Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gaseous dillemas...

I'm grumpy and tired. The only difference between a zombie and me today is that my bleary eyes are hands down more unfocused than any of those undead vermin hordes! The moan and lumbering gait are sadly identical (the slow moving walking-dead ones. Not the  terrifying fast World -war Z zombies.. they scare the living crap out me, by the way).

What brought this on Mom-dent dearest, you ask with concern?.. Well..  The little prince was a colicky baby. One month became 6 which became a year and then he was (is)  diagnosed as being lactose sensitive. What this all boils down to is that I can count the number of times sweet Hubs and I have had an uninterrupted and entire night of sleep. Now that I think about it, the majority of THOSE happen to be the nights the little prince is at glorious granny's. After such a long time you would imagine I am used to it and we do just fine, mostly. But we are having a particularly bad 2 week phase and the lousy weather is not doing us any favors either!

But yesterday there was a glimmer of hope! While I'm trying to calm the shrieking beast, I was like "wait a minute!! I AM MOM-DENT (seriously, no jokes!). I need to out-science this kid! Confused? let me explain.  There is this article that has been on my radar for a while now (but for the life of me, I cannot remember where I read it or who wrote it!) which categorized the frenzied, hysterical night awakenings as a 'Limbic storm'. Something sets them off ( in the little prince's case, its almost always painful gas, poor baby) and then every thing cascades into a shit storm of kicking hands and legs and bawling for hours. The article very dispassionately talked about two approaches. You can either 'talk' to them in a louder voice (done that!) or try what they labeled as  a 're-orientation of the senses' .

However what they neglect to mention is how easy approach 1 is. And how lack of sleep compounded by a volley of kicks and slaps on various parts of your body can result in a seething, hot, blinding rage where both of us are yelling and crying at the top of our voices (mommy Limbic storm???) .

According to them,  approach one, when done correctly,  that is, you as a rational adult increase the 'treble' in your voice and force the child to listen, all the whole not really getting angry and frustrated,  can work (100% success ratio!). What they don't talk about is the overwhelming guilt that you feel after you have screamed your little guy into submission. It kills me every time.

Which brings me to option number 2 ( the 'better' choice).  The Limbic storm is a cascade of emotions flooding the area of the brain responsible for emotional recognition; the Amygdala and no amount of rational reasoning seems to penetrate that fog (you think!?!). So in theory, you have to bring them out of that state by either (1) shouting louder than them and forcing them to focus, or (2) tap them repeated and rhythmically on a body part to re-orient their attention. I have tried it in the past but never truly committed to it because frankly, giving him a bottle of milk is so much easier at 3.00 am.  But yesterday I was ready to lock, engage and load. So I  dove right it and after 10 minutes of tapping there was complete and utter calm. Victory is mine, bitches!

Holy shit! it worked. There I was feeling so proud of my self until there was another mini meltdown because mama "moved" legs!! Oye ve! Thankfully that was resolved quickly (phewww.!!!). However, the little rascal wised up to the gig and would not let me tap-tap him on the back any more! Next time it's the legs!!!

So over all, 1 for science (and moms!) and 0 for pain in the tukas gas! New weapon in Mommy arsenal of solutions.. It works people. It works.