Way back when......... when Nick was a little person and one who screeched his needs or pulled us along to whatever he wanted. The years when the Maitland household was his to do with what he wished. The years when he was the boss and look out if you didn't do what he commanded. Anyone interested in a few things that drove me around the bend?
- I used to have to lie with him at night (until around the age of seven) because he wouldn't go to sleep without anyone with him. We ended up using a sleep technique to break this pattern - I know, it was a bit mean but I was starting to visualize putting a pillow over his head!!!! Better to be cruel than in jail and especially a South African jail!! Besides it took less than a week and we haven't looked back! We then spent another year of him climbing into our bed in the middle of a night - this was not fun because he was generally awake by 4am! Thanks to a lovely girl called Diante he was cured of the bed hopping routine. To this day Nick still wakes incredibly early, anytime from 3.30am! The one and only positive point of his lack of flexible thinking is that he stays in bed until we go to get him up. Yes, I should be encouraging him to think "Oh yay, I am awake, it's time to get up, go to the loo and then wake mum and dad"…… at 3.30am – I don’t think so!! A girl needs her sleep, otherwise life would not be pleasant for all of those around her!!
- The food issue is a killer and this still drives me crazy. Nick eats the same thing day in day out. Now, I am not one to force a child to eat, therefore, I will try and introduce new foods by adding a slight variation to his meal. I tell him about the new food and then place it strategically on top of his spaghetti bolognaise (supper!). Does this tiny little extra bit of something new get eaten - NO! He can find the smallest sliver of the 'new food' and push it to one side. By the way, it took over six months of putting bolognaise sauce on his spaghetti before he started to eat the sauce – he would pull out each individual strand of spaghetti and eat them one by one!! Regardless of Nick’s ‘diet’ he is a very healthy child – must be the lentils and vegetables I sneak into the bolognaise!!! Any wonderful ideas would be gratefully received!
- Dare we talk about toileting! Shock horror, Nick was unable to understand the concept of doing a wee on the loo.......... we eventually began serious toilet training when he was consistently dry at night (oh dear – around the age of 8!). This was not an easy feat. We put him on the loo as soon as we got him up in the morning..... I would then read him a story, run the tap, blah, blah, blah. Ten minutes later Allan would do the same and so on and so forth. Our time limit at sitting him on the loo was one hour! Our patience and persistence paid off and after a week or so he had figured out what to do! I am not going to go into details about the # 2's, only to say that FINALLY a year ago, life as we knew it changed dramatically and I can't tell you how relieved (ecstatic) we are :-)