Our nighttime attempts to get Eleanor to sleep alone have completely backfired and now she hates her crib. Not that she was ever its number one fan, but now she won't even nap in it. I guess whose to say this isn't a coincidence - that her mommy-obsessed little self wasn't going to give up the crib anyway. So now she's back in our bed nursing the whole night long.
My desperate attempts to get Abigail to eat food have completely backfired as well. We were seeing some progress using the food chaining technique I mentioned earlier, but she got sick or something a few months ago and cut e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g out. She now eats three things dependably and five things when the stars and the planets align.
-cinnamon sugar toast
-very small servings of oatmeal (as in, three tablespoons worth)
-some crackers some days
-some fruit some days
-some desserts some days
-some fast-food french fries some days
That's it. She doesn't eat Reese's Puffs cereal, she rejected cookies at Christmas, she only eats about a quarter or a half a donut at coffee and donuts after church or half a banana with dinner. No grilled cheese, pancakes, french toast, graham crackers. No fruit cups, occasionally applesauce. Thankfully she'll drink just about anything, so I've been turning to V8s, and OJs for nutrients and peanut butter blueberry smoothies to keep her from loosing weight.
And there are still, of course, Abigail's bully-ish tendencies, of which Eleanor is not spared. Constant vigilance is required and sometimes I wear Eleanor in the Ergo for four or five hours a day. All this has got me feeling pretty frustrated; I'm failing as a mother.
Sometimes with kids consistency is key - you have to do the same thing over and over until it becomes a comfortable routine. But sometimes with kids you have to keep trying new things until you find something that fits. Who knows when you're supposed apply which rule?
These could, of course, be stages the girls are going through. Maybe by next month, Abigail will be eating (at least a little more) again and Eleanor will have enough solids in her diet that she won't need to nurse c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y at night. Maybe by the end of the year, the amazing Ms. N will have worked all the bully tendencies out of Abigail. I don't know which of these frustrating behaviors I need to change and which I need to just be a calm, loving presence through until they grow out of them.