Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Forced Re-Entry

Both of my children have morphed into evil creatures from hell.

Let me explain.

Before we left for San Diego, we had two finely-tuned offspring, who were going to bed like clockwork, making great developmental strides, and overall proving quite pleasing to their parental units.  We were smug.  We were haughty.  We gloated.  Our children were perfect, and it was all thanks to us and our brilliant parenting.

Enter one week in San Diego, which Eric started off on the right foot by telling Addie, on our first night there, "We're on vacation!  You can go to bed whenever you want!"  Apparently I had put too much sloe in the boy's gin fizz, because rule number one in the preschooler parenting manual is to never tell your kid they can do something "whenever they want."  Particularly when they are coked up on sugar and Christmas presents and overall travel excitement.

Something changed in Addie over the trip.  She became--please forgive the pretension--insouciant.  She screams "no" to every request I make at the moment, says "Nice try, Dad," sarcastically to her father, better than any teenager could, and in general is a total pain in the butt.

But maybe not as much of a pain in the butt as Nolie.  Before San Diego?  You could basically walk Nolie into a dark room, and in about three seconds, she would whisper "night-night," you could put her down in her crib, and before you left the room she was asleep.  It was pure bliss.  We were putting her down at 6:30, friends!  With no fuss or upset!  Unheard of!

Then came San Diego, where Nolie was put in the "box" (Eric's term for the pak n play) in a large-ish laundry room.  This worked okay the first night, for some reason, although she did wake up for the day at 5am.  The next night, though, she cried the entire night, until we finally fed her about a dozen nutri-grain bars at 3 in the morning and she passed out from exhaustion.  Until 5am, at which point she was raring to go again.  Now she is in the habit of crying for hours before finally falling asleep.  I wish I was the sort of parent who could just close the door and not worry about it, but man is it stressful to have crying like this, and we go in every so often to rock her, or sing to her.  I know at some point we'll have to commit to the cry-it-out (because this can't go on), but for now it's just tough.  Ugh.

I don't think any of this had to do with San Diego or the family there, per se.  The girls had the time of their lives.  Even exhausted Nolie was a joy to be around during the day because everything was so new and fun.  It was just a total disruption of routine, the familiar.  And you all know how addicted we were to that.  So re-entry has been difficult.


  1. It must be the vacation thing. We've had the same deal with Ember. Tantrums when we want to brush her hair or teeth or put her coat on to leave the house. She'll say to me "Whatever" in the same dismissive tone that I myself use. Last year when we went on vacation at Thanksgiving is when she went from easily going to sleep by herself in her crib to wanting to lay with me at night to fall asleep (we've now moved on to me sitting in the chair in her room for 15 minutes while she drifts off, but that transition took AGES.) Aislyn is actually easier since we've come home. She was overjoyed to be back in her familiar space with her kitties and toys and her own little bed. But boy do I hear you on that move back to the normal routine being a tough one!

  2. Sounds like pure hell. Does this mean I should wear my helmet during Addie's sleepover?

  3. Cassandra,

    Hi! Thanks so much for the comment. It reminds me I need to check out your blog and see pics of your new (ish) little one. Thanks for reading!


  4. Nice to know we're not the only ones suffering through re-entry.

    It will pass. It WILL pass. IT WILL PASS.


    I hope.