Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Wait, what??..." or also titled "How I Should Give My Toddler More Credit"

I had pretty much assumed on Monday this week would go down as "Ashlynn's Least Favorite Week of All Time".  All time being the two years and six weeks of her existence, but was pretty sure if she was going to remember or be scared by anything under the age of three, this week would be it.

I was planning on sharing more about how Child Watch at the gym had been going once we got to a good place with it and I had a true experience, with a hopeful happy ending, to share.  Instead, looks like you are getting a Half Time update.

I started Kenley in the Child Watch program (free babysitting at the gym) when Ashlynn and I were taking her Mommy and Me gymnastics class.  Aside from the time always falling when Kenley should be napping and leaving her to cry a bit in exhaustion each week, she's good, the staff in the baby room (appear) to adore her despite the fact she's not always100% happy bones while there.  Ashlynn has become very familiar with the routine and the Child Watch wing.

A few times, I would show her the "big kid" room and even entered a few times for her to see the instructor who is incharge there, hoping it would be a tiny bit familiar when I did finally cut the cord. A few weeks ago, I tried just that.  Fifteen minutes.   We dropped off Kenley first, then went over to the "playroom", which is what I started calling it at home when asking if she wanted to go to the gym and go to playroom?  She only knows going to the gym for gymnastics or the playground, so I hoped calling it "playroom" when telling her "no, we aren't going to gymnastics today" would still help her feel excited since playing was involved.

We walked in and she was immediately distracted by all the children playing and toys laying around.  I pointed some things out and told her I was going for a run and that I'd be back.  I'm not sure if she even heard me, but I decided this was my easy out.  Of course, as soon as I shut the door, I was afraid that maybe she really didn't hear me and to her I snuck out on her.  I obsessed over this my entire fifteen minute run.

After my run, I came down to the room and saw her through the window near by and she wasn't crying. I thought, oh she's doing okay and snuck out so I could grab my wallet to reward her with a smoothie.  After, I went right back because I didn't want her to think I abandoned her, and thats when I saw she was still by the door.  My heart sank as I realized she probably was waiting there the whole time for me to return.  I walked in and she burst into tears.  The staff said she was okay.  They took her to play on the playground, but she wanted to go back in and while she didn't cry, she asked for me a lot.  Her tears upon seeing me were probably from relief.  They also warned me it'd probably be harder the next time.  We picked up Sis and I got her to calm down outside on a bench.  I asked her if she played and if she had fun and in true parrot fashion she told me "playroom fun". Good.  Nothing a little brainwashing hopefully can't fix.

We tried again the next week.  As soon as I left she started to cry and I walked out not looking back.  My heart broke over and over, but I knew she'd be okay.  When I came back I scanned the room for her and the worker sitting near the door asked if I was Ashlynn's mom and pointed to the corner. Poor girl stood in the corner with her sippy, snack trap, and snoopy the whole time and would start to cry if anyone talked to her.  They said she was good otherwise, but once again, she broke down upon seeing me (this time I was only gone for about a 10 minute run, I knew it'd probably be the hardest time and wanted to make sure she was relieved that I did,  in fact, return and return quickly).

We had our final day of gymnastics last week and I decided since we have two weeks off until it starts back up, I'd boot camp her.  Going once a week isn't enough to get her comfortable. I went Monday and Tuesday this week.  Both days were the same.  I dropped her off even though as soon as she entered the room she turned around crying for me.  On Monday I tried to let her know I was going for a run and I'd be back, the main instructor asked if I wanted her to take her, I said yes.  She picked her up and I walked out.  It felt so so cruel, but I knew it was band aid we needed to make it fast.  Staying in there trying to make her calm down would only drag it out, make it worse and potentially work up other children who may be upset too.  I arrived back after 20 minutes and she was sitting at a table watching Sofia.  Of course, tears of MOMMY! ensued , but they said she had calmed down immediately and just watched TV the whole time.  The next day was almost identical except they asked her if she wanted to play on the slide and had store her belongings in a cubby when she said yes, but as soon as she got outside she changed her mind and cried and went back to watching tv until I got there.

So there's our gym update - play by play style.  Hoping when we return back today there are even less tears and maybe by next week she'll actually enjoy herself.  I know I'm starting to enjoy my runs again and would love to be able to build her up to an hour so I can take a class.  Next week I plan on leaving for 30 minutes and up to 45 minutes by the end of week.  Hopefully it'll be enough time for her to venture into playing with toys or going on the playground and actually having real fun so she can look forward to going.  She did want to bring home a Mickey Mouse camera the teacher gave her, so maybe having some favorite toys to return to will help.


We took yesterday off for Kenley's 6 month check up.  It was a big day.  Ashlynn was also scheduled to get a make up short for a booster that has been out of stock since her 18m appt.  My anxiety built each day and by Wednesday morning, my stomach was in knots over how she was going to handle the shot.  Two months ago when we had her ankle looked at for a possible fracture, she flipped total shit when the nurse took her temperature.  Her temperature.  In her ear.  So just like at her two year check up, we first made the nurse take Bunny's temperature in his ear before taking hers, and after Kenley had her check up, the doctor listened to Ashlynn's heart and lungs.  Which she seemed to think was the bees knees.

Then it was time for shots.  I asked for Kenley to go first because I assumed she'd be quicker to calm down and I could take a crying Ashlynn out after hers with promises of cake pops and probably a new toy out of mom guilt at "red store".  Kenley got her shots, only crying after the second and then calming down quickly.  I told Ashlynn it was time for hers and whipped out the Mickey Mouse band aid I packed with me in hopes to make it more fun (they only have boring brown aids).  I told her she could hold my hand, but she chose to hold the band aid.  She watched the shot go in, flinched her leg, and looked at me and said plainly "hurt".  She watched the nurse finish and handed her the band aid when asked. I'm pretty sure after that she even picked my jaw from off the ground.

Not a single tear.

She didn't fight sitting on the table.  She didn't need to hold me.  She didn't scream in pain or cry because of what I let the mean nurse do.  She just said "hurt".  We agreed and said "Yes, shots can pinch, but all done now".  And let her go pick out her own Doc McStuffins sticker.... with a smile on her face.

And she still got a cake pop, just not a new toy.


I couldn't be more proud of her, she's a rockstar.  Now, if only I can manage to pick her up from Child Watch with a smile on her face, she'll be a superstar!
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22 comments:

  1. Lex behaved the same way after her shots! No tears!! Dare I say these girls are growing up? And stick with the gym. She's learning you always come back- and I can't guarantee every time will be easy- but I can guarantee she will start to have fun! Lex gathered all her stuff and waited by the door her first few gym days AND school days. She's not happy and giddy when I drop her off now- but no tears either!

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  2. I know first hand how hard dropping your child off can be! But I think with time it will get better! Also, if you are gone a little longer she will probably warm up to the playroom too...good luck mama!

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  3. I'm so glad the shots were easier on her (and you!) this time. What a big girl she was! Maybe that's what she needed though, to feel responsible for making herself feel comfortable when she is outside her "comfort zone". I'm thinking the childcare is a really good thing for her :) Owen actually really started liking the childcare when I started going to a class consistently, because I was in the class with lots of other moms who also bring their kids to the childcare and so the kids are the same every Tuesday and he's been able to make friends. IN the begging I used to talk up the ladies (Rebecca & Sandra) all week long at home with Owen and to Daddy (so Owen would listen) and the toys. I would tell him how much the ladies like him, etc.

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  4. The first time my daughter had a shot that didn't hurt, I was convinced that the dr didn't do it right. Then I worried that she wasn't properly vaccinated. Haha we always worry about something.

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  5. This is how it went for Rae when we dropped her off for childcare at church. She just stood in the same spot for the whole hour until a lady came to hold her. No tears.. just shock I think. We're starting gym care soon too, I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll be okay. & what a rockstar with shots! We go for 15mo & 18 mo appt/shots soon and I am nervous.

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  6. Don't you just love when they show you ways that they are stronger then you ever imagined? Your heart just fills up with mommy pride and sometimes overflows with a few happy tears of love. You are so in tune with A's needs and emotions. I think it would be an "easy" answer to just say "she'll learn to deal" and push her to staying in the play room for as long as you would like to work out but you obviously are much more sensitive to her needs then that. Such a sweet little girl!

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  7. Thank you so much, Laura! This made me feel all warm and fuzzy, because it's exactly how I feel. I was so proud of her, I was just bursting. As for the playroom, it's hard because she's literally been with me almost ALL the time her whole life with being a SAHM. There is no forced 8hr day of day care or even routine babysitters, just occasionally watched by her Nana when I have an appt - and that's always in the familiar space of our home. Being in a new place without family (especially me) is scary and I'm just trying to make the transition easy. I know she'll never remember this and it is for her benefit (why I'm doing it), but hoping that by working first on getting her used to the fact that I do return, then I can work on extending the time frame. Like crate training for dogs. LOL.

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  8. I'm sure she'll do great at her shots! When Ashlynn was in that age it wasn't much different from her one year. She wasn't a fan of the doctor touching her and entering her personal space bubble, but by the time they got to the shots at the end she was fine and just cried for few seconds. I hope gym care goes smoothly for you since she's had some experience with the Church room!

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  9. LOL! Reading this I'm actually surprised I didn't think of that, because it's totally something I would do!

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  10. Childcare is definitely good for her! You know how it can be being a SAHM with them constantly attached to you, I need to cut the cord and let her experience some of the world because I won't always be right at her side. I want to promote her independence and while this isn't exactly fun for either of us, she's hanging in there (they never page me!) and hopefully she'll learn to explore the room and play. I also talk about the ladies in the room and how they have so many fun toys and can take her to the slide.

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  11. Yeah, that's been my goal. I really only wanted to start with the short periods of time to get her to learn that I do return, especially the first few times when everything was so unfamiliar to her (teachers/room). And since it isn't a pre-school/daycare the number of kids in there can get really crazy at times and I'm sure that's overwhelming to her, 20+ kids running around, crying, yelling, playing. I'm planning on increasing the time so she'll definitely start warming up. I just hate that drop off, makes it hard to enjoy the "me time".

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  12. crazypants! They are two peas in a pod, she handles going really well... doesn't cry getting ready even though she says "mommy running, Ashie playroom" so she knows. It's just when I go to leave. Hopefully it stops at some point because man it pulls on those heartstrings!

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  13. What a big girl (and proud momma moment)!! I love it when we are pleasantly surprised by the outcome; but I also, usually prepare myself for the worst. I'm sure child watch at the gym will get better. Hang in there and good job at being persistent and strong for her through the tears and building up your time away. :)

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  14. Bless her little heart, shots are no fun! What a big girl for not crying! xo

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  15. I just read this whole post with a huge smile on my face! What a strong little girl. Isn't it amazing when they do things like that?! Just makes my heart smile. And I know first hand how hard it can be to drop your kid off and leave. Even now, Mason still cries sometimes. Usually Mondays. This Monday in fact. But then yesterday, I dropped him off, he gave me a hug and kiss and walked off to play, only to walk back and give me one more hug. Definitely stick with the gym. It will get better.

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  16. You are a good mama!! Since I with during the year, my mom takes waverly to her gym daycare but it has definitely been a struggle. We are hoping she gets better each time!! Hope it does for you, too!!! :)

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  17. Go you! I think it's not just credit to her but also to your mama skills in navigating these situations so gently. :)

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  18. You're doing great! Just keep it up. It takes time and hopefully there is at least progress so you can have less guilt. It is easier when they want to go and have fun.
    With my daughter, she lost it during her first or second round of shots so I made my husband go with me. And of course, she barely flinched.

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  19. I loved reading this! (I have been a blog reader of yours since before your babies, but I rarely comment since I do not have a blog myself..) My daughter, Harper, is a month older than Ashlynn. I just brought Harper to child watch for the first time last week. She cried the first couple of times, and her cousins were even there! Once she ran out screaming eww, boys (her daddy is in big trouble for that one). But she seems to be okay there now even if she is playing by herself in a corner. And I understand your doctor moment too. Yesterday, we went in because she had a fever. Instead of going hysterical when the doctor opens the door, she actually let the doctor check her ears. I just had to sing, "Time for your check up, I'm gonna check your ears." They grow up too fast! :)

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  20. Late to the discussion but we're battling the gym daycare here! Took my daughter 2x a week starting when she was 4 months old, thinking great socialization for her, mom time for me. Never an issue, I'd come back and she'd be smiling in one of the teacher's laps. Now?? At 10 months? Suddenly hates it, I even got called to pick her up (they felt HORRIBLE but she was sweating and had worked herself up into a panic). I gave her a little break, I don't want her to associate the daycare with anything bad, so now I'm nervous to start back up. I like your quick short visits, maybe we'll try that again, and really try to keep the 2 times a week. I LOVE being home with my daughter, but it's tricky to make sure she also gains independence and is ok in strange new places, as we won't be home with just us two forever.

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  21. I've read a lot that separation anxiety starts around 8m-10m so that's probably why your baby has changed in that situation. We took a break since we started back with classes and now the potty training, but I would attempt sticking to a schedule and see if that helps her. I'm clearly no expert!! I hope it gets easier for her and for you!

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  22. Hi Katrina! You can comment any time you want, you don't need to be a blogger! I love hearing from all my readers, it's nice to get to know the community and have feedback. So funny about the eww boys, haha. Love how similar the experiences are, hopefully things continue to get easier!

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