Instructions for doing the Mom-1o1 Happy Dance:
1) Jump up and down.
2) Spin around in a circle.
3) Do a lame shoulder wiggly thing, circa Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo
4) Sing, “I got my rooooom back, I got my rooooom back…”
5) Lower your singing to a whisper, “I got my rooooom back, I got my rooooom back…” because the baby? Yeah, she’s uh…whatsitcalled, um… SHE’S SLEEEEEEPIIIIIIING!
Dr. Weissbluth, I am your new best friend. I am constructing an altar to you in our bedroom, right now, right at the very spot on the floor where the baby fell out of bed six times.
At the center of said altar will be your book, Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (Just $9.72 and qualifies for free super-saver shipping at Amazon.com). Surrounding your tome will be photos of my smiling, delightful, well-rested baby; a tube of Chanel undereye concealer that I no longer need; the label from the bottle of wine that got me through three (just three!) nights of crying; and a small container of personal lubricant in honor of the Tempurpedic’s return to its rightful role as a place where naughty things happen during the night. Naughty things that, in case you couldn’t guess, don’t include being kicked in the head by a horizontally sleeping baby.
Plus, a running list of the due dates of every pregnant woman I know so I can send her a copy of your book. And some rose petals. Just because that seems kind of like an altary thing.
I don’t think sleep training is for everyone. It wasn’t even for us for a whole year. So I’m not going to judge those who make other choices–despite some of the less than supportive ways (ahem) that some of them felt free to judge me. And I’m not going to push people into parenting choices they don’t feel comfortable with. I’ve always been of the Do What You Gotta Do school of parenting.
But let me just say this for those people considering letting their sleepless, overtired baby cry for few nights with the hopes of teaching him that he does in fact possess the ability to sleep.
As previous posts of mine have indicated, I’m the last mother who would have thought it possible. I thought Thalia was some magic special child who could see fairies and unicorns and elves, and who just didn’t need as much sleep as the other kids. Five or six hours a night, interrupted? That’s cool. No naps? No problem. I mean, she smiles a lot so she must be doing fine.
But now? Thalia still smiles non-stop, but it’s now a bright, focused smile; not the manic smile of a crazed, sleep-deprived little monkey. She’s even. She’s rested. She’s not traumatized, I’m not traumatized. She’s even napping twice a day (which is one to two more times than previously), and not in the car, on a swing, or on her daddy.
Go figure, those fancypants sleep experts actually do possess some level of expertise in the matter.