He attacks, under cover of darkness.
He is ruthless…and toothless.
He is a screaming, flailing, drooling, seventeen-pound TYRANT.
And, sadly, he’s my “kin.”
My grandson has been terrorizing his parents for four months.
And I’ve watched my Darling DIL stumble down the stairs, weak and hollow-eyed, after a night of hourly interruptions that include (but are not limited to)
feeding, rocking, walking, burping, changing, temperature-taking,
Tylenol, DEFCON 5 screaming, Gripe Water, prayers, tears,
and a few stolen moments of half-sleep for all parties concerned.
PEOPLE, TEACHING A BABY TO SLEEP IS NOT FOR SISSIES!
And don’t be misled by the stories about THAT MOM who manages to get it done.
There is always THAT MOM whose little angel just naturally starts sleeping through the night…at three weeks.
And there’s THAT MOM who calmly lets her sleep-defying hellion to “cry it out.”
Then, there is THAT MOM who allows her little Tyrant to share her bed,
and to feed-on-demand…until he/she leaves for college.
And, finally, there are ALL THE OTHER MOMS who stumble through
their little Tyrant’s first year, trying, failing, doubling-back,
and then trying something else…
…until their little Tyrant finally, maybe,
capitulates to a full night’s sleep.
Dear darling girls, Modah has been ALL of these moms,
having been BESIEGED by FOUR of my own little Tyrants.
I nursed my FIRST little Tyrant “on demand,” until he was almost two (which meant neither of us slept through the night until he was almost two).
And I ended up crying way more then he ever did.
Out of desperation I forced my SECOND little Tryant to “cry it out” at three months,
so I could potty-train his brother,
and therefore avoid even more crying (on my part).
With my THIRD little Tyrant, I half-assed myself a version
of what they now call “bedtime fading,”
or also sometimes called, “gradual extinction,”
(which btw IS A HORRRIBLE NAME FOR AN INFANT SLEEP TRAINING METHOD).
I made little Tyrant #3 wait for longer and longer intervals between feedings,
while intermittently patting/reassuring/praying-over his hollering little self,
without actually picking him up.
And sometime between “three” and “five months,” he finally got the memo.
As for my FOURTH little Tyrant,
I don’t remember what method I used to get him to sleep.
All I remember is that he spent most of his first year,
either in a car seat, teething on drive-thru fries,
or in a pack’n’play at his brothers’ hockey practices.
He must’ve slept through the night at some point…
Anyhow, to sum up, young mothers,
here’s some of Modah’s “ex-reclina” wisdom for you:
Truth #1 = All babies are different.
Truth #2 = All moms are different.
Truth #3 = Your circumstances will change drastically with the birth of each child.
Truth #4 = There is NO “ONE FRIKKIN’ WAY” to get your little Tyrant to sleep!
And if Modah’s wisdom isn’t enough for you,
here’s some semi-scholarly evidence to support my views.
The Huffington Post recently published
You may take comfort that here is now empirical proof
that your little Tyrant’s adult therapy bills
won’t be any higher than his peers.
So, dear, darling momma-of-an-infant,
DO-WHAT-YOU-GOTTA-DO TO GET THAT KID TO SLEEP!
Because, if your heart’s in the right place,
you’re both gonna turn out fine.