i’m so tired

yesterday, i had the pleasure of sitting beside two mothers, both with babies. one was armed with weisbluth’s healthy sleep habits, happy child. the two began to talk about sleep training. i began to smile, thinking about the joys of sleep training (or lack thereof) my kids.

in order to fully prepare yourself for sleep training, you ought to first start by watching a 72-hour marathon of something truly awful, never once allowing yourself to rest. (i recommend something like saved by the bell. or caillou. or, perhaps, jerry springer?) intermittently, you need to start a painful discussion with your partner every six hours or so, just so that you can get yourself swirled into an emotional fever pitch. fight about money? your in-laws? your politics? his wandering eye? whatever gets you truly exhausted and exasperated — that’s your topic. also, whack yourself in the head a few times. sporadically, of course, and not enough to cause brain damage. maybe you shouldn’t eat much, either, during this time.

once you’ve completed torture time, get ready to rumble.

seriously, i thought i was going to lose my mind when BC was a baby. nevermind that she had reflux, was colicky, did not gain weight well, and was often sick. she never. ever. slept. my mother would try to make me feel better: she’s always awake because she’s so smart — she’s curious about the world. [note to self: must remember this line when BC’s first child never sleeps.] but all the books i read said that a child naps a certain number of hours, a child goes to bed for certain hours.

BC never did either.

i would start the nightly walk with BC once the colic started. i sang the entire Beatles repertoire, i sang plenty of the crosby, stills, nash catalog, and of course, i sang her nightly bedtime song:

sometimes, i’d get tricky and sing it this way:

the girl loved my singing, but she’d never settle down to sleep. i’d rock her, she’d nap, i’d put her down, she’d wake up screaming. i had to feed her every time she wanted food — she was a poor weight gainer, so i was shoving a bottle at her every time i could, all hours, all the time. it was a dance that led her to poor sleep habits for awhile and led me to a horrific case of shingles.

girlfriend didn’t have a full night of sleep until she was 18 months old.

when jools started down that path, there was no way on Dog’s Green Earth we were reliving that fun. see, i am from the rock the child to sleep attachment parenting front but my husband is from the shut the door and let him scream until next tuesday front. (not to be confused with those women from venus and men from mars fronts.) in short, we could not agree.

there was a time when i’d laugh at the idea of paying for someone to help you learn parenting skills. i laugh no more. the woman who saved our sleep, our marriage, our sanity, cost us very little compared to what she gave us: she got BS and me on the same page about sleep training (read: gentle ferberization), and she got jools sleeping perfectly in no time. she gave us a plan; we followed it. and. it. worked.

i have friends who are serious attachment parenting people; and if that works for them, i am happy. live and let live. i think different kids have different temperaments, and so what works for one child may not work for them all. for me? well, i was always afraid i would roll over on a baby if i co-slept. i was that tired. and the funny thing that i notice about some of my friends who let the kids sleep in their rooms — they have a hell of a time getting their kids out of their bedrooms and into their own rooms later on.

so now, our sleep is interrupted more by other things: sick kids, kids who fear the impending death of their mother, angst. but we turn on our nighttime music, cuddle up with whatever (or whoever) is near, and attempt to re-enter that magical realm of morpheus.

so, as i listened to the mothers — one, a mother of a three-month old, and the other, a mother of a toddler and a newborn — talk about sleep theories, i chuckled to myself.

been there. done that. and ain’t going back.

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2 Responses to “i’m so tired”

  1. Just a quick note here to add to sleep-observations on co-sleeping: we co-slept with Rosie for her first six months (or more, it’s a little fuzzy) and she’s been the best, conking the night out solid in her own bed for the past three years; we did NOT co-sleep with Dash, but darn it, now that he’s in a big-boy bed, he’s scampering over to climb in with us every. freaking. night.

    I hope you get some solid sleep soon. If only we all could sleep like Rosie is now! (don’t jinx it!)

  2. Oh my good NESS I too would not go back and the Sleep Lady was worth every penny. !!

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