Saturday, March 07, 2009

Early riser/Holy terror. What the hell is going on?

All his life, even before he was born Keenan has been an early riser. When I was pregnant with him I'd be up almost every day around 5 am. At a time when most other toddlers are starting to sleep later he continues to rise between 5 and 5:30 am. It's really not that bad except for two things. First of all, he doesn't go to bed before 8:30 sometimes 9 pm so I may get an hour a day to get everything done that I need to do. If we put him to bed any earlier he's up between 4 and 5 am. If we take away his hour and a half nap he's impossible to be around and literally terrorizes the other kids at daycare. Usually our getting up routine starts with Keenan climbing into bed with us and snuggling for 5 minutes, then he reads, plays for a bit, then we get up and it's potty time and we all get ready for our day. Secondly, more often than not he wakes up with a bit of a crazy streak and he climbs into bed snuggles for 5 minutes and then proceeds to kick, slap, punch, scream and today a new thing, spit at us. We've tried time outs, taking away the things that mean the most to him, denying him dvd time, putting him in bed, distractionary tactics, telling him how his actions hurt us, politely asking him to stop, yelling at him to stop and plain old ignoring him. It seems everything we try doesn't work and makes him scream like we're trying to kill him. I can be 10 feet away from him and ask him not to kick the bathroom door and he melts into a pool of twisting toddler goo all the while screaming "owwwwwwwww" and I haven't even taken a step. It's 7:50 am and I'm friggin' finished already.

Sean and I have just discussed that we can't believe how two such laid back folks could have created a person so much like us but exactly opposite of ourselves. It is at once completely perplexing and totally maddening. Honestly, if he wasn't the only white kid born in a Japanese maternity hospital I'd swear someone switched our baby with someone else! Regardless of our personality conflicts we continue to learn from each other, move on and hopefully at some point we will stop feeling like we're devolving.

There's a couple of big things we're going to change. We've let Keenan watch Lord of the Rings and Spiderman which I think was a big mistake. He clearly mimicks the fighting action in those films. I can't undo what he's already seen but I won't let the problem perpetuate itself by continuing to let him to watch those dvds. Altogether he watches too much tv and we don't even have cable! That will also change.

Keenan's a very active little guy and I think he would do well to be involved in more physical activities. I'm gonna see what else I can sign him up for and perhaps get us more involved with swimming in the evenings. I'd like to think that he has too much energy to burn and that we need to make a more serious effort to wear him out. Gone are the simpler times when a shot of brandy in a sippy cup resolved most everything!

Then just keep on keepin' on with the discipline. I hear it does work over time.

Gotta go Sean is throwing all of Keenan's crayons in the garbage.