven’t thought of on what might be bugging him? Anyone else dealt with this phase? Tell me it’s just a phase, please?