Tag Archives: Crying

Dummy Diaries

So…if you follow my blog you would have picked up that we are having problems getting Babyice off the dummy (pacifier). He has clung to that thing like there is no tomorrow. We managed pretty well recently with not giving it to him when he is not going to sleep…well…I have managed very well. Every afternoon lately it’s the same story:


‘Daddy, where’s my dummy. I want my dummy.’


‘No, you are not getting your dummy.’


“Daddy, I want my dummy.’



This goes back and forth for a while and eventually Babyice will come strolling into the room, dummy in the mouth, playing with his ear. Every single time. So Rudi doesn’t do too well with the whining and crying. I can deal.


Last night we had epic tantrums. It started with us asking Babyice to pick up his blocks. He moped and sulked and picked up a few…eventually he flat out refused to pick up his blocks. He also stepped on one of the blocks while trying to pick them up and this just gave him more reason to whine and cry. This developed into a full blown tantrum, which led to a troublesome bath time. He then refused to brush his teeth. Oh it’s the end of the world! We tried to get him to pick up his blocks again with more refusals.


The parents picked up the blocks, advising him that he is no longer allowed to play with them and that we would most likely give them to less fortunate children. He had no objection to this. I also told him that he would not have his dummy at all because he was so naughty and did not want to brush his teeth or pick up his blocks. He continued to moan and whine, at which point I decided it was bed time.


I was rather nervous about bed time. He drinks his bottle while I read to him, he hands me his bottle and I hand him his dummy. We pray and then he goes to sleep. I was not sure how this was going to go without the dummy. I was anticipating tantrums of epic proportions and standing outside his door listening to him scream for his dummy. The moment of truth came, he handed me his bottle. We prayed. He asked:


‘Mommy, where is my dummy?’


‘You didn’t pick up your blocks. I can’t give it to you.’





He then promptly turned around and went to sleep. No crying, no screaming and no tantrums. He also slept in his own bed all night. MOST unexpected turn of events!


I told the day mother no more dummies this morning and I have bought him a present from ‘the rabbit’ to say thank you for all the dummies he gave for the crying babies. Previously when he would look for his dummy during the day we used to tell him that the rabbit came to fetch it because the babies were crying. Rabbit would bring the dummy back when it was time to sleep. Hopefully this whole story will wash. I have hidden the dummies from daddy as well to ensure there are no slip ups.


I don’t for a minute think this is the end of it. I have a feeling we will have whining and tantrums for the dummy. We’ll just have to stand strong this time. It can’t take that long. He will be fine. My biggest concern was that he would have trouble falling asleep and evidently that is not a problem for him. Wish us luck!


The potty training has regressed. For the last two days Babyice has suddenly been having accidents. I’m not sure why this is happening. He was accident free for quite a long time. The day mother suspects it might have something to do with me being pregnant. Thoughts?


I was really looking forward to the long weekend. What bliss! Not coming to work for 5 days (I had leave on Thursday)! How amazing. Then it wasn’t.


On Thursday I cleaned like a demon. Sorted the house/washing and everything else out. From there things started to unravel slowly. We went to church on Friday morning. I felt a bit sad in church, but I put this down to missing my Oupa. Church often reminds me of him. After church we went to my aunt and uncle for pickled fish and hot cross buns. I was informed there that they would be coming over to  our house on Sunday. I didn’t really want to. Rudi had planned a get together with his friend on Friday, Saturday we were going to friends of mine and now they wanted to steal my Sunday. I do barely see them though and I feel bad so I said okay. We had Rudi’s friend over for a potjie. He is a nice, respectable guy and it went fine. Sarah also popped over so I had some company. On Saturday we spent the morning lazing in bed, watching movies with Babyice. That was lovely. We then went to Camilla and Dennis for a braai. We had a good time, like we always do, but I felt ill towards the end of the evening and we left. On Sunday everything went downhill. I felt like crying from early in the morning already (again at church). My family came over and I started feeling resentful towards them. Nobody listened to me, nobody even talked to me. I felt like they came to my house because it’s a convenient venue for them and didn’t entail them cleaning up. I missed my grandfather. I realized that he was the one who kept me sane through these family visits. When he was there I would lie on his chest and we would talk. Or not. At one point I thought I would throw something at my aunt because she wouldn’t stop talking about the same thing over and over. After they left I was in tears. Feeling very unloved and angry. On Monday I thought I would feel better, but I felt like crying again for no reason. This eventually led to a fight with Rudi. Rudi stormed off and I was alone. Feeling terrible. Sarah had sent me a message at the tail end of our fight and I decided to go to her, with a bottle of wine. I felt much better (and was slightly drunk) when I left there. Arriving home I walked back into tension and everything went to hell again.


I started wondering. Perhaps the doctor was not wrong about me being depressed. I certainly felt it. I really, really did. Day after day. Not just one off day.


To add to all of this we were potty training over the weekend. Friday went okay and then it was downhill again from there. Babyice started refusing to go to the toilet and we had more accidents than we had success. By Sunday he was refusing to go to the toilet and crying if we put him on saying ‘I’m finished’ and he pointedly asked for his nappy. I felt completely out of my depth. I felt like I was stressing him out and was becoming stressed out in the process. Maybe he isn’t ready. Obviously I wasn’t ready either. We didn’t potty train on Monday at all. I felt like a failure. I spoke to the day mother this morning. I told her what happened and that I didn’t know what to do. She said that he went to the potty this morning by her with no problem. She does use a potty and doesn’t use the extra toilet seat in the toilet. Perhaps we should get him a potty and move to the toilet at a later stage. I didn’t want to get a potty initially because I didn’t want to have to clean it, but after this weekend that isn’t such a big deal. Less stress for all of us. That is the aim now. The day mother said it is no use giving up now. He can express what he wants to do and he does seem to recognize the urges. She feels he is ready. This woman has been looking after children for the past 35 years and potty trained them all (including me!). I trust her judgement. She has continued with the potty training today and I’ve decided to get a potty for him. When I spoke to her just now she actually said she has a spare that I can borrow which she will clean for me. Yay!


Things can only get better. I’ll be making some lifestyle changes to combat how I’m feeling. Onward and upward!

Oupa, I am sad

Quite unexpectedly today has turned out to be a difficult day for me.


Last night I received an e-mail from people that live in the UK that were friends of my grandfather. When I was about 16 my grandfather decided to take me up Table Mountain. He was always taking me on adventurous outings…to expand my horizons, cultivate a love of the outdoors and respect for the beauty of nature in me. While we were at the top of the mountain we ran into a couple of tourists and they asked my grandfather if he would take a photo of them with the view of Cape Town as the backdrop for the photo. My grandfather obliged (he used to love taking snaps himself) and as was his nature, he struck up a conversation with them. They also took a photo of my grandfather and myself and they exchanged addresses. They said they would send us a copy of the photo they took of us.


Lo and behold not long after that we received the picture of ourselves. They also included the photo that my grandfather took of them and a letter! Correspondence continued between them in the years to follow. Sometimes they would call each other and often when a rugby or cricket game was on between England and South Africa they would take a stab at each other and joke about it. They even sent my grandfather a few birthday gifts and he returned the favour. When my grandfather became a *little* more computer savvy they even had a few Skype video chats 🙂 They still send us Christmas cards. My grandfather valued their friendship a lot. I even stayed with them for a few days when I went to England in 2004. They were so friendly and hospitable. Uncle Rod even took me to Stonehenge and paid for me to get in since it was towards the end of my holiday and I was running low on cash.


It was nice to hear from them. This morning I called my grandmother to let her know that they had written and as I tried to read the e-mail to her I broke out in tears. The e-mail read as follows:


Just a quick note to hope you and your family are well and things are getting better for you in Cape Town after what has been a difficult year.

It’s just over a year now since our good friend Jimmy died, time certainly fly’s by and time can be a great healer.

Jean phoned me a few weeks ago with an update of her situation and she said she would write to me when she has settled into her new home. I haven’t heard from her yet but not to worry as I’m sure she has been busy.



I got as far as the words ‘Cape Town’ before I started crying.


He continued saying that he and he wife were off to Australia again soon. They spend the summer in England and when it turns to winter there they jet off to Australia for their summer since some of their children live there. They never have a winter!


I’ve noticed that it seems to be getting harder for me as the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing draws nearer. I think about him often, but as the day creeps up on me it is more prone to bring me to tears. Just the other day I was sitting watching Babyice play and I was filled with regret that my grandfather is not here to see him. My grandfather loved children. He loved their enquiring minds and how they absorbed everything around them. Babyice is at such an adorable age now. He would have enjoyed him so much. I am also certain he would have spoiled him rotten. I watch Babyice ride around on the little black bike my grandfather bought for him before he was even born and I am so sad that he never got to see him ride it.


I really miss him. A lot. I am so sad today. I wish I could pick up the phone and talk to him. I don’t want to say ‘just one more time’, because that wouldn’t be enough.


Jamie’s 3rd birthday is also coming up. I am not sad about it at the moment. I think it is overshadowed by my grandfather’s passing this year. Is that a horrible thing to say? My grandfather’s death had a huge impact on me and I had a lifetime of memories with him to mourn. We’ve planned a braai with Christelle and Deon on Jamie’s birthday. I still intend to bake something like I do every year and I’ll take along the fruits of my labour to the braai. We didn’t make any other specific plans for her birthday and I only realized after we had planned it. Even though the plans were still fresh, I didn’t want to cancel. What better way to celebrate her birthday than to have a good time with friends and for Babyice to have a play date?

Sleep Training – Night 17

Another beautiful night! This is the 4th one in a row!


He tried crying as I was walking out the room again. I think he’ll soon learn I don’t fall for it. He also had a crying spell somewhere in the night that went on for a few minutes, but he settled himself again quite suddenly.


This is awesome! Now if only *I* could sleep! I think I’m going to have to sleep train myself since I think I’ve adapted myself to all this waking-up-like-a-baby nonsense.

Sleep Training – Night 16

High 5! Another perfect night for Babyice! 😀 That’s 3 in a row! Could it be? Is it possible? Has he learnt what I’ve been trying to teach him?


He still takes chances though, the bugger. I was reading him his story while he drank his bottle. I finished the story and he still hadn’t finished drinking. The stories are too long to start reading another one, so I closed the book and waited for him. He had drunk about half when he passed it to me. I gave him his dummy, covered him, kissed him goodnight and put off the light. He sat up and started crying. I just said “Shhh. Doe doe” and continued to walk out. The second I shut the door the crying stopped. Not a peep out of him for the rest of the night, besides the occasional cough. He woke up this morning when Rudi went to fetch him. If I had faltered I think he would have pushed his luck further. Stay strong mommy!


We gave him some Prospan last night for his cough and some Illiadin in his nose to try and stop the post nasal drip that is causing the cough. It really seemed to help. The Prospan is supposed to calm down the coughing fits. I found that he coughed once, twice at most last night, instead of coughing repeatedly for a while. I really think it made a difference. I read the pamphlet and noticed that it is an all natural product. No sugar (it does contain fructose though), no alchohol and it’s non-sedating (not that we would mind a bit of that every now and then :P). It is a bit pricey, but it comes in a fancy bottle that has a pouring spout that prevents crusty, sticky bottle tops and a little measuring cup where the kids can drink the medicine out of. It’s suitable for adults too. Perhaps give it a try when one of you has a cough again 🙂


Two more nights and what was once ‘Mission Impossible’ will be ‘Mission Accomplished’!

Sleep Training – Night 8

Last night we went through our bedtime routine. As I walked away from him he started crying. I sat down for another minute or two with ‘Shhh’ and ‘Doe doe’. He continue to play around and I told him to go to sleep, covered him and walked out. He cried, but not for very long before he passed out.


Around 22:15 he started screaming/crying. A tantrum ensued. When we went to see what was going on (after letting him cry for around 10 minutes) we found him standing behind the door. I picked him up to put him back in bed and  writhing, kicking and screaming followed. I closed his bedroom door as Rudi had already started grumbling when the crying first started. Rudi came to intervene, but he was short and impatient. Upon seeing him Babyice calmed down quite a bit, he took him through to the lounge and tried to get him back to sleep. Eventually I went and took Babyice from him because he was clearly tense (the swearing was a critical clue). I shushed him and got him back to sleep. The process took about 20 minutes.


Around 4:00 this morning we heard him knock his head against the wall. He started crying, but we left him and it didn’t last very long.


Rudi’s words ‘This is taking too long. He is never going to come right.’


Oh ye of little faith. I WILL SUCCEED!

Sleep Training – Night 7

Last night we hit a bit of a wobble at the going to sleep part. I followed the normal process and as soon as he was done messing around with his bottle I handed him his dummy, switched the light off, covered him with the duvet, said good night and walked out. He started crying. I was perfectly happy to leave him there to get over himself, but daddy caved and went in *sigh*. Rudi just sat on the chair next to him for a few minutes until he had settled and left the room while he was still awake. He went to sleep.


When I asked Rudi just now he says he woke up crying about 4 times last night. I only recall the one time though, around 03:20 (I must have been sleeping like the dead!). Rudi rolled over and told me to bring him to bed with us. I nearly smacked him, but told him to just keep quiet and leave him. Of course, he went back to sleep by himself. He woke up this morning around 06:00, which is perfect.


Babyice seems to have gotten the message regarding no more bottles at night. He hasn’t once tried asking for one since he was refused one that first night during his 40 minutes tantrum. If he is thirsty he will tell you so. While he was bathing last night he said ‘Juice’ a few times, so after his bath we helped him drink some water from a cup which he happily drank, before spilling some all over the front of his clothes. Rudi took him to our room and dried his clothes with the hairdryer. Hairdryers are so versatile. You can use them for all sorts of things!


So we’ve been doing the sleep training thing for 7 days now and there are definite signs of improvement. I am really happy about this. I think if we keep persevering for at least the next three weeks (if needed) we can get this regime implemented. The coughing has subsided to a great extent. If we hear his chest is a bit noisy we give him some cough mixture to thin any mucus on his chest, but we find that we don’t have to administer it often. He seems to have a bit of a morning cough (is he smoking on the sly?) and during the day it gets better. I am really glad we haven’t had to resort to using the schedule 5 medication again, but we’ll keep it on standby in case we have serious issues in the future.


All in all we are getting more rest and Babyice is being resented for night after night of broken sleep. This was definitely a good decision to make. I really just need to get Rudi completely on board. He is such a softy. He constantly tells me that Babyice must be crying because he is cold. Babyice doesn’t like being covered and mostly kicks his blankets off at night. This concerns Rudi since we are covered and sometimes even have our electric blanket on and Babyice doesn’t have any blankets over him. My question to him then is, why does he go back to sleep? If he was really cold he would continue to cry, wouldn’t he? We also dress him warmly and sometimes he even sleeps with slippers on. I will dress him even more warmly tonight to ease Rudi’s worries.


Thank you for all the support!

Sleep Training – Night 6

Last night I followed the same process as the previous nights, but I thought I’d try my luck with walking out earlier. He drank his bottle and while he was drinking I read some bible stories to him. He was messing around with his bottle quite a bit (pointing at it, talking to it, etc), so I took stopped reading after I noticed he was just chewing on the teat of the bottle. There was only a small amount of milk left in the bottle, so I offered him his dummy, he willingly handed the bottle to me and I switched the light off. I covered him up with the duvet, said ‘Shhh. Doe doe time, goodnight baba’ and promptly turned around and walked out. He fell asleep on his own with no drama. WOOT! I hope he at least has this part down now. It certainly does save a lot of time and frustration!


Cutie pie

Around 22:00 he woke up crying. I restrained Rudi and told him to leave him. He cried for quite some time, probably around 7 – 10 minutes. Rudi got up and walked into his room. ‘Shhh. Doe doe’ and he went back to sleep. Rudi did not pick him up. He woke up around 00:00 and 02:00 as well, crying, sometimes screaming. We waited it out and both times he soothed himself back to sleep. He woke up again around 05:10 this morning and as it was close to his normal waking time I went to fetch him and brought him back to our bed to drink his bottle (not to go back to sleep!). We discovered that he was wet, he managed to wee through another Huggies Gold nappy! I don’t know how he does it, but our incident rate is lower with the Huggies Gold than the other nappies, so we will continue to use them as a night time nappy.
So, I think we are making progress, especially in the ‘going to sleep’ department. I’m hoping we’ll make headway in the “staying asleep” department. He has a pesky cough at the moment and his chest is starting to sound congested. I know we cannot sleep train him when he is sick, but I think we’ll keep on doing what we’re doing and play it by ear. Hopefully this is just a cough and it will go away soon!

Sleep Training – Nights 4 & 5, Speed Bumps

Friday night was quite an epic fail. The kids had had a birthday party at the day mother that day and Babyice had apparently eaten a lot of ‘kak’ (meaning cake, his own words). He was also coughing quite a bit and I was worried that he might be getting sick. You can’t sleep train when they’re sick and I had already gone through a couple of tough nights and I’m not really up for repeating the process.

I followed the normal procedure and while Babyice was drinking his bottle, messing around quite a bit, he decided it would be a good time to projectile vomit in his bed. He wasn’t coughing when he started vomiting, it just happened. I snatched him out of the bed and put him on the large thick towel I had laid out in preparation for a moment such as this. Shame, the poor baba really brought everything up, I’m sure he reached right into his intestines. Gross, I know.

After all the drama, changing the bedding, bathing Babyice again and drying bedding with the hairdryer, it was time for round two. I gave him another bottle (yes, I was scared he would throw it up too, but couldn’t send him to bed with an empty tummy) and walked out shortly after he had finished it and he went to sleep by himself quite easily.

At about 2:30 he woke up crying. This eventually led to a screaming tantrum. Rudi tried to put him down a number of times and each time the screaming and tantrums would start again. Rudi and I had just had a huge fight, so I thought this punishment was rather apt and let him get on with it. I only just found out that he had gotten into bed with Babyice until he fell asleep. Grrrrr. IDIOT. Anyway, he slept through for the rest of the night until about 06:45.

Saturday night would be a challenge. We had planned a braai with some old friends for the afternoon. For some reason Babyice refused to nap the entire day. I tried putting him down a few times and walking out, but he just got out of bed and fiddled with the door every time, until it was time for us to go. By 15:30 he had still not slept (he usually naps from 10:30/11:00) and someone at the braai needed to go to the shop and I offered to drive so that he might fall asleep in the car. He actually did sleep in the car for around 25 – 30 minutes, but as soon as I took him out to put him down he woke up and it was tickets. He also did not eat lunch (he refused) and had very little to eat for dinner.

Our hosts allowed us to bath Babyice there with their kids and we made him one of their formula bottles. We hadn’t prepared for staying past bath time and for some reason Rudi brought everything except formula back when he went to fetch what we needed. Babyice completely refused the bottle and was throwing tantrums and asked for daddy. I called daddy inside and Babyice fell asleep in his arms within minutes. We put him down on their bed and carried on with the evening.

A few hours later we had eaten, the women were sleeping on the couches and the men continued to drink outside. I think they even made a trip to a pub at some point. The men eventually came inside to eat and as they finished up Babyice started crying (just before midnight). We left him for quite some time. We decided to seize the opportunity to leave since we wouldn’t have to wake him up again should we let him fall asleep again and leave after. I was a bit confused as to whether or not to give him a bottle since he had eaten very poorly during the day and had not had one before bed. He didn’t ask for one and by the time we got home he was fast asleep again. He slept through until this morning around 06:50.

So we hit some speed bumps this weekend, but it’s Sunday evening and we’re back to normal. Babyice’s coughing seems to have subsided (not stopped) and no other signs of illness so far for the rest of the weekend. We assume the throwing up on Friday had to do with all the ‘kak’ he ate at the birthday party.

Here we go again…

P.S. Babyice was on the floor this morning and at our friend’s house when we went in to fetch him. Not sure whether he prefers sleeping there or what.

Sleep Training – Night 3

I went to Pilates last night and when I got home Rudi was sitting with Babyice in his room while he drank his bottle. I still needed to shower and wash my hair and it was already getting late, so I left Rudi to it while I did that.  When I was done Babyice was still not asleep and Rudi also wanted to shower, so I took over. When Rudi had walked out of the room and closed the door earlier Babyice had cried, so he had gone back in while I got dressed.

I sat there for a short while, maybe 10 minutes. I had to tell him to lie down a few times and he would talk to me and I would either ignore him or tell him to ‘Shhh’.  He then stood up for what must have been the third time. I put him down and covered him with his duvet and said ‘Shhh. It’s doe doe time’ and promptly turned around, walked out and closed the door. We heard him stirring a little and he said a few words, but he did not cry and about 10 minutes later when we went to check on him he was fast asleep. We covered him up and walked away.


About 30 minutes later he woke up crying. We left him for a while, but he continued to cry. Rudi went into the room and did not pick him up. He just patted him and comforted him with some ‘Shhh’ until he had calmed down again. He left the room and 30 seconds later the crying started again. Rudi returned and repeated the exercise.


This morning at about 03:00 he started crying again. I waited it out for a while, but he wouldn’t stop. I went to his room and patted him saying ‘Shhh’. He seemed to calm. His head was facing towards the foot of the bed though (where it might be easier for him to fall off since the bumper doesn’t cover the foot of the bed) and he was lying on top of the duvet, so I could not cover him. I turned him around, put his head on his pillow and he cried again. ‘Shhh, doe doe’.  I got up and he turned around, looked at me and started crying again. ‘Shhh. Doe doe’. I then waited, sitting on the foot of the bed until it sounded like he was asleep (deep, rythmic breathing). I got up quietly and left the room. He started crying again, but I did not return. The whole exercise took about 20 minutes. He continued being restless and moaning/crying for a little while, but I left him and did not go back to his room.  He had another restless spell after 4:00, but I did not get up and he settled himself down again. He then slept until we woke him up after 06:00 to leave for work.


I really feel like we are making progress, even though things are not perfect yet. He did not once ask for a bottle or juice. He did not scream or throw tantrums at all. Also, he was completely awake when I walked out of his room when I was putting him to sleep and he went to sleep by himself. I think he is getting the message. I hope he is getting the message.


When he woke up around 03:00, Rudi said I should bring him to bed, but I declined. Just goes to show that he obviously doesn’t get it yet and that I definitely cannot trust him to wake up for Babyice at the moment. Usually I would be irritated and grumpy when Babyice wakes up repeatedly, but while doing this sleep training I don’t mind getting up at all. I think it is because I know that what I am doing is going to make a change and yield invaluable results, instead of being just another time I have to get up.


Babyice is a clever chap. I think this is going to turn out very well 🙂

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