Saturday, August 11, 2012

The 10 Days on my own

Thank you for all your support on my FET day experience, I don't know if you guys get back to see the comments, I realised I could reply to what you have said and I did it in a couple of occasions!

Anyway, 2dp5dt and trying not to think of it, so I'm writing my last blog post on the holidays.
You may remember that Mike and Oliver travelled back to Europe alone, while I spent another day in San Fran before flying back East to Boston and to a nearby conference. 10 days were LONG without the family. Sure, by the time I was at the conference I was quite busy, but I did miss my little one terribly. The fact that he wasn't sleeping for Mike at all made it even worse. Thanks to the time difference, I was often able to be on skype with them when Oliver would wake up in the middle of the night and not resettling at all. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Mike had relocated Oliver's cot in our bedroom. Still, the one thing that really seemed to help, was me singing to him lullabies through Skype. Given that I am a terrible singer and that I may know about 2 songs, I really think he was just worried I was never coming home. Poor chicken! Of course on top of this he was teething, top two premolar are nearly out now but it wasn't fun.

I loved Boston, I actually prefer Boston to San Francisco, probably just because it has a more familiar feeling. I did one of those hop-on, hop-off tours and it was great. Weather was hot and definitely more humid than in Cali, but totally manageable. I stayed at the Kendall Hotel in Cambridge and totally recommend it. It's a lovely area (I had to go and walk the grounds in Harvard!), hotel is superb and very very conveniently located. So keep it in mind if you happen to go that way! Tripadvisor never lets me down!
Of course one of the highlights was buying the Mac Book Air! And thanks to you all for the tips, yes I have the Office 2011 but the incompatibility I was mainly talking about were between graphic programmes we use in chemistry which lose their original formatting when you copy the schemes in Office for Mac (only). So it's a bit of a pain, but nothing too major.
The conference was a great success, definitely one of the best I've been at and will certainly re-attend in two years time (same place, same venue!) but by the time it was over I was well ready to go back home. I had already described my quite eventful journey back so I will close this post with another little paragraph on Oliver and some of the things that worked for us to help resettle him in a proper routine.

So a part from the first two days I was back, with Oliver really tired and unwell due to the viral infection, our little man stopped sleeping through the night. This was already happening while on holidays, but it was getting out of control. Not only he would wake up for hours during the night, but he had also started not wanting to go down to bed at night. At the beginning I was certain it was separation anxiety, what if mamma was disappearing again? I could see he really wanted to be held tight and his crying wasn't the annoying nagging one, it was the sobbing type, the "I'm really afraid/upset" kind of cry. Furthermore, I seemed to be the only one he wanted. Let me tell you, after a week of this I was ready to hire a nighttime nanny. Surely others may have had this experience, surely there is some technique we can try. I looked among the various books my SIL had given me on parenting (and I never read) and found I had this one called "Beyond Toddlerdom" written by Christopher Green. That was not really suitable as it deals with children behaviour from 4 onwards, but the same author has written this other one called "New Toddler Taming" and the reviews were great. Anyway, I bought it and I am really glad I did. The book is full of very good tips and mostly common sense, but it also shows you how a toddler thinks and gives lists of things that are normal behaviour and others that are behaviours to be rectified. It has a full chapter on sleeping and he has optimised what it is called the "controlled crying techniques" which is NOT the CIO technique, it specifically prevents any crying situation from escalating, the author states that it is proven that after 10 minutes, most toddlers don't actually know anymore why they are crying and become very scared. It's totally pointless to ley it get to that level. Anyway, we tried it and within 2 days our Oliver was back to full night sleeps. Seriously, this was just a little short of a miracle. He says it in the book you have to allow 3 days and 90% of the time it works like a treat. Glad we were not the 10%! The going to bed protest occasionally resurface (mostly monday night, after the first day back in the creche) but we now have the tools to handle it very well and within 10 minutes at the most he's always quiet (normally we don't know when he falls asleep as we leave the room that he still awake). Let me know if you try it out. Of course there are many other chapters dealing with tantrums, feeding and toilet training, so it's really good and furthermore it's written very lightly, with lots of examples from his experience as a paediatrician who specialise in behaviour.
Anyway, going to read a bit more of the book!


  1. Wow, 10 days is long! I've never been away longer than 2 nights, so I can fully understand that you missed your little one. Glad you found a solution for the sleep problem and Oliver is sleeping better again.

  2. Oh man, I can't imagine being away from your boys for that long! I'm so impressed that you sung him lullabies over Skype. Amazing that this helps. I love Boston too - have only spent a little time there, but what a great city! That books sounds great - must check it out. So glad to hear that Oliver is back to sleeping well - that makes all the difference in the world!


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