~my thoughts about life~

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Happens When You Have 4 Kids...

-  When Son #1 was born, I was the perfect mom.  I laid him in his bed awake and made him fall asleep on his own.  I put him down for naps at specific times and wouldn't get him out of his crib until I felt he was done.  He would sing and play in his bed until I came for him.
-  Son #2 came along two years later.  This child did not like to sleep and I was exhausted from having a toddler and a newborn.  I let him sleep whenever and wherever he wanted.  He would only nurse to sleep.  When he was older he had to be rocked to sleep.  I would tiptoe to his bed, making very small movements, and try to lay him down without waking him.  He would scream and I would have to pick him back up and start all over.  When the pediatrician finally talked me into letting him cry it out, he would scream for two hours straight every night.  My marriage almost ended during those horrible two weeks.
- Big Sis arrived three years later.  I vowed that I would never make the mistake I made with her older brother.  I did nurse her before sleeping but if she woke up when I laid her down, I wouldn't pick her back up.  We had some crying, but nothing like before.
- Baby Girl was born four years after that.  By this time, I was so busy with three other kids.  I laid her down in bed awake because I didn't have time to rock and cuddle with her.  She learned to sleep on her own and did great.

Early Eating
- As a newborn, Son #1 was put on a strict schedule.  I determined it by his needs.  He ate at 10:30, 2:30 and 6:30, morning and night.  He nursed for 10 minutes on each side, which got bumped up to 12 minutes if he was going through a growth spurt.  He never spit up and was always pleasant.
- Son #2 had me wrapped around his finger.  He would nurse at all times of the day and night, usually for 2 to 5 minutes each feeding.  I got so exhausted that I started putting him in bed with me, something I swore I would never do.  I would wake up to find him sleeping soundly in a big puddle of spit up.  He would nurse until we both fell asleep and never got burped.  I cleaned up a lot of spit up.
- With  Big Sis, again I vowed not to raise her like her brother.  She didn't eat on schedule like Son #1, but I refused to nurse her every hour. 
- Baby Girl's newborn feeding was a nightmare.  I had an overactive thyroid during pregnancy that I wasn't aware of.  Even though I looked good and skinny, I had no milk supply.  I sat in the hospital crying, holding a screaming baby that I couldn't soothe.  I had to start her immediately on formula, which she inhaled greedily.  I was overcome with guilt and depression at the thought of not being able to provide for my own baby.  At this point, I would have gladly traded places with myself seven years ago when I was nursing every hour.

Later Eating
- Son #1 was only fed baby food until he was close to a year.  When we started with table food, he was not allowed any salt or sugar.  His first taste of sugar was his first birthday cake.  Then after that, I continued to withhold sugar.  We tried all kinds of veggies and tried to train him to eat right.  It did not work.  He developed picky eating habits by the age of two. 
- Son #2 was also only fed baby food for a while but table food was introduced much earlier.  My friend's kids would eat anything and she said it's because she fed them whatever she was eating.  So I tried that.  If we had spicy food, so did he.  He developed picky eating habits even earlier than his brother.
- Big Sis ate baby food for a little while but didn't care for it.  We tried table food but she didn't like that much either.  We tried to feed her a great variety of foods.  She too became a picky eater.
- Baby Girl refused baby food.  She acted like we were giving her scalding hot poison.  We even put the veggies aside and went right for the fruits.  Nope.  We tried table food.  Nope.  This child did not eat enough to keep any human being alive. 

- All of my kids sleep great.  They are all light sleepers though and can be woken up easily.  Son #1 is nearing the teenage years and is sleeping more and more.  Baby Girl still wakes up during the night once or twice a week.  She will not cry it out.  I have to walk in her room, tell her to lay down, and leave.  That's all she needs.
- None of my kids eat well today.  Son #1 finally realized he's a carnivore and has taken to eating meat whenever he can.  When we took him on a cruise, he ate so many hamburgers that he vomited all over the cabin.  We had to call housekeeping in the middle of the night who had to use masks and a carpet cleaning machine to rid all the vomit.  We still have to monitor how much he eats or he throws up. 
-  Son #2 is very limited but tries to occasionally branch out.  As long as dinner is made up of something with red sauce or noodles, he's a happy camper.  Lunch every day is peanut butter crackers.
-  Big Sis eats very little.  Very few restaurants please her, except for McDonald's and Cracker Barrel.  She is limited to chicken nuggets, applesauce, spaghetti, and salami.  She even abandoned hot dogs when they started "not tasting right."  Every night at dinner results in her crying.
-  Baby Girl eats practically nothing.  She lives on crackers, bacon, sausage, and Chapstick.  Occasionally I can get her to eat cereal.  I'm not sure what I did so poorly while raising my kids to eat.  I blame it on their father- a picky eater who stands at 6'2" and weighs 175 soaking wet.

And so it goes...


Mimsie said...

Well, your kids look very happy and healthy in that photo. And unlike so many American kids, they are not obese, so you are doing something right!

~she~ said...

I don't think obesity is something I will ever worry about with my kids, thank the good Lord.

k said...

This post was awesome! I loved how you shared each thing you did differently and the child's reaction to it.