Our sleep consultant said that there is often a regression a week after starting sleep training, or a week after results start to show. And that happened last night. Joanna did not want to go to sleep, and she screamed and cried for an hour and a half. She screamed so vigorously I thought surely something must be wrong. I changed her diaper, I shushed and patted her, I rocked her, all to no effect. I was struggling with it myself, because yesterday evening was the second of two I was going to get to spend with a college friend, and I didn’t want to spend that time trying to get Joanna to calm down. At one point I went downstairs to check in with my friend. As soon as my feet hit the kitchen floor Joanna stopped crying. As I sat down in the living room for a couple of minutes her head popped up, her eyes opened, and she practically started chirping with interest. Clearly, the only thing wrong with her was extreme frustration at being made to go to bed.
I went back upstairs. I went into the bedroom. Joanna started to scream. I said, “Be quiet, Joanna.” She stopped. Lather, rinse, repeat. I was mostly able to remain calm, even through three or four repetitions of Emily starting to wake up too. This night, of course, was the night that I didn’t have help from our nanny; we called it off since things had been going so well. Eventually, Joanna went to sleep. She repeated her performance in the middle of the night, but that time was only awake for a half hour or so.
Today when our nanny and I were putting the babies down, Joanna started up again. I said, quietly, “No, thank you, Joanna.” She stopped. We repeated this a couple more times, and then she calmed down and went to sleep. Yay!! No idea if that will continue to work, but am thankful it did this time.
Yesterday my college friend D and I took the babies to the park where they could scout out apples, scoot around in the grass, and see the various dogs and puppies running around. After nap, we went to a local pub and had yummy food and a beer, pretty relaxing. And then we went over to friends’ where we had a very wonderful bbq, laid-back afternoon. Emily promptly started climbing up and down their deck stairs (three), attempting to climb up on a chair, and generally displaying her athletic orientation. Joanna sat and observed for a while, and then she started climbing the stairs too. She fell and bumped her noggin once, but otherwise was fine. She’s started to whine lately, something I want to discourage. So when she started winding up during the meal (pun intended), I started saying, “No, thank you, Joanna,” as well as showing her the “more” Baby Sign Language sign. Every single time she’d stop whining, open her arms wide, and smile. It was very cute. Today at lunch she started making the sign (or some approximation of it, to excited cheers and clapping from us.
It was a lovely day.
Tonight Ted and Hazel return from North Carolina. I will be glad to see them both, and I am sure the reunion with the babies will be ecstatic on all sides.