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Monday, April 24, 2006

Adjusting and a Tantrum 

Half-way through my paternity leave, things are looking relatively stable. We had the grand'rents here one after the other during the first week (my folks arrived about a half hour after we got home with Quinn; Evelin's came the day after my folks left), which was nice, but overwhelming at times. The good thing about all the hubbub, I think, is that as things calm down, Celeste will be able to accept Quinn's presence a little more easily.

Of course, if tonight is any indication, we're not 100% out of the woods yet. Since Quinn's been home, Celeste has taken progressively shorter baths. At first she lasted a few minutes; now we're down to just a sponge bath at best. We have a brief breakthrough with a new bath book (What Floats?), but that lasted only a through a reading and a half. Tonight we tried bribing incentivizing her with some bathtub Crayons, but she wouldn't fall for it.

She did push things to a new level tonight however. Instead of just resisting the bath, she fought the entire bedtime ritual. First, she's decided she hates footie pyjamas, but we managed to talk her into a pair (last night the temps dipped into the 50°F range, and her bare feet got cold, which, we think, was partially behind the midnight wakeup). Then she wanted to drag out the sitting and talking with daddy before getting into the crib. Normally that's not a problem, except she was being exceptionally squirmy, which is usually a cue to move to the crib, but tonight it was part of her escape plan.

Just as I was about to move her to her bed, she suggested a bath. I asked her six or seven times if she was serious about a bath, including as we took off her pyjamas. She constantly said yes, and signed BATH. She even did the diaper-clad run from her room to the bathroom shouting "Bath!" the way she used to do nightly. (Until a week ago, this girl loved her bath.) But, as the reality of a bath sunk in, she started "no, no, no, no"-ing.

And then, once the bath was aborted, she started putting up a fight over the footie pyjamas. I got the top on her (the pyjamas are a two-piece), but the feet brought about too many tears and I put a different pair on her. She then started clawing at the top and tried to get it off. In the end, she won that battle too, but only because she was wearing a long-sleeved onesie, and because I was worried she'd end up with the pyjama top tangled around her neck at some point during the night.

When I dropped her in her crib, the worst of the tears, screaming, and snot-bubbling started ... and continued for a good 15 to 30 minutes (most of it we were hearing though Quinn's monitor — having both baby-monitor transmitters on leads to bad RFI problems). Around 8:00 p.m., when Evelin peeked in on her, Celeste was curled up in a corner gripping the bars. She opened her eyes a little bit and let out a soft "Mumma" but didn't otherwise awake.

Except for the bath and pyjama issues (and occasional getting dressed indecision), Celeste is doing pretty well. She seems appropriately interested in Quinn, and is concerned with she is crying/having a diaper change. She does have the occasional outburst related to someone holding Quinn, especially me, but she does respond well to the idea of being a big sister and helping teach Quinn how to do things.

Quinn is doing very well. I think I can see her cheeks growing hourly. She is very different from how Celeste was at one week (or even at five weeks, adjusting for Celeste being preterm).

For one thing, she sleeps more consistently — and I will be kicking myself if I jinx that by blogging it — including for three- to five-hour stretches overnight. The tradeoff, for Evelin at least, is clusterfeeding, including every hour for three to four hours at a time. She also has some long stretches of wakefulness throughout the day punctuated with a 15-minute snooze here and there.

Also, Celeste never really needed to be burped much. Quinn, on the other hand, can belch with the best of them. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to be able to do it as part of a feeding. She needs a few minutes of sleep and then wakes up very uncomfortable until she's burped.

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5 minutes of tantruming, 10 tops. Carter is just very sensitive. Then she talked for a while and then asleep.
 
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