Sunday, July 27, 2008

T prefers our bed

Long story short - see the title. Long story long - keep reading.

T survived his first weekend away from home. During the day, it was lots of fun. At night, it was not.

We visited my parents to entertain guests from Belgium (the cousin of my AFS exchange sister from...ahem...12 years ago). My Belgian "cousin" Jurgen, age 10 when I knew him, is now all grown up and touring the US with a friend. We were happy that they wanted to stop and see us. They drove all the way from Ohio - one goal of the trip being to experience the wicked roller coasters at Cedar Point. (I remember him telling me 12 years ago that he was going to visit Ohio to do those coasters - I think it's pretty neat that he kept his boyhood dream!)

While we normally would not have considered T spending a night away from home this soon, we thought the circumstances were such that we should give it a try - and one of us was prepared to head home with T if we needed to.

We arrived at my parents' home before they did on Friday, and I think this helped him to feel comfortable more quickly...he explored the new surroundings with just us, and by the time my parents were home from work, he was already feeling good about being there. (In contrast, when we first visited my sister's place, he was initially very uneasy despite meeting her many times and being comfortable with her in our home. So maybe we'll have to ask people to hide for 30 minutes when we visit them!)

T liked hanging out Friday evening and ate well at dinner. (He'll eat nearly anything now - we are so lucky!) He happily sought out my parents' laps for stories, and was in a great mood. At bedtime he fell asleep fast - he was worn out from all the attention. We hemmed and hawed, and finally decided to try leaving him with my mom so we could both go out with our visiting guests. Conversation:
Me-"Would you mind terribly if Kyle and I BOTH go out tonight? We can put T in your room in case he wakes up and you can keep an eye on him."
Mom-"Of course not. I'd be happy to watch him."
Me-"He normally doesn't wake up. If he does, you can give him some water and he'll probably fall back asleep. If he's still crying, you might have to walk him around a bit."
Mom-"You mean I'd get to pick him up?"
When we left the house, I was confident he would sleep, Kyle was worried he'd wake and be really upset, and Mom was barely concealing her glee. Someone speculated she might just poke him to wake him on purpose to have an excuse to hold him. =) This was our first time leaving T with someone. Once we were out, I was half enjoying a child-free evening and half worrying he'd wake and be really upset. (Not that I admitted this at the time to My-Worrier-Kyle, since it was too late to change our minds.)

As luck would have it, he slept until 12:43 and we pulled in the driveway at 12:45. Fortunately, he wasn't crying. Unfortunately, he was wide awake. I spent the rest of the evening trying to settle him down, but he got increasingly more agitated although he was clearly tired. He would only lay down on top of me, but couldn't seem to get comfortable, and would roll off and start crying. I tried pacing with him in the carrier. I tried rocking him in a chair. I tried sleeping in the bed. I tried laying on the floor. Then I tried all those things again. And again. At about 2:30 in the morning, I gave up and let him play on the living room floor, where he finally fell asleep, toys in hand. He slept lightly and woke often to cry softly so I had to rub his back a lot to keep him sleeping. This meant that I was sleeping on the floor as well. I used to crawl out of bed to sleep on the floor on purpose when I was little. I thought it was comfortable. Now I'm not sure what I saw in it, because I was really sore by the time we woke.

During the day, he was his normal, sunny self, if only a bit more tired than usual. My mom and grandma and I hung out with T while the boys enjoyed a baseball game. T was enjoying having 3 people to read him stories and play with him. He ate well and by bedtime he was again exhausted. He fell asleep at once, but at 1am, he woke crying and he and I were miserable the rest of the night. From then on, he couldn't stay asleep more than 10 minutes at a time and woke crying. I would hold him and rub his back and he'd eventually settle down and sleep another 10 minutes. This repeated itself until a little after 5am, when he woke screaming with extra gusto and I grumpily pushed him at Kyle and told him to take our fussy monkey away so I could get some sleep. Poor Kyle did as asked and I was able to sleep for a few hours.

T was so tired from the ordeal he actually fell asleep while chewing his breakfast. The rest of the day was fun. We visited the park and wished our guests well on their journey back to Ohio.

Now we're back home and I am wondering how he'll fare in the wee hours tonight. I think he was so fussy in Milwaukee because he was sleeping in a strange place. At bedtime, he was so tired it didn't prevent him from falling asleep, but after getting a few good hours in, he woke and was scared and unhappy about being away from home. I don't think it's because he woke while we were gone on Friday night, just because we were home so fast, I don't think he even realized we were gone. I'm kind of thinking we'll get our answer tonight. If he sleeps well, maybe he just wanted to be home. If he's fussy again, maybe we traumatized him by sleeping away from home or when he woke and we weren't there. Maybe. I guess we don't know. I wish he knew more sign language than "milk" and "more". In any case, I'm not excited to sleep away from home again soon. We had a great time, but the lack of sleep is going to hurt - we normally use the weekends to catch up on sleep and recharge. Now we're exhausted and the work week is looming large and long.

On a totally unrelated note, T loves sweet corn, so here are a couple gratuitous kid pics from dinner this evening.


Melissa May said...

Hilarious. (Not your post... that would be awful of me to say... What's funny is the word verification thing that popped up is "bedtm". It's even trying to tell Thanu is was time to go to bed!!!)

Back to what I was going to say!!! I cringe when I think of nights like that (including the ones we have to come!) My kids didn't often sleep well away from home at that age either. Ugh. And it seemed that my daughter was almost always teething (for her is was very dramatic) when we were away. One time on a trip to Kansas to see Grandma she was getting 4 teeth at the same time and we were sleeping on an old uncomfortable bed, we were all miserable and I would wish all night long that it would JUST BE MORNING ALREADY!!! So all that to say I feel your pain and hope tonight he sleeps better!!!!!

Glen and Andrea said...

You must be exhausted. I smiled imagining your conversation with your mother. I hope tonight goes better. He is adorable with the corn though!

Bob said...

The way he eats corn he looks like a real Stephens to me!!

Emily said...

un-uh. that face. he is too sweet. i still love reading what your family is up to. you remain my favorite adoption blog : )