Mo-fo floorboards & 4 a.m. awakenings!
He turns 2 in December. We're older than that and feeling it.
He went down late - maybe 9:15 p.m. 7 hours later to the minute, he's CRYING - suddenly? Did we sleep through quiet pleas? He wants UUUUP! WTF? RU serious? It's Dadda's night "on duty" so I clench my jaw, tense my muscles and pretend to sleep.
"What's the matter, K?" Dadda asks our son. Go to sleep. Sh-sh-sh-sh-sh. Sleep, K. It's too early to get up."
"MOMMMMY! Get UP, please." He knows that "please" melts my heart, doesn't he?! That wiley little... "You're using your manners! Ok, Mommy will do anything for you NOW!"
I restrained myself from getting up and tensed some more muscles that, somehow, hadn't yet followed suit w/ the rest of my jaw and neck.
"I'm going to the bathroom. I'll be right back," hubby says to me. Now I know K. will shriek b/c Daddy's leaving him? Is he going inside? I want that! K. stands up in protest and I dart up in bed, leaning over to speak in soothing tones.
He and I play the game of wills and tactics. "Go to sleep. Mommy's sleeping. Sh, K., people are sleeping. No yelling," turns to a sharp, "GO TO SLEEP! NO YELLING!" It's hard saying that in hushed tones, but I do.
He goes from high, irritating decibels to soothing, dulcet tones. "Mommy? Mommy? Up, please. Mommy? Mommy? Orange Juice, please." He even said that his diaper was open. Dadda went to look. It was not. Sigh.
"It's 4:15," hubby replies when I ask. Maybe it's actually the time we wake up during the week and his body clock's telling him to get up, I had thought. But, uh, NO, we don't get up at 4:15 a.m. weekdays. It's the middle of the effing, heavy night.
To his credit, K was drenched in sweat, which I realized as I touched his neck when Dadda went to pee, momentarily abandoning us. (Nature calls, I get it. I've had to do the same.) So, I rose, speaking softly to K., explaining that I was taking off his pajamas. I then went to get the organic corn starch that we use as powder, and caressed his neck, back and arms with it, knowing he'd be more comfortable and, probably, asleep, by the time I finished w/ my lulling massage.
I stood up, finished, knowing that I didn't have to lean over his crib and over his still body any longer. I stood there for at least a full minute, expecting K. to look up for me, as he does...to be vocal or physical and keep me hostage, but there was silence. Hubby had turned on the A/C for our comfort. White noise usually puts K. to sleep, as well. "Don't put it up too high, b/c now he's only in his diaper. I just took off his pj's," I had told hubby.
Seeing K. still, I moved one foot forward, towards the bed. CREAK! I froze. No movement or sound came from the crib. I leaned even more towards the bed. CREAK! MOAN. Shut the fuck up, you old wooden slabs. Don't encourage him!
Stillness prevailed. Whoa. Had my fancy finger work entranced him back to sleepy land or was it the constant hum of the A/C? Who cared? Go back to bed, woman!
Hiking one leg up and then over my husband, trying to balance w/ corn starch powder in one hand, I manage to make it over the hump and silently placed the powder on my night table. As I lay me down to sleep..."MOMMY! UP!"
Damn these floorboards. Damn these balmy September nights! Why didn't the "cry it out" method work for us? We waited and waited until he was at an age when he could be reasoned with. "It's time for bed. People are sleeping. Where does K. sleep?"
"In crib." Right! If he cried at 1.5 years, we knew it wasn't b/c he had a poopy diaper or a fever or was uncomfortable but just couldn't TELL us. He could communicate now and he could understand, so we made our baby cry at night when he had to sleep, but wasn't, and it was closing in on 9:30 and then 10 p.m. and we'd HAD it. "Let's try the cry it out method now. It won't be as seemingly cruel as when he's 2 mos. old and helpless."
It seemed to work by the 2nd night, but it was a facade. A big, black lie of silence that was followed the 3rd night with more tears and sheer will from him to stay awake unless we caressed him or stayed near him or did handstands and juggled balls or...
I put the corn starch powder down and we both let him cry. "All he wants is attention. He keeps asking for you but he's not listening to either one of us," offered hubby, through whispers that were barely audible beneath the baby's din. "He just wants you to pick him up."
I had aleady told hubby to not put him into the bed b/c we'd be going back n' forth (one night yes, one night no? That's inconsistent and confusing messaging we'd be sending to K.) so we let him cry. His ideas for getting us to do his bidding ran the gamut . "I'll yell; I'll speak w/ my sweetest wittle baby voice; I'll pretend to have fallen back asleep and, as soon as one of them turns over in bed, I'll shriek again!"
At 5:30, I knew I wasn't falling back to sleep again even though everyone was silent now. The lullabies CD he falls asleep to was still playing (one of my tactics made me press the PLAY button) but it wasn't lulling me so I got up, sat at this computer desk and figuratively ran to BlogHer. It's 6:16. It's Saturday. He turns 2 in December.
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By Kathy Benson