27 March 2013

Attempting to click "publish"

I don't fully appreciate Eloi's general laid-back personality until he loses it. Yesterday and today, he's got one of those baby-misery colds with low-grade fever, constant snot, possibly an ear infection. Continually tired but only sleeps for twenty minutes at a time, compared to his usual solid 1-2 hour naps twice a day. Kvetchy and cranky and only wants to be, whimpery, in my arms. So I hold him, or he cries for a few minutes while I run to do something, then pick him up again. Sad little dude. But boy, it makes me realize how nice it is that, as long as it's not eating or sleeping time, he's usually a seriously content kid, happy to bat his toys in his play pen, scootch around the floor in search of lint to nibble on, or flap his arms in happiness while he hangs out in his high chair.

It's not great timing for him to be sick, because we're leaving on Friday for our first little family getaway, one that doesn't involve flying to a different country to visit others. Instead we are renting a Citro├źn Berlingo, holing up in a stone farmhouse, and spending a few internet-free days in the cold damp of Belgian spring. We're hoping to explore the Ardennes a bit, but if we have sick kids, we might just stay in and read lots of books. It might be a disaster of not sleeping and whiny cooped-up children, or it might be a relaxing break from our regular routine. We shall see.

Ever since we exhausted ourselves with airplane trips and jet lag this Christmas, we resolved to stay put for at least a few months, so we made M's family visit us for February break instead of vice versa, and we're not taking a trip during the two-week Easter break, except for this four-day getaway, and again M's parents will come to us during the school break. We do have a trip planned to the US in May, but at least we will have managed to made it five months without getting on a plane. (Maybe the longest I've gone without doing so in...gosh, more than ten years? Maybe we also went about that long the spring Gabriel was born.)

And I have to say, this resolution to stay put has been SO GOOD. Whether it's the not-traveling, or the developmental step of turning three, Gabriel (dare I even say it?) has been SLEEPING. Predictably. All night. As in, we tuck him in at 7:30 and he pores over a book or two on his own then puts his books away, crawls back into bed, then falls asleep. And stays asleep ALL NIGHT, possibly waking himself to run to the bathroom (on his own) and running back to his warm bed (on his own). And then he sleeps until 7:30 or so, and wakes up happy and rested. This is... huge. We've struggled for three years over sleep issues with this little guy, and it feels really really good that he's somehow figured it out. The sleeping, and the staying asleep. I'm curious to see how he'll do in a different bed in a different house, if the good sleep habits will transfer... With our track record, probably not, but hopefully it won't be hard to get back in a rhythm after just a couple of days.

I've been managing to keep up with my five-year diary (although I abandoned it last fall for a few months, I've gotten back to it), and it's been amazing to compare what life was like just one year ago. Gabriel at just two was just so much younger--until going through this stage I wouldn't have realized what a difference 2, then 2 and a half, then 3 makes. At 2, Gabriel was still baby-ish in many ways, and we were still, again, going through a big rough patch of sleeping.

We'll see how things develop with Eloi, but although he is still feeding frequently during the night, he goes to bed at 6:30 like clockwork, and I can lay him down in his crib drowsy but awake, and he'll fall asleep. Likewise, after the feedings, I lay him back in his bed and he drifts off without protest. (In fact, if we bring him to our bed during the night, he has difficulty falling asleep, instead excitedly grabbing our faces and flopping around.) Gabriel was the complete opposite, and was never able to fall asleep quietly in his crib on his own, even after many strategies and routines and attempts, so I have high hopes that we won't have to go through quite so much drama with this child over sleeping issues. Of course, Gabriel potty-trained himself without so much as an accident, and to make up for it Eloi will probably be the opposite. Or whatever. I'll take it!

Speaking of sleep, the baby has stayed asleep long enough for me to write this entire post! Poor thing, I hope he keeps sleeping, because he needs it. I'm going to download a few photos of egg decorating from yesterday and do a little menu planning for our weekend away (sticking to the basics, just in case the house is outfitted with, like, one frying pan and one pot).

No comments: