Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Reef / Strawberry / Sleep Training Wk #2

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to Pat's house for our Alog family birthday dinner. It was just our side. Nikko had fallen asleep on the way and continued a short nap on their family room couch. I had Denis wake him up within a half hour and Nikko seemed very cranky, of course. But as dinner was starting, Nikko was really whining at me for something. I couldn't figure out just what, until my dad said that Nikko had seen the chocolate clown cake in the kitchen and wanted some. I cringed and tried to steer Nikko toward egg rolls, but knew that he would be relentless until he got cake. I tried to ignore his whining, but my mom kept telling me to just give him some cake. Begrudgingly, I caved in and got him a thin slice of Anna's leftover birthday cake. "See?" my mom pointed out, "He's happy. And quiet." Grrrrrr! I was mad at Nikko for whining so much and putting me in a position that I had to give in. It kept the peace, along with the egg rolls that he bit into and didn't finish. When we left, Nikko became very attached to a plastic toy lemon and strawberry half that I had to ask if we could borrow them. Another grrrrr! Denis was prompting Nikko to say what they were, and Nikko said, "Strawberry!" When he says some words, the vowels tend to come out high-pitched like a squeal, but we can still make out what he's saying. Not complaining, just saying that some words sound like a squeal but are still intelligible.

The kids went to bed slightly late, but Nikko still had a 4:20a waking. I went in and put him back to bed. Luckily, he was still sleepy so he settled. I went back and the next time he woke up was 6:45. That's fine. Except I wish he didn't wake up this early on a Sunday. Our day was pretty calm. Of all the DVDs near the TV, Nikko wanted to watch one called The Reef. It's a knock-off movie of Nemo, with different celebrity character voices like Freddie Prinze Jr., Fran Drescher, John Rhys-Davis and Rob Schneider. I really didn't watch the entire movie, and neither has Nikko, but he wanted to watch it so I put it in later in the day. Instead of calling it The Reef, I ask Nikko if he wants to watch FISH. Seems to work just as well. Around 3p, we took an outing to Costco and Nikko was hung up on carrying his Reef DVD, strawberry, lemon and my Costco membership card. When we got home, we decided to put all the kids in snowpants and take them outside to play. After we suited everyone up and got them outside, Nikko started some intense whining. I was frustrated because I was taking pictures of us being outside and Audrey's first real foray into snow, and Nikko was pulling at my fingers toward the car. It was the Reef DVD that he wanted, so after I got it I hoped he would settle down and play. But he dragged me back into the house. I was angry that he wanted to stay inside instead of play outside with everyone else, and that I was missing seeing Ronin and Audrey in the snow with Denis. But after telling Denis that we'd have to go inside (and good luck watching the younger two), I put Nikko inside and helped him de-snowpant. He didn't care that I thought it was so unfair we were inside. Everyone came in not too much later and I put Audrey down for a short nap. Nikko fell asleep for about 30 minutes and I did, too, because his head was on my lap. Therefore, dinner started a bit late. This also affected his bedtime because he wasn't 100% tired. I had predicted this on Friday. I tucked Nikko in, sang him the Good Night song, said good night, go to sleep, I love you, stay in bed, stay in bed, stay in bed and then left the room. Denis and I sat watching Olympic action for five minutes, and then Nikko erupted in cries and wailing. I went to him after five minutes and he started crying again just as I closed the door to leave. I was giving him 10 minutes, but I heard him dragging the ottoman around so I went to him after another five minutes. He had dragged the ottoman to the doorway and turned on the light switch. I pointed him back to bed and put the ottoman in the hallway. I tucked him in and said my good night mantra again. This time he stayed.

I'm trying to detail what I'm doing with Nikko during this sleep training phase because I don't want to forget what steps I did and what I'm going through to get him to better sleep. Technically week 1 is over and it was not very successful in my opinion because Nikko fell asleep before I left the room for four nights in a row. A night like tonight is a better representation of how it should be, as well as probably tomorrow, because today he took a short nap and was awake at bedtime when I left the room, closed the door. He has also had those early morning wakings and while I didn't sleep on his floor at 4a, I did opt to sleep in his car bed at 6a. I'm observing whether or not he has found a new medium of sleeping only 8-9 hours a night instead of the straight 10 that used to grace us. I'm also trying to figure out how to stop the 3-4a wakings. He should be able to wake up and NOT have to jump out of bed and wail, he should find a way to settle back to sleep. I wonder if I should seriously look into using melatonin. It's highly regarded on the ASD forum I belong to. I have to look into any side effects first. It makes me think about the MiraLAX that I sometimes add to Nikko's juice now. After those bouts of severe constipation, I panicked and wanted to up his fiber despite his pickiness in eating. He totally refused the wheat germ on yogurt. I'm diluting grape juice instead of apple juice. But now I'm adding less than a cap of the MiraLAX every third or fourth day, or when more than two days has passed without a bowel movement, to keep his pipes moving. He hasn't had the difficult constipation since. Still observing, though.

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