I’m at that point where I think if someone said, “Hey, if you dropped pea gravel in your baby’s ear, he’d sleep” I’d probably do it. Last night was the first time in a month that he’s slept for a two-hour stretch. He did it twice in a row. Well, almost twice.
Do you know how I spent it? Fighting with Curtis. Fighting one of those pointless fights where by the end of it you’re just pulling crap from two years ago back up just to keep on fighting.

I am so sleep deprived and irritable. I feel sick during the day from lack of sleep and when I wake up in the morning I can’t remember what happened the previous day. I’m really not that great at the “fourth trimester” stage of life.
I think the real insult came when I went back over my old journal entries and realized that while Tempest screamed more, Xan is now sleeping less than Tempest did at this age. Less! Sure, he doesn’t scream for 6+ hours in a row on a daily basis, but I’m weighing the two back and forth and wondering if, in the end, one is actually worse than the other.

Tonight after three hours of fussing he’s finally asleep. He did the mostly-asleep-but-still-making-whining-sounds thing for almost a half an hour. At first I stayed next to him, then sat on the floor, then eventually left the room once I realized he actually wasn’t awake and my itching around being bored was probably going to wake him back up.
I refused to let Curtis go to bed, so it’s midnight and he’s asleep on the couch. If anyone or anything wakes Xan up right now I think I’m going to have to get homicidal.

Curtis got off work a little early yesterday so we could attend an open house for a school that we’re considering getting Tempest into. It’s a tiny sort of semi-private (but no uniforms and non-denominational) school that focuses on self-directed learning and sign language. The largest class is the kindergarten, with 13 kids and three teachers. The smallest is the 3/4/5 which has 12 kids in total and three teachers. The cost is really affordable, too. We picked up the application package: there’s a $30 fee to hold your “place” when you pre-register, so I think we’re going to do that.
There were a lot of parents and students there so that you could talk to them and see what the feel was like. I was happy to see that no one had the preppy attitude. There were examples of student work out for parents to see. The oldest class had hand-written letters to “Mr. Harper” (the prime minister) about global warming and climate change. That was cool.

As soon as we entered Tempest ran for the wooden kitchen set in the kindergarten and didn’t look back. I noticed that the other children in the kindergarten age group freely interacted with her, even when she was loud and hyper. They didn’t seem afraid or put off by her personality at all. One kid, even after she had just finished throwing a classic 3-year-old tantrum over a ball, freely offered to share and invited her to play catch with him. I think that alone makes me want to do whatever I can to get her involved.
The teachers also felt that being “spirited” and “very high energy” were positive things that make eager learners.

I really like this place.


February 24th:
I put on my glasses because my eyes were strained at the computer, and when I went to take care of fussy Xan he laughed uproariously at them. He didn’t stop for twenty minutes. Every time I made eye contact he’d laugh, sometimes until he choked. All I had to do was blink. Obviously I look very silly with glasses on.

February 25th:
During the tour of the school I noticed signs like this one just inside the exit door of all three classrooms.

February 26th:
Traffic was backed up badly, in part due to crews cutting down trees on the side of the road that were too close. They topped most instead of uprooting them entirely. The large pieces that were left were marked “No cutting” or “do not cut”. Curtis commented as we passed them, “They’re relying on the honour system? In winter? In Canada?”
“In the middle of an unsupervised residential area?”
Yeah those trees are gone tomorrow.

Comments

comments

49 Comments

  • nursedekk says:

    This may be silly but I treat Kenneth (my 4 month old) like an insomniac when he won’t sleep and take him away from his sleeping area. I get up and occupy him with something new he’s learning (because sleep is connected to memory) then spend a little time cooing and cuddling with him. He is very picky and needs to have the same conditions every night in order to drift off. I started to notice that he won’t settle for the night if my husband isn’t in bed with us so we started having Dave get ready first so that Ken doesn’t freak out that he’s not there.

  • oceantheorem says:

    My mother has recently been teaching my 13-month-old sister how to nap. Apparently this method works on any infant. My cousin is using it on her 5-month-old son.

    In my mom’s words:
    “Basically, you put the baby down, say soothing things, then leave. You check on the baby every 2 minutes for 4 times, without picking them up or patting them (just walk in and say soothing things, then leave). After the 2 minute intervals, you check for two 4-minute intervals, then every 8 minutes until the baby is asleep. I use a timer that is easy to set to keep track of the time. It is amazing what you can get done in 2 minutes while a baby is crying! It seems easier to clean or pick things up rather than just sit and listen……”
    The idea is that the infant is reassured that yes, you will in fact come back for him/her, and it’s okay to fall asleep. I think it takes a few days to a week for the child to get the idea, but it might be worth a try.

    Apparently there is also a video, and my cousin has some more information if you’re interested. I don’t know if this addresses Xan’s particular problem, but I hope it’s of some use!

    Let me know if you’d like more info. Good luck!

  • oopidsnot says:

    That sounds like a really great school πŸ˜€

  • gen_here says:

    I’m sorry you’re going through sleep deprivation extreme. That was the entire first year of my son’s life – sleeping in 90 minute stretches (if that). There were two time that first year where he slept through the night, once at about 2 weeks (that scared me!) and once around 3 months. Otherwise, 45-90 minute stretches. I’m thankful that Mikaela sleeps, because when Robert didn’t, I’d just nap when he did. I totally understand that you can’t do that with a pre-schooler at home, too. I’m sorry you’re going through this now.

    The reason I popped over has to do with this post in b_n. I know you had this surgery and that you learned it wasn’t a good idea after. Will you talk with her, please?

  • That school sounds amazing. I wish there were high schools like it over here in England – or at least ones that I knew about. I really, really regret leaving school to try homeschooling at just the wrong time (my parents began divorce proceedings months later and I had to become my mother’s sole source of emotional support (at 15,) so there wasn’t really any time for education.) I’m just starting to catch up on it now, at 20.

    It sounds amazing, and extremely Tempest. I really hope it works out and you can send her there when she’s ready for it. πŸ™‚

  • thewhimmed says:

    wow, if that school continues to impress, take it! we had my daughter in an alternative school that sounds similar for her first two years, then i was forced to move and all we have available here is a standard school. and i hate it. we miss her old school so much. u.s. education is so horrid right now – maybe your public schools are better, but what a difference it makes having a school that your child is happy to go to, having a school where they are valued for who they are rather than one where they are expected to conform. last night my beautiful daughter came home crying because bullying in the form of mean words is such a huge part of her life now – she now thinks she’s ugly, she now is so confused about whether or not she’s supposed to, allowed to, express herself as she is, without censoring her personality. it breaks my heart. i cried and cried yesterday, and i feel really helpless to fix it. all i can do is try and talk to her, try to encourage her, but .. i fucking hate this place. i loved her old school. believe me, there are few more important decisions.

    • admin says:

      Bullying is the top reason why I won’t put her in a public school. I was bullied. It’s not kids taking your lunch money, it’s death threats and PTSD. I went to *therapy* for the aftereffects of bullying and anyone who just thinks it’s schoolyard pranks and wedgies and shit is fooling themselves. I have friends who had knives brandished when they were six.
      Bullying is very serious and should never, NEVER be taken lightly. It can ruin your life, and it almost ruined mine. The only reason it didn’t was that my mother removed me from school before I killed myself, and put me in an alternative school setting. Even now I tense when I see a group of teenagers; they terrify me.

      • florassecret says:

        I remember at Tempest’s birthday your mother told me a lot of what happened to you.

        I am with you on the bullying. I was bullied almost all my childhood. I was bullied to the point where someone hit me over the head with a metal lunch kit (which cut my forehead open) and they laughed and told the teacher that I fell into her lunch kit which happened to be in her hand while she was in mid swing. WTF? They beleved her too. I think I told you about my experiences, i am 1/4 asian, and I was called every single horrible racist name under the sun.

        I have taught my child to not take any bullying or to bully back. I liked Jocelyn’s old school, but it changed to a middle school. This school she’s at now is ok. NOT great, but ok. They are a very strict school, which I like. I am squeeing because she won an award for best science project in the 3rd grade. I’m so excited to see her win this award.

        I ‘think’ I know of the school you are taking about if I am correct it is a wonderful school.

  • birthingway says:

    Wonderful preschools are hard to come by; I am glad you have found one for Tempest.

    And, I completely and utterly relate to the (a) stupid fights, (b) awful sick all-day fatigue, and (c) possible homicidal rage associated with an ill-sleeping baby.

    It really fucking sucks, doesn’t it?

  • armistice says:

    I’ve been wondering ever since I started reading your blog whether you were going to homeschool or not. Now that I have the answer, I’m wondering what you think you want to do when Tempest and Xan are both in school full-time, although that’s still quite a ways off. I’m just never satisfied. πŸ™‚

    That school sounds like it would be great for Tempest, and that’s an amazing student-teacher ratio. My pre-school had two teachers and probably around twenty kids.

    • admin says:

      When/if they’re both in school I think I’d try and find an out-of-home job that ran around the hours they were gone. I’d be pretty freaking bored sitting around all day doing nothing.
      Being a mom keeps you so busy you can barely eat, but with no kids in the house I’d be totally alone all day for really the first time in my life.

  • pregosaurus says:

    I’m glad you found a school that you feel good about! I would love to have more kids like Tempest in my preschool class!

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    The school sounds excellent. I wish we’d been able to find something like that for Clea. We’re thinking about Waldorf for Annika, when the time comes. Clea’s in a regular elementary school and I hate it. She loves the social aspect of it, but she’s uber-bored (but she won’t admit that because she’s scared if she does we’ll pull her out and send her to private school, lol).

  • sunkist33 says:

    That school sounds great. It sounds similar to the one we’re trying to get Orange into (it’s a lottery)…mixed-age classes, low teacher:student ratios, and non-traditional learning (students seldom sit at desks, there is no traditional “testing” rather they do “portfolios” of their work that are reviewed at the end of the year & school-wide “themes”) and it’s free (it’s a Boston Public Pilot school)…now we just have to be *lucky* enough to get in!
    When would Tempest start there~ Sept.? What age does the school go up to?

  • the_lissa says:

    Is it called Oak and orcas or something similar?

  • imperfectme says:

    My 5 month old son hasn’t been sleeping AT ALL either. Sunday night I was about to completely loose my cool as I stood there rocking him, bouncing him, rubbing his back, trying to soothe him, and he just SCREAMED like he was being stabbed. Then, he flipped himself onto his tummy, screamed even louder, and then passed out almost instantly. He did it last night too, with less screaming. I just hope that wasn’t a fluke, and that he’ll continue to sleep on his tummy.

    I hope Xan starts sleeping for you, I totally sympathize.

  • nevaehrae says:

    I wish teachers viewed kids like that around here….Im worried about my son! He is/has, “very high energy” and that usually means lots of calls from the teacher….as they put it, he will be a “problem child”, ggrrrrr…..

  • dietcokehed says:

    Sounds like the Progressive Schoolhouse we have here. It’s kind of a “learn at your own pace” school, not standardized. The tuition for ours is based on how much parental invoelment there is…the more you are there, the less you pay. At least that’s what I heard from my mom’s friend. And with my flexible work hours, I could actually DO that πŸ™‚

    I would have to say the screaming is better than sleep deprivation. You can put on headphones, bury your head in a pillow, leave the room, or even learn to tune it out, for screaming. Sleep deprivation SUCKS! And it can take you to a scary place, so please be careful and aware (as aware as one can be when exhausted) I feel for ya, I’ve been there πŸ™
    Hope things get better soon!

  • That sounds like a wonderful school. I wish we could afford something like that.

    • admin says:

      This one isn’t bad as far as price. It’s monthly and we’re going to try and get Curtis’ parents to help. It’s $275 canadian which is $236 USD, monthly. If we did that we’d have absolutely no room for anything else, so I’d want one of our ‘debts’ paid off (credit card balance or Curtis’ student loan) by that time – and if we had a $100 help it would make all the difference. BUT… we could make it work and it’s important to us that she not go to public school.

      Curtis is now handing out resumes and looking for a job that pays more so we can work on our debts and be able to send her there with ease.

      • We have a couple years before Sean starts going to school, and the public school district he’s in now is horrible. It’s one of the worst in the state. We’re hoping that if we can’t afford to move by the time he starts school to have at least some extra money so we can send him to a private school. There are several good public schools around here that I’d be okay with him going to, but not this one.

  • I hope the school works out . I’ll be boring and probably just send Marissa to the elementary school I went to. It is so hard to find a non religious private school.

    • As someone who went to an independent school in Victoria, I can tell you that there are actually lots of great, non-religious ones on the lower island! Some of them just sound like they would be, because they are Saint-whatever. πŸ™‚

      • florassecret says:

        I looked into independent schooling for Jocelyn, we cannot afford it.
        So public schooling it is.
        I am very pro homeschooling too, but I don’t think I could give Jocelyn all that she needs. I am also dyslexic, which would make me a lousy teacher.

        • Yeah, it’s generally not cheap. Many schools offer bursaries and scholarships, but even with that… ouch.

          Public schooling has a bad rap, I think. The private school I went to was a great fit *for me*, but certainly wouldn’t be the right place for EVERY person. Public schools have a lot to offer, too, it just gets buried between all the bad press from the Fraser Institute report and junk like that.

    • florassecret says:

      It also depends on your catchment area.
      Public schooling isn’t so bad, it’s not great either.
      It’s far better then when I was a kid, and they really really like to help the fellow kids.
      My oldest is in grade 3 this year and she’s also a big buddy. I think it’s great to have that buddy system.

      Although, I don’t like the large class settings, I can’t complain, she’s got a really good teacher, and she really knows how to educate. Fuck, my oldest just got a science award for having the best science project in her grade.

  • How do you find a school like that? I’m so crap at finding things.

  • Gak. I wish I had something else to offer for your lack of sleep. Cass powered her way until 10pm last night before crashing. Then woke up at 11pm and then at 3:30am to play for an hour. Thankfully when Alex woke up at 6am he sensed the: “Wake the babe and be in Time Out forever” vibe and steered clear for a bit.

    Your pic reminds me that I can’t remember where I left my glasses. Meh, oh well. Were you able to use any of the sweaters for longies?

    • admin says:

      You sent three right?
      Two were too small (the threads) and the rainbow one is perfect but it’s knitted really weird so I’m having a hard time unravelling it. I’ve got most of one sleeve undone now.

  • teechers_pet says:

    I hope you get some sleep soon girl!

  • medland says:

    I hope you get some sleep soon.

  • erinmdmd says:

    That sounds like a great school for Tempest. Seriously- the kind of attitude that the teachers have about spirited kids is amazing and so unfortunately rare.

    I lean toward homeschooling, particularly if Raina (and any future children) end up being bright/gifted like Greg and I are/were. While Greg did fine in a standard public school setting- I didn’t and wonder where I’d be now if I hadn’t had to deal with the structured learning environment.

    But school for Raina is years away. We’ll see:-)

    Raina is fascinated by glasses. She just stares. And after about 5 minutes, will slowly reach out and try to swipe them. Occasionally, particularly with darker rimmed glasses, she gets frightened and starts sobbing. I guess its good that I don’t wear them?

    • admin says:

      I’m very pro-homeschooling. I just know that I’d make a lousy teacher. πŸ˜‰

      I’ve had that pair of glasses for *years* but very, very rarely wear them. I’m supposed to wear them for reading/computer, but never do.

    • I had a terrible time with public school and since I enjoy pain, I went to grad school. I read a bit about Montessori schools but I’d rather research further to see what they’re really about. I’d like to homeschool but I’m the queen of procrastination and it wouldn’t do well to teach a child that. πŸ™‚

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