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Max Diaries: Run Him Like a Lab!

Christina Cox

by Christina Cox, new mom blogger

This week, I took Max to his doctor for his two-year visit. He’s an active boy, so he’s had a few big accidents. He cut his eye from a fall, burned himself after touching a hot oven and loosened a tooth after falling with a toy car in his mouth. The doctor said that despite all those accident Max looks really good and healthy. And, he’s hitting all his milestones. In the doctor’s office, Max showed the doctor what he can do by jumping, kicking and doing a little dance with his hands in the air. He also impressed the doctor by showing how he could string words together and even said a few words in Spanish (I’m so proud).
Then, I asked her about my biggest concern, his sleep issues. Unfortunately, Max still gets up at night. He’s not just waking up wanting a pat on the back. He wants to do the midnight party dance in his crib with ALL his toys. I asked if her there is anything I can do to help him sleep better, because at this point, I am exhausted. And, our second baby hasn’t arrived yet, but is due in December, which is right around the corner. She told me that he should absolutely be sleeping through the night now and that I may need to do some drastic things to get him to sleep better.
She started to give me some options for sleep training, but then stopped mid-sentence, and watched Max as he leafed through a kid book, threw it in the air, then he jumped and hopped all over the room, did a few turns to make himself dizzy and then tried to climb on an itty bitty table. He finally noticed that he was just in his diaper and screamed that he wanted his pants, while taking out all the tissues in a Kleenex box and wrapping a stethoscope around his neck. She turned to me and said, “I see the problem. You need to run him like a lab,” she said. “Twice a day!”
I burst out laughing, but I knew she was right. The other day, I was in the living room changing his diaper, but he wriggled away from me and started running from me. Who doesn’t love a full-blown, hysterically laughing little boy running around the house naked? So, I pretended to chase him and he ran and laughed even harder. When I was tired, I sat down. Not Max. He started running a grand circle around our living room furniture still naked and screamed “I JOGGING” with a big smile. And, he didn’t stop after one lap. I counted ten laps. He even started pumping his arms like runners do and breathing heavier than he needed to. I was giggling right along with him, but I was astonished at his energy.
I see now that my days of hunkering indoors to read a book quietly in the winter or whenever I feel sluggish are pretty much over. Max needs to stretch out his growing limbs and put them into action every day by going to a place he can run and jump with all the abandon he can muster. I suppose I need to run him in the morning after breakfast and then in the afternoon before dinner. Maybe then, he’ll sleep through the night and I will have a chance to fall into a deep, delicious slumber that I have been craving for the last two years. I may still have to consider some serious sleep training for my little man, but I think my best bet might be to do exactly what the doctor says and run him like he’s a big, happy, sloppy, old lab!

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