Monday, February 25, 2013

Who DOES that?

Sleep training.

Have you ever heard of this? 

Supposedly there are many methods, as with anything in parenting, but it's essentially how to put and keep your child asleep.  When you read about all the methods, they start out by saying (under the heading of a picture of a beautiful mother with a sleeping baby) "Make sure that you are fully rested before trying sleeping training, as with any new parenting endeavors."

Bull.  Cocky. 

The reason why you're sleep training in the first place is because your child isn't sleeping.  It's because you're at your wits end.  It's because you're more tired than you were in college during finals week.  It's NOT because you have just had such a good go of things with night time rituals so far that you want to spice things up a bit.

Many people swear by the "cry it out" method, or the C-I-O approach.  This essentially means every few minutes you go back in and verbally reassure your child that you are here and everything is fine.  So you may start with a three minute interval- let them cry- then go in a reassure them.  Then five minute intervals.  Then 7 minute get where I'm going with this?

Many people, including myself, think this is cruel and unusual punishment for both parent and child.  And when you want your baby to sleep, and you want yourself to sleep, you use the, "Do- whatever- the- heck- it- takes- to- get- this- kid- to- stop- crying- so- everyone- can- rest- and- your- husband- won't- throw- pillows" method.  This is the method I use.  I frankly think the C-I-O method is cruel and unusual.  Your baby is crying because something is wrong- because there is a need of theirs that you're not meeting.

I spend so little time with Liam.  I give him to my mom first thing in the morning- she bathes him, clothes him, feeds him, naps him.  I pick him up at either 5 or 6 (depending if it's gym day or not) and then I teach violin, do my chores, and then he goes to bed.  Well.  He's supposed to.  So for those who are keeping score, that's 4-5 waking hours a day, out of a 24 hour period, that I've got my son.  And even then he doesn't have my full attention- mommy after all is busy.  Weekends are no longer sacred time anymore either, now that I've started painting again.  But when you're constantly chasing after that almighty dollar, so your husband will stop complaining about having no money...there's not much of a choice.

So pardon me when some well meaning other mommy tells me that my child is now training ME, and I need to just let him cry until he pukes, pardon me if I feel like punching other mommy in the face.  No.  I'm not going to let him cry until he pukes.  As it is, when I have tried the C-I-O method (Which I have) I've come in to find him puffy and gagging and snotty and when I pick him up, he clings to me like a life preserver in a big open sea.  I made it to 45 minutes the other night.  I went downstairs in the kitchen so I couldn't hear him.  I gave up at the point where he stopped crying because he also stopped breathing.

It's not for me.  Maybe other mommys can do it, but this mommy can't.  This past weekend he didn't want anything.  He didn't want me, he didn't want his toys, TV (yes I tried TV, so sue me), bottle, nothing.  So I bathed him (you guessed it!  Didn't want that either!) I got in the tub with him to wash him up.  I dressed him to prepare him for church.  He was fed, clean, dressed.  And just as I was curling my hair and doing my makeup, I turn around to see this:

I gently tucked him in with his daddy and went about my business.  A cappuccino cleared the fog, and a little later in the day we took a nap together, and he was fine.
At this time, I'm going to go get my Baby Bug, and I'm going to go home.  I've cleared off my calendar for the evening and we're going to relax.  And I'm going to rock my son to sleep tonight.  Hold your gasps.