Spoke too soon

It was only yesterday I blogged about sleep, and how good Evelyn has been to me of late. Sleeping all night, sleeping later in the morning, just generally being Little Miss Sunshine.

I’m pretty sure she read that post, and decided she was being too easy on me.

Last night she was restless, unsettled, and woke up at ridiculous times. From 4am onwards Aidan and I took turns holding her, walking her around the house, trying to get her back to sleep by any means possible. By 6am, it seemed she felt it was morning, time to get up properly.

Fortunately for me, Aidan isn’t working today, so I brutally forced him to get out of bed, while I stayed in the warm cocoon of my doona for another couple of hours!

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Sleep

For the last week or so, Evelyn has been sleeping through the night without making a peep. Hooray! However she has also been waking up at 5.45am, which I regard as still blackest night, a totally unacceptable time to get up!

So last night I tried something different.

Rather than put her to bed at 7.30 and leave her there until morning, I actually got her up at around 10pm, for an hour or so. I fed her and changed her during that hour, then put her back to bed.

And this morning she slept that extra hour, until 6.45.

Success! Triumph! Whilst I don’t think it’s officially morning until 7am, I think this was close enough.

Milestones and acheivements

Elspeth

A few weeks ago I finally decided it was time to¬†properly¬†potty train Elspeth. So I said to her, ‘No more nappies during the day, it’s underpants or nothing from now on.’ She threw a tantrum, but I’m bigger than her so I won. And we’ve had remarkably few accidents! She rarely needs reminding or prompting, she goes on the potty by herself, and often asks to use the toilet too. So that’s good!

Evelyn

In the last week or so, Evelyn has figured out crawling! She’s getting around like a champion now, and follows me around the house all the time. She is also starting to babble, making quite a few nice consonant sounds – ‘ba’ and ‘da’ and ‘ga’. She’s done the occasional ‘da-dee’, which Aidan is happy to claim as her first word. There are also some ‘hiyas’ and ‘yeahs’.

Me

I’ve been studying hard and I’ve just about finished my most recent unit – Worlds of Early Modern Europe. Next week I start on the Fall of the Roman Republic.

Overcoming shyness

For their entire lives – that’s almost three years in one case – both of my daughters have been home with me and have seen relatively few strangers. In consequence, they’ve both been wary, afraid, or shy when unknown or forgotten people are around.

In recent weeks these symptoms, in both girls, have been declining. Elspeth has been speaking to cashiers in shops; Evelyn has allowed herself to be held by others for longer periods of time.

But last night, with the visit of our friend Andrew, I think their transformation is complete! Rather than shyness, Elspeth displayed excitement and had lots of fun and games with him. Rather than screams, Evelyn was full of smiles for our tallest friend.

It’s great to see, and it alleviates a concern I’d had that my children would be poorly socialised and unprepared for things like kindergarten, school, and extracurricular activities. I’m now confident that, one way or another, they will be fine. I’m considering enrolling Elspeth into childrens’ dance classes soon, and I’m sure she’ll love it!

Close to crawling

Evelyn is nearly seven months old, and for the last week or so she’s been managing to get up onto her hands and knees. She’s doing it more often, with more confidence, and I’m sure she’ll be crawling very soon!

It’s a lovely achievement, of course, it’s great to see and it’s an important milestone. But mobility is an added burden to a parent! It means not knowing exactly where your child is, it means needing to put many objects up higher so she can’t reach them, it means an increased risk of accidents and injury. More worries!

She is also sitting up really well now, and I’m confident in leaving her sitting on the floor while I do other things – I no longer need to hover over her ready to catch! I plonk her down and put a few toys within reach, and she has a lovely time. At least until Elspeth steals the toys!

Adjusting to sisterhood

When Evelyn was born, Elspeth was two years and two months old. That’s two years and two months of being the only child. Her entire life. Having a baby in the house was a big change for her. Not just a baby, but a baby that she had to share toys with, share her parents with, and share playtime with. It was tough for her, I know that, even though we made every effort to make it a smooth and pleasant transition.

Move forward six months. Evelyn can smile and laugh, can sit up, and generally looks and acts more like another person, somebody Elspeth can understand. The sibling relationship is getting better.

Elspeth still thinks that any toy Evelyn has is the most desirable thing in the house, but it isn’t too difficult to steer her towards something else just as fun. She isn’t a big fan of touching the baby intimately – no kisses or hugs, but she’ll pat her on the head, tickle her toes, and poke her in the belly. She will fetch toys for Evelyn upon request, and they are always suitable, appropriate toys, and often the ones that Elspeth knows belong to the baby as opposed to the “communal” toys. Most importantly, Elspeth displays no resentment or animosity towards Evelyn.

Evelyn, for her part, was born into sisterhood and knows nothing else. She is an avid observer of all that Elspeth does. She laughs at her big sister’s antics, and listens when she talks and sings. She has no hesitation in touching Elspeth, grasping her and often pulling her hair, much to big sister’s disgust, but that’s just the exploring of a baby and she’ll grow out of it.

All in all, I think the sibling relationship is going quite well, and I anticipate it getting even better as they become more used to each other. They both seem very happy, and are generally lovely children.