Monday, November 7, 2011

A little bit of gushing

This weekend Felix turned three. As per his wish, we went out for breakfast with his grandparents and two friends, and it was the best decision ever. He felt safe and comfortable, he loved his presents and his helicopter cake (he's still talking about it!) and his song and everything. He was a real little superstar. Every time another person joined our party, he'd look up and say, "Look who I see! Grandpa John and Nanna!" and so on.

Felix got a Y-bike for his birthday and he loves it.

Of course he got one or two other presents too. He is very fond of his MeTROL (remote control) car from Tomas and his CoolTorch from Vinny. The CoolTorch really is pretty cool - you put covers over the top of the torch and it shines pictures on the wall. It was a lifesaver during last night's power failure, that I can promise you!

I think on the whole Felix is pretty charmed with this whole birthday thing now. I reckon he might want another one soon.

I can see I'm going to love Three. The stuff he says! This morning I had to cut his nails. This is at his request, he doesn't like long nails and starts picking at them when they grow too long. But, being Three, there are Rules for everything, and his nail-cutting rule is that I must cut the nails almost off, but leave them hanging so he can rip them off himself. I dutifully cut ten ribbons off his nails, leaving the very ends on for him to pick. Felix inspects my handiwork and says, "I look like an ANImal with CLAWS!"

Felix is still amazingly loving towards his brother. I am surprised and endeared about his lovingness - Richie routinely eats off Felix's plate and Felix happily shares his Big Boy Food. Sometimes, Felix wants a toy that Richie has, and he says, "Richie, can I have a turn with the heyicopter, PLEASE?" Other times,  Richie will hold out a toy for Felix to take, and Felix says, "Oh! Richie! THANG you for giving me your HEYIcopter!"

There's gentleness in children's hearts; this is what my three-year-old is teaching me.

Oh, they are not angels. They fight like wild animals sometimes. But I love to see the love, when it emerges.

And Richie - hoo boy!

Richie is going to sleep breastfeeding, then wakes up anything from 20-45 minutes later and we play up/down/up/down until I go to bed myself.

Richie has tantrums that are astonishing. Well, I was astonished, so I went to my blog archives and checked out what I had to say about King Felix at 14 months - whaddayaknow? Tantrums! Anger! Shrieking! Clinginess! Molars! Guess who's taking after his big brother!

Richie has cut four molars in the last few weeks. Thank goodness all at once and mostly out of the way now. I remember Felix cut his teeth in exactly the same (incorrect) order.

Richie has been infection-free for the three weeks we've catheterised him.This is wonderful.

Richie drove me to the edge of reason on Friday after a night where we did not sleep. Why - who knows? Teeth? Possibly. Apart from the separation anxiety, he now claws at my shirts and bras and says, "BOOB! BOOB!" Every. Hour. My poor nipples. Eina! This after he had been used to breastfeeding morning and night only, and I was looking forward to a gradual weaning. I always maintained that I when my children were old enough to ask for BOOB! using words they were old enough to drink from a cup/bottle/. Instead I am That Person in public places who is breastfeeding a huge lump of a child on (very vocal) demand. Just shows you never to say never.

He was really really bad on Friday though, and Friday night we discovered one possible reason why. We took off his splints which he'd been wearing all day - there was a huge, red hot spot on his right heel. It looked very sore. Imagine the pain of that chafe and press if you'd been wearing too-small stilettos all day. Needless to say the splints are off and discarded now until we can get him refitted for bigger ones.

He has recovered his good humour and is being supercute. He's going through this phase of rapidly acquiring words - he says bird! and ball! and bread! and, cutely, No! (when offered food) and dog! and mama and dada and brother and car! and fish! - but also, hilariously (and really!) - motorbike!, pirate boat! and helicopter!. The power of imitation, huh?

Richie is a born imitator like his father. He can piss himself (okay,  not literally) when we play peekaboo (and he hides behind his own hands, how cute is that? Felix never did that), or when we pretend to sneeze he "sneezes" back and gurgles that infectious baby laugh.

But his superbaby act is one day too late. Sean and I decided yesterday to sleep train him, and we start tonight. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't. But, you know, Richie is well, and I am at that point where I will be a better mother if I get some decent sleep in than if I carry on this regime of nighttime dramatics we're currently doing, the benefits of which must be minimal to young Richie. I mean, after four nights of fighting, what will it matter to Richie whether he's in the lounge sleeping to the sounds of the M-Net movie or lying in his cot? But it will return some of my life to me.

Because we are older, wiser and less hectic this time around, we will be doing the Alison Bentley method I read about in the latest issue of Your Baby magazine. Its simplicity speaks to me. She doesn't bullshit you with "guaranteed" methods and she doesn't get lost in the detail. Her thing is, basically, fight with your kid once a night, upon his first waking. Make him stay in his cot until he falls back asleep. (You stay in the room with him but you don't let him out of the cot.) The rest of the time you do whatever you usually do to get him back to sleep (hold/breastfeed/co-sleep). The idea is that he will soon not feel like the fight and sleep for longer and longer stretches on his own.

A few truly KAK nights beckon, but you know, this ain't our first rodeo. I will keep my eye on the prize and hope for better sleep by the weekend.

Please wish me luck.


  1. Felix looks super chuffed with his birthday bike. I'm glad to hear he had a fantastic birthday breakfast!

    All the best with the sleep training. A happier rested mom is the best thing for two active little boys. Richie is a clever kid, I'm sure he'll get it within 2 or 3 nights. Holding thumbs for you guys xxx

  2. Margot his vocab sounds amazing! Dani can mama, dada and go away! And he can bark. Also, thanks for reminding me about the tantrums. And good luck for tonight!

  3. Congrats on the BDay! Glad it went well!
    3 is such a cute age! I love the vocabulary and the imagination!

    I am still breastfeeding at nearly 3 (Never say "never"!) ;-)

    Good luck with he sleep training! :D

  4. Sleep training- oh you brave brave woman!

    I wish I had the guts to try it, but my little terror scares me into picking her up after shrieking hysterically for about two minutes. Because that leads to the inevitable dreaded tantrum.

    Please keep us posted on your progress. Good luck!

  5. Let's hear how Night No 1 went, Margarello... from one bleary-eyed mom to another.

  6. Well, Richie must have been listening to me, because he went down last night about 8.30 - and stayed asleep until 12.30! This was already such an improvement that I took him into bed with me, breadfed him, and he slept again until 4am! That I am prepared to live with. So sleep training is shleved until he starts acting up again. YAY! Because I wasn't looking forward to it...

  7. Felix looks super happy - glad he had a great time. And Ybikes are just the best thing ever! And I love how you still take the piss out of the pun wherever you can. Great ot hear Richie is finally healthier.