The Wisdom of Modah

So Many Opinions. So Little Time.

Sleep Training AIN’T FOR SISSIES!

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.


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,”


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

an article that reports that just about all “popular sleep training methods are safe.

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,


Because, if your heart’s in the right place,

you’re both gonna turn out fine.



  1. Being that I’m the mom of the first little tyrant mentioned, all I can say is, THANK YOU for your words…they somehow make me laugh, cry and take a comforting breath all at the same time. XO

  2. At 17 with a colicky KayleeRoo, I’m not entirely sure how I did it. I remember walking around her room…..A LOT. It was the only thing that calmed her. She eventually slept through the night, because lets face it, the kid still loves her sleep. 😉 I promise one thing, this WILL pass. Hang in there, my friend.

  3. I love this! Both my children were totally different and eventually something worked. But it wasn’t easy. Thanks for lightening the load on a difficult life transition.

    • jackedgrandma

      September 28, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Oh Shari, thanks for the praise. Old girls like me should DEFINITELY make time to lift the souls of those sweet young moms who come after us.

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