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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Tue May 10, 2016 at 01:40:32 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Me (all tags)
Reading: "Dictator". Me. Link.


What I'm Reading
Dictator by Robert Harris. Final volume in the trilogy that began with Imperium and Lustrum, a fictionalized biography of the life of Cicero from the point of view of his slave Tiro. Robert Harris started as a political journalist and then became a thriller writer: this is definitely Cicero's life as a political thriller.

Was a bit disappointed by the first half of this volume. As I worried at the start it's a bit depressing and covers the familiar events of the Roman Revolution. It doesn't help that Cicero is isolated from events, and Harris isn't very interested in Cicero's philosophy, which Tiro doesn't seem to understand very well.

In the second half though, the book surges into life as Cicero once again tries to deploy his rhetorical and political skills in defence of the Republic. There are plausible portraits of Julius Caesar and Octavian. Harris is good on the tragedy of Cicero siding with Octavian believing that that the mere youth can be used to restore the Republic and then discarded; when in fact he would finally end it.

I did wish that maybe something could be done with the timeline along the lines of "The Night Watch", with flashbacks or a reverse order so that we could end with Cicero in the era of his great triumphs.

Overall though, brings the trilogy to a great conclusion.

Review, review, review. Interview: "One has a choice with the Romans. A novel can either be readable and inauthentic, or authentic and unreadable."

Me
Again really struggling with the toddler. We had problems getting him to sleep before, but after a couple of weeks of agony we finally got him to accept an already-late 8:30PM bedtime. In the last couple of weeks though he's refusing to accept even that. He's constantly trying to get up, jump around, throw all the bedding and toys out, demanding nappy changes. Pretty much every night I spend 8:30 to 9:30PM crouched by his bed frantically trying to restrain him and get him to sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. Last time it was hard but it worked. This time though I think he's having too much success at staying up for it to work.

Putting him to bed later doesn't help: tried going into the routine at 9:30 instead of 8:30, and sure enough he just did the same thing till 10:30.

It's absolutely driving me insane. To get my work and chores done, and be ready to get him dressed when he wakes, I usually need to get up around 5:30AM, we're busy at work and I'm constantly falling behind. I feel like I'm frantically busy almost all day, seven days a week, with no prospect of an end.

There are lots of people at work with young children, and I'm just so envious of their normal lives. They just put their kids to bed at 7:30PM and watch the football or a movie, they talk about all the box sets they're going through.

Also managed to lose my phone on the train on Sunday. (Took toddler to Hampstead Heath, he managed to climb Parliament Hill by himself). The TFL Lost Property office warns it may take a week even if something has been handed in, so I don't want to rush out and buy a new one. So that's a drag too. Considering getting a Kindle or cheap tablet or something.

Link
Articles. Parts 1, 2 of a scathing review of Niall Ferguson on Kissinger.

< News at Anonimouse | On the road again >
You're like a German parakeet | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)
Ours is the same by R343L (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue May 10, 2016 at 01:48:24 AM EST
We've never really gotten her to reliably go to bed in her own bed. We're trying now and it's an epic struggle. So much delaying tactics. :(

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
So good to know by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue May 10, 2016 at 02:16:12 AM EST
We're not the only ones.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
How old is Toddler now? 3? by darkbrown (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue May 10, 2016 at 05:05:05 AM EST
If you're looking for light at the end of the tunnel, Version 1 (5) behaves like this because she didn't like being left alone, but since she started school last year she's so tired that she's often asleep 5 minutes after you lay her down. We used to aim to have her in bed by 7 and would maybe be out at 8 on average, now we're putting her to bed by 645 some days, and out of her room by 7. So you do get some evening back.

If you're looking to see someone else with it not perfect, last night she came in about 11pm, had to be put back to bed, got up to go the toilet had to be put back, came in for something else, had to be put back. Version 2 (1.25) managed to sleep until about 2am, then he came in with us because I can't stay up all night playing the go to sleep wake up game, he stays asleep if he's with us, then V1 came in, then v2 woke up about 530am and I got up with him before he woke up V1.

Before they're 5, maybe 4, they're still under the care of the health visitors. One of the ones my wife liked came around to have a chat about helping with getting V1 to sleep, she talked about what worked for Hulver, but I don't think I could cope with the screaming, and she offered other advice about getting her to sleep, it was quite helpful talking it through with her, because it helped organised our thoughts, when we were too tired to think straight for ourselves.

Good Luck

ps. I'm convinced that many people who tell you about their babies/children sleeping perfectly are either lying or are inventing their own legend and believing it.

[ Parent ]
2 years and a few months by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue May 10, 2016 at 11:03:46 PM EST

--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Same page by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue May 10, 2016 at 02:25:42 AM EST
At 18 months, she was an absolute breeze. Nowadays, not so much.

The only thing that "works" is playing white noise loudly + me lying next to her for ~45-60 minutes, getting grumpy if she starts throwing stuff around and giving it all that shit.

FWIW, it makes no difference what time we put her to sleep; she's always up at dawn. Because of this, I put her to bed at 715ish, and that way we can enjoy something of the evening.



A bit of unsolicited advice by hulver (4.00 / 10) #4 Tue May 10, 2016 at 04:00:02 AM EST
What toddlers want is attention. Any attention. By staying with him trying to get him to sleep, you're giving him attention. If he plays up, he gets more of it.

Don't shout, don't beg, don't lie next to him in bed praying for him to go to sleep.

Make a routine. 7pm, get ready for bed. He must brush teeth, wash, get changed etc. Don't shout. Just tell him what needs doing in a neutral tone of voice. If he starts begging, bargining etc, just say. "It's time for bed, come and do x".

Then put him in bed, read a story (always good to have a story), lights out, leave.

He will get up I'm sure, scream and shout. Just ignore him.

If he gets up, again, neutral voice. "Time for bed", and take him back to bed, put him there, and leave.

Just keep doing it.

If he soils a nappy, then change it, again, neutral voice, then back to bed and leave.

It's bloody hard work. You will feel like you're losing your mind. You will just want the noise to stop.

It will. Just ignore him.

Don't give him the attention he wants, always neutral.

This might take weeks, but it does work.

Worked for me.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

^ This by anonimouse (4.00 / 2) #6 Tue May 10, 2016 at 06:35:29 AM EST
Ignoring them is excellent advice. You will almost certainly have a few weeks where child tries to bring the house down in response to the change of tactics. Don't yield. 

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Yes by hulver (4.00 / 8) #7 Tue May 10, 2016 at 07:34:45 AM EST
And both parents have to do the same thing, otherwise you end up with Anarchy.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
Yeah by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #9 Tue May 10, 2016 at 09:11:22 AM EST
Pretty much the only thing that works.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 3) #16 Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:04:19 PM EST
Two difficult-ish evenings, yet she's been asleep by 2030 each time, and without getting out of bed too often.

Well, not even that difficult to be fair - no screaming/shouting, just constantly getting out of bed.

I'm sure she's saving it up.



[ Parent ]
^This, and perhaps a bit less mental stimulation by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #17 Wed May 11, 2016 at 11:56:37 PM EST
after the evening meal.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
we did a bath every night before bed, dirty or not by clover kicker (4.00 / 2) #18 Thu May 12, 2016 at 03:30:10 PM EST
Warm water is relaxing and it becomes a routine part of winding down the day.

[ Parent ]
Fascinating update by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 2) #19 Thu May 12, 2016 at 06:03:22 PM EST
Asleep by 20:00, albeit with a frankly impressive display of how to throw a proper shitstorm for the preceding 30 minutes.



[ Parent ]
No one can throw a shitstorm like a small child by hulver (4.00 / 2) #20 Fri May 13, 2016 at 05:04:49 AM EST
It does get better, honestly. When they don't get attention for it they do give up.

Some are a lot more persistent than others though :)
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Hah, "persistent" by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 1) #21 Fri May 13, 2016 at 11:50:46 AM EST
The carers at her preschool have described her as a natural born leader. I still don't know how she does it... she just decides she wants to do something, and all the other kids just go along with it.

I'm trying to figure out if she's deeply smart, or just deeply, deeply stupid. Kinda like that Chris Morris sketch, sending truly stupid people to fight your parking tickets, because these people fundamentally don't understand that they've lost the argument.

Phew. Let's see what tonight brings. Thanks again for your advice, I'll keep with it for the next few weeks at least :)



[ Parent ]
feel like I'm frantically busy almost all day by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue May 10, 2016 at 08:49:56 AM EST
parenthood is exhausting, and I suspect a lot of those parents who can get their kids in bed by 7 and enjoy a relaxing evening watching footie are not being totally truthful.

Eventually it gets better, or at least different.


This won't be helpful by Herring (4.00 / 2) #10 Tue May 10, 2016 at 03:03:23 PM EST
But we have been beyond lucky with the boy.

He's 16 and isn't even drinking or taking drugs yet. I haven't looked at his browser history mind.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

hell by bobdole (4.00 / 7) #11 Tue May 10, 2016 at 03:16:15 PM EST
two out of three ain't bad, even if the browser history is filled with power ballads and Thatcher-fanfics.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
OK, Now you have made me determined by Herring (4.00 / 2) #12 Tue May 10, 2016 at 03:17:34 PM EST
never to investigate his internet activity.

Shudder.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
#Cause I'm your old laaaaaaaddyy!# by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue May 10, 2016 at 06:44:13 PM EST


[ Parent ]
The lips of Marilyn Monroe by marvin (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue May 10, 2016 at 09:21:15 PM EST
And the eyes of Caligula.

Rawr.

[ Parent ]
Really nice feedback here by imrdkl (4.00 / 1) #22 Sun May 15, 2016 at 02:57:41 PM EST
I was going through the toddler phase with my two boys back when we first became acquainted.  The advice and concern shown here is really touching - you're fortunate.

I don't think I could add much, the only thing I might say of use is that, while the days are long, the time is short.   Treasure it if you can, but either way, you'll miss it in the end.




You're like a German parakeet | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)