Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Game On

Dear Emma,

You and I have quite the history in your short little life. I lived in Vietnam for 4 weeks just waiting to get you and then I waited for 3 weeks terrified that you wouldn't receive a visa so I could bring you home. Then once you came home, you landed in the hospital 10 days later with RSV. The 6 days you were on a ventilator were incredibly scary and I feared that I had lived through hell just to lose you. But you are one stubborn little girl and it took more than those obstacles to hold you down.

Maybe those scares are what have led to my permissiveness with you. Or perhaps it's because I know you are truly my last baby. Or maybe it's just because when you get something in your head you're going to do it your way no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. Like getting into the dogs' food and water bowls over and over and over and over again. And over again. You get the point. For I while I thought perhaps your previous malnutrition had affected your reasoning skills. Now I know you're just bull headed.

Your list of special privileges is long and notorious but the top of the list is your bottle. Emma Linh, you are 20 months old and you still need your bottle at nap and bedtime and multiple times through the night. Emma, Mommy is tired and old. I'm tired of getting up multiple times in the middle of the night to give you a bottle. Not to mention you're messing with my REM cycle and my dreams. I can't even remember the last time I had a dream and some nights Mommy could use a good dream or two. Sweetie, I love you but I there is a long list of sins I would commit just for 4 precious hours of consecutive sleep. Dare I dream of 7-8? Nope, I can't. You're too busy waking me up to even have that dream. But two nights ago was the last straw. You woke up three times between midnight and 5 am and then I had to get up at 6:30. It was time for your bottle to go. Zombie Mommy makes a Cranky Mommy and no one wants that. Trust me on this.

Last night I gave you a bottle when you went to bed but you drank it all and wanted another. I decided it was time for the madness to stop. I was so wrong. The madness had only just begun. For 2 hours you cried and carried on, most of which was at my feet or on my lap. I would tell you that your bottle was "all gone" and hand you a sippy cup which you would violently throw on the floor, all the while clutching desperately to your empty bottle. Finally, around 12:30 a.m., after you had happily colored on paper while Mommy cleaned up the kitchen, we went to bed together in my bed. And you went to sleep. Without a bottle. And without tears. Sure you woke up at 5:00 and wanted one, and I gave you one out of sleep deprivation and desperation, but we'll take the small victories.

Today you got a bottle at nap time only because Grandma was watching you. You didn't even know I was gone. You were so exhausted from the night before that you took an almost 4 hour nap. Mommy could have used a nap too. Instead Mommy got to take Ryan to the doctor to find out that finally he was going to get ear tubes. At least I thought you were sleeping. I think you were scheming ways to pay me back.

When you finally woke up, I cuddled you on my lap and then I felt something really warm and really wet. Could you have...?

Yes, you peed on my lap. Pay back, baby. All's fair in love and war and taking away your bottle was a declaration of war.

Game on.

Love,
Mommy

30 comments:

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Candace said...

Oh my...Emma sounds very much like my Ana Kate....and her middle name is Linh as well. She has to be one of the most headstrong kids I've ever seen. And I still get up multiple times at night to give Ana Kate milk....although she does takes hers from a sippy cup. I thought when the bottle was gone we'd be sleeping all night, but sadly no....it's now waking up multiple times for the sippy. And she's been off the bottle for at least 4 months....

If you figure out how to make Emma sleep through the night...please pass on the info.

I do have to admit that it's nice to know I'm not the only Mom that can't get her baby to sleep for more than 4 hours at a time. Just know you are not alone. :)

Jules said...

Emma and Josie have a lot in common. The bullheadedness at least. I have started to really crack down on her and it's been rough. Oh-the hysterics!

I feel for you-at least sleeping is one thing Josie does do for me without protest. The rest of the day though she delights in pushing my buttons. And just when you're about to break-does something very sweet. How do they know when to do this?

Good luck with the bottle thing and sleeping. She's been through a lot and is a formidable opponent. Then again-so are you.

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Ohhh...so not fun! We are having major sleep issues with Logan. He's almost 3 for crying out loud! (Oh, wait...that's him crying out loud in the middle of the night!)

Hope tonight was better...

Jill said...

Denise, I DO NOT envy you where you are right now...GAME ON is right...and the question is...WHO WILL WIN??? My oldest had a bottle FOREVER!! The battles are still FRESH in my mind and I am pretty sure I LOST most of them...due to utter sleep deprivation!!!

May I encourage you to WIN?! Despite the extreme cuteness an stubborn factors Emma presents??

Anita said...

I am with Jill, I don't envy you either. I fought each bottle and paci war hard with my 3. We did bottles early and pacis on the late side, and I know some people say don't sweat the small stuff, they don't go to college with bottles, pacis or in diapers, but still.......I did wonder for a long time!
Good luck..........wishing you a win in this battle and some sleep!

Debbie said...

They do fight dirty, don't they :-) I was really lucky with Sophie. On Christmas Eve (10 months) I just handed her a sippy cup and she started drinking and hasn't looked back. She's been sleeping through the night (8-10 hours) since 11 weeks, but I fully attribute that to her nature sounds machine that plays all night. She's not waking up cause she's hungry...she wants a bottle to soothe her cause she's waking up. Maybe spend a night in her room to see why she's waking up....You can pull and all nighter with crank bars and starbucks :-)

Good luck. No sleep is the worst feeling EVER!

Debbie

Lula! said...

I thought this was going to be a sweet and tender memoir about precious Emma...

and then you said, "Payback, baby!" And I laughed out loud! Awesome, Denise. You are SUCH a great mother.

Heather said...

So what is your next move in this war?

Denise said...

Last night I gave her a 4 oz bottle half full of water, which is NOT what she wanted! But at least she had her bottle. LOL She cried a lot more and would not stay in her bed. I finally took her to my bed abotu 11:30 but she was still crying and mad so to get her to stop-- {hanging head in shame}-- I brought up a bag of CHIPS! LOL You thought I was going to say bottle, huh? Well chips is pretty bad in and of itself. Then there's the chip crumbs. It worked though and she went to sleep. And then at 4:00 I hear crunching in my ear and she's found some chips in the bed and eating them. Then she wants a bottle. After an hour of crying on and off she finally stopped and went back to sleep. yeah! Mommy didn't give in. But Mommy's exhausted!!!!

Katie said...

So funny!! I never had the bottle war, but sometimes my 16 month old wakes up in the night because he loses his pacifier. It irks me like no other because I'm used to sleeping now. Grrr. He and Emma WILL get better! :)

Donna said...

Game on indeed. Good luck! Be strong girl!

Crystal said...

Hahahaha! Good luck, Denise!

Margaret M said...

Denise,
I am behind you 110%. you can't start and give in, you must be strong. If you need a chat and a glass of wine, call and I will be there (many miles away but you won't drink alone) I believe in you Denise. you can take that bottle and you can all sleep better. I shouldn't even bother to tell you that while I waited for Graeme and Lily Wen that I prayed for good sleepers....each and every day I waited, I prayed. They both sleep 10-11 hours a night. You too can reach the promise land! hugs!

Kristin said...

LOL!!! I totally feel your pain. My Lily was almost 2 1/2 when I just decided one day we were both together going to throw each one in the trash and say "Bye Bye Ba-ba" together. Since she saw them go in the trash, she knew there was no getting them back. She would start to ask for one, and then remember where they went, and then she understood there were no more. She was the same way with using them to go back to sleep, but after that first night of realizing they were really gone, and she couldn't dig them out of the trash, she's been fine and not waking up. So good luck on that! I know it's really hard to take it away from them, but I am SO glad not to have to tote them around town anymore!!

Kristin

Anonymous said...

Our Emily sleeps through the night just this past week..of course our G&R was July 31,2007 and they just turned 2...Kaitlyn (only weighs 20 pounds even...screams every night between 3am to 315am she screams for a bottle..won't drink it..wants to be carried all around as she points the way lol crazy Phu Tho girly girls gotta love them! lol
Good luck :)

Kathleen

Homemom3 said...

haha sounds like my four. Good luck! I can't even count the many times this has happened to me.

April said...

oh no!!! the pee gets cold so quickly too... LOL.

Kristin said...

Emma baby, cut mommy some slack. Mommy needs her beauty sleep. Go to bed!

There, see if that works. :-)

PJ said...

Touching and hysterical! Love the photo!

The Johnson 5 said...

Hang in there girl!!

Taking their comfort things away is always hard ON YOU!

Give her a couple of days and she will of LONG forgotten about it, I hope anyway.

Just remember she will be fine just to cry.
Can you stick cotton in your ears :)

Wishing you a peaceful evening.

Brandy said...

You gave the baby chips. Instead of a bottle. And the baby was eating chips at 4AM. L.M.A.O.

Seriously you can't make this stuff up.

And stop trying to blame your incontience on Emma. Dang.

SpaGirl Jenn said...

Game On!!!! Good luck with a stubborn toddler! I had the bottle war with my son and the pacifier war with my daughter....I can't say which I would prefer! They both stunk!!!!!!!!

Wishing you the best and sending positive thoughts your way......

Heather Thompson said...

Game on! Love this post and wish you the best of luck! I fought a pacy battle and finally threw them away WITH my daughter helping so that she saw them go. Worked like a charm as long as she didn't find another one lost under the sofa;) Heather (FL)

katrina said...

I love your post. I think Emma will enjooy reading it one day too

Party of Seven said...

Cute post. I think Emma and Ava have a lot in common!
I hope for your sake she gives up soon and does well without her bottle. I am not looking forward to taking Ava's away. She only has one at nap and bedtime but never in the middle of the night thank goodness.
Love the last picture. hehe

Kristy said...

I love this post and I love the picture. BUT DENISE, let her cry!! She will eventually get IT!!! At nap give her something else like a stuffed animal , or a doll. This is not your first rodeo , you know what to do, so let go Lady, be tough!!!!lol

Love, Kristy

Dana said...

ah, there personalities do show when they are quite young, don't they? It surprises me how different they can be.

Mya said...

Oh goodness! My 6 month old refuses to nap when he needs too!! So I feel ya.. Luckily though he's been sleeping through the night since he was a few weeks old.

Kelli said...

Too funny!!! I am actually laughing out loud, but trying to muffle it so I don't wake my 7 month old twins - here in this room-. My 2 year old is still drinking a bottle, yet she is potty trained! Big girl/baby it just doesn't make sense. We slowly stopped giving her the bottle at night, and tonight she didn't even ask for it!!! Hopefully this will continue. Good luck to you!