Thursday, October 30, 2008

If you can’t beat ‘em (which, of course, you can’t)…

…then you might as well join them. At least that’s what we’ve finally decided about Fiona and her sleep habits. Really, I am using the word “sleep” very loosely, because she has never slept well. We’ve tried everything from letting her cry it out to giving her bendryl. And nothing has worked. Sooooo… we decided to give in and accept the fact that, despite what my mother and all the other sleep experts out there say, the girl just doesn’t need as much sleep as other toddlers, and learn to enjoy getting up at FOUR AM! Or, if she’s sleeping until 6am, that hour or so that she spends awake at 2am. It’s always been either or. Either we get up somewhere between four and five o’clock in the morning, or we rock her back to sleep in the earlier hours of the morning.

For awhile it was a family affair. Ben (who has sleep habits that resemble Fiona’s) is getting up with her. Thank goodness, because after a year and a half of this nonsense, I was losing my good humor with the program. Anyway, Ben and Fiona would get up and go downstairs and share a cup of coffee, a cup of milk, and an Atkins bar. Well, I finally had to put the kabosh on the whole “bar” thing, because it didn’t take Fiona long to figure out that when she woke up, she got to have a yummy chocolate bar. So she would wake up at four o’clock or so ("or so" being the operating concept here), and before her eyes were fully open, she was calling out, “Baarrr, baaarrr…” It was her most clearly, carefully pronounced word, believe me! And, of course, it didn’t take long for Rachel to get in on the act too. Rachel, who has slept the dead for a good 12 hours a night for a couple of years now (thank goodness we have one good sleeper! Besides me, I’m a good sleeper, honest I am, I just need a CHANCE…), a sleep that usually would not be disturbed by a 24 piece brass band, would somehow spring instantly awake at Fiona’s first “Baaarrr!” So, we would all be awake at FOUR AM eating Atkins bars (the girls) and drinking a LOT of coffee (Ben and me). Ben thought this was kinda fun, but I could NOT see how it could come to a happy conclusion, so I put an end to Atkins bars at FOUR AM. Fiona still wakes up ridiculously early, Ben still gets up with her, but Rachel again sleeps until I cajole/threaten/harrass her little behind out of bed at 6:45.

So, we have a resolution of sorts, to the whole non-sleep thing. We, the adults, have finally decided to be happy about what we have been doing all along, which is getting up with Fiona at absurd hours. She will certainly grow up to become one of those people who needs very little sleep, and therefore accomplishes a great deal. President Fiona… kind of has a ring to it, eh?

First Field Trips and Other Adventures
Last week, (again, all of you who knew me 20 years ago, pause to remember…) I chaperoned Rachel’s first field trip. Fiona and I went along with our three Kindergarten classes on their trip to the pumpkin patch. This was no ordinary pumkin patch either. They had a “playground” with about 20 giant Halloween-themed play structures on steroids: giant (really giant, like 2 stories high) slides, tunnels, trains, hay heaps; they also had hayrides (well, tractor rides, as there was no hay and no horses of course) through a spooky woods and a petting zoo. There were about 5 other schools there on fields trips, and I have to say, it was lunacy. Fun lunacy, but lunacy nevertheless. The kids got to pick out a little pumpkin on the way out the gate, just to preserve the illusion of the pumkin patch. I learned 2 important things about field trips: 1) sign your husband up also/instead of yourself and, if that fails, 2) leave the toddler at home! Fiona had fun, but she was always going in the opposite direction of the 3 kindergarteners of whom I was in charge. And of course, none of them was going in the same directions as the others, either.

So, after that exhausting adventure (pictures after halloween, I promise), I fortunately had a chance to rest up. I had… drum roll, please… a WEEKEND AWAY!! A whole 36 hours with which to do exactly and only what I wanted. Wow! I took the train to Richmond, VA and met up with my dear, dear sister. We walked (a lot!) and talked (a lot!) and had a generally awesome time. We took the walking tour of Richmond, the canal tour, went shoe shopping, went to a few museums, found a couple of yarn shops (of course!), went to the farmers’ market, spent the afternoon eating and eating and eating at a fabulous Ethiopian restaurant and so on. I can’t believe how much we did! And somehow, it was really relaxing despite all this crazy activity. And, at the end, I was ready to go home to my wonderful family, and they were happy to see me (especially my wonderful, wonderful husband!!).

And now, we are all ready for Halloween. The pumkins are carved, the costumes (fairy and mouse) all laid out, the candy bought, and the plans laid. Oh, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but we’ll have fun! I promise, pictures next week! Happy Halloween to all!

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