I am the Weakest Part of a Sword

Posted on | June 23, 2010 | 19 Comments

My child may never sleep on his own.

If you read my blog yesterday, you know that I was all types of geared up for the “Sleep Shuffle” as described by Kim West.

I left work, picked up J, told his teachers he was in for a long night and headed home. I made enchiladas then ran to the store and bought a chocolate fudge pie (judge away) and wine. I was READY.

Husband gave J his bath and then I took over for bedtime because the Sleep Lady recommends that one parent be in control and, let’s face it, that’s gonna be me. I read J his current favorite books, Is Your Mama a Llama and Pat the Bunny, and then rocked and sang for a while. When he started to look a little drowsy, I kissed him good night and transferred him to his crib.

That is when the gates of hell swung open and demons ate my baby.

Seriously. He went complete and total ape shit. First, he stood and bounced on his mattress while banging on the crib rails and yelling. When that didn’t work, he resorted to hysterical crying. Of course, the Sleep Lady says not to let them get hysterical so I picked him up. What the Sleep Lady didn’t warn me about was that some babies, like precious J, have two speeds: Non-hysterical and Hysterical. WTF was I supposed to do? Pick him up every half a second? That didn’t seem like a good option so I laid him down again and sat back down in the rocker with my wine.

When he realized the hysterical crying was not enough, he began to kick his feet… like a mini-tantrum. It would have been cute if I weren’t teetering on the edge of insanity. I let him throw the tantrum for a bit until he was borderline psychotic then picked him back up and rocked him for a bit. When I put him down the next time, he found the winning combination.

He sat there in the crib, face red from crying, tears streaming down his face and his little hands reaching for me through the crib rails. As if that weren’t enough, he also started rocking his body back and forth. Oh. My. God. Game. Set. Match. J wins. I lost my mind. I was sobbing so hard that Husband came back and pulled me out of the rocking chair.

“This is not for us” he said. “Every baby is different.”

And with that seal of approval, I snatched up my baby and rocked him to sleep.
I realize I could try again tonight but will I? Nope. I’m done with sleep training. I am going at this through the back door instead. We’ve cut back his daytime nursing. Bottles at daycare will be every four hours this week and we’ll see if that helps. (If not I am still not totally opposed to the Xanax and crib strapping but since someone found my blog yesterday by searching “Bad Mommas” I should probably mind my Ps and Qs.)
This morning I took out all my frustrations on failing at Sleep Training on Husband. Just before I left for work he told me that I needed to “chill out” in the mornings and not “yell” at J in complete sentences. I calmly explained to him that I was no yelling at J, I was explaining things to him in my frustrated voice. Because that’s different, right? Then I threw the kicker back at him right before I shut the door to leave for work…
“Maybe I wouldn’t be so frustrated if you would HELP ME OUT IN THE MORNINGS. Love you, bye.”
Cue exit.

“Luanne is mature” right? (FYI that’s a Shag reference… my name is not Luanne.) Maturity is not my forte. I guess you could say that along with eating sugar when I’m upset, immaturity in relationships is my greatest foible. Well, besides sarcasm. And maybe saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Aw hell, I’m full of foibles.

Maybe THAT’S why I’m failing at Sleep Training. Or maybe it’s Kim West’s fault. Yeah. Let’s blame her. Thanks for nothing, Sleep Lady. My kid has out smarted you and me both. (I should note that blaming other people for my own problems is NOT a foible… it’s a strength I take pride in.)

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19 Responses to “I am the Weakest Part of a Sword”

  1. Dre
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    Sorry it didn't work. But how funny, you described my mornings exactly. Apparently I am too "harsh" with the three year old (and believe me, I am NOT yelling). But of course, I am also the only one getting both kids ready. Do whatever works for you.

  2. KLZ
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    Trust me, by the time J is 12 he'll want his own bed. So there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel….eventually.

    This is going to work out. You and I are the only two left on the fence with this sleep crap. And really? Sleep training just did not work for us. But his sleep gets a little better every month as he hits more milestones and is sick less often. Those things really, really do effect things. They're effecting J too and they have to lessen up over time.

  3. Nikki
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    First, we southerners can relate because we put fudge in our pie and it's ok…even for brunch.
    Secondly, I hear you on the sleep training. I called what we did sleep training, but really it was just finding a balance that worked for us and making it work somehow. You know how you read these blogs that say, "It only took a week for our baby to sleep through the night!" HA! We did it for two months! And he is still waking up, but not as much. DM or email me if you ever want to know what worked for us…there was no crying involved. I can't take that, that's just me.

  4. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    1. "Is your Mama a Llama" was one of my son's favorite books for a while. I can still do a lot of it from memory.

    2. Sleep training worked for us, but it almost caused me a nervous breakdown. It took three times. If it had taken four, he would have won. I could not have done that one single more time. I feel your hurt.

    3. You used the WOW wrong. (Except you totally didn't, I just want the judges to be thinking maybe that you did so I can still win.)

  5. Raising Madison
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    I don't know any 18 year olds that still need to be rocked to sleep.

    Do what you need to do and is right for y'all. J will learn to sleep on his own eventually and that may be the way things go for y'all!!

  6. Blair@HeirtoBlair
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 3:17 pm


  7. rebeccaeee
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    There is no such thing as sleep training. My 4 yo son has always been a shit sleeper. Nursed to sleep, co-slept, up 6x a night. He's old and tired enough to know better and is still up 2x a night most nights. Nothing worked. My 7 month old daughter? Puts herself to sleep, lets others put her to sleep, falls asleep on the floor, bed, crib, wherever. Wakes up to nurse, is all business, then goes back to sleep. The gods smiled on me this time. I have often thought of writing a book but it would be the shortest book in the world b/c it would say "You get what you get. Some kids sleep, some kids don't. Stop killing yourselves trying to change it." Really. Good luck.

  8. WTH am I Doing?
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    I got so very lucky with my son's sleeping habits…once I figured out that he would sleep well in his swing. That's how I got him sleeping through the night. He slept in his swing. Not sure how I figured that out…that time in my life is a bit of a blur, with the lack of sleep & "OMG *I* am a parent" thing going on.

    And I am SO with you on the morning thing. My Hub needs to either totally leave me alone & let me do my thing, or he needs to jump in & help. Advice, and especially criticism, is not welcome in the morning & may result in loss of an appendage.

  9. Anonymous
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    Again, love your "Shag" references! Have you heard of "No Cry Sleep Solution"? That may be more up you alley. Sleep training is hard and it involves a lot of tears, mostly on the part of the Mamas! Stay strong, be patient, you'll find what works for you.

  10. Cybil
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    I have 3 words for you – noise canceling headphones.

    Seriously I don't know WTF I am talking about. The sleep thing is a mystery to me – I was lucky that the kids kind of did it eventually. Though we did have some "let them cry it out" nights.

  11. Katie's Dailies
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    I never heard of "sleep training" with my kids! Must be a new fangled thing they've come up with over the last 16 years. I rocked and rocked them and see nothing wrong with that.

    Although, it IS kinda hard to fit a teen ager in my lap now…

    And foible… well, the pressure is on now! : )

  12. Liz
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    I'm sorry you had a rough start. If you ever try again, I'd suggest sitting in the hallway. It's harder on him and on you to be in the room sometimes. As a big advocate for sleep training and for Kim, I've seen her methods do amazing things. But you, as the mama, need to stay with what you are comfortable.

  13. Mommy Attorney
    June 23rd, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    I'm sorry it was so rough. Unsolicited ass-vice? Put daddy in charge for a night. J knows you're the weakest part of the sword.

  14. Anonymous
    June 24th, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    I gave up on sleep training too and will proudly nurse my daughter to sleep for the rest of her life. ARG! Every book I read made me feel like I was a terrible person who had screwed up as a parent by nursing her to sleep to begin with. We "tried" tonight but she was crying and I snatched her up and nursed her to sleep. Even in the basement I can hear her cry – not an option!!!
    Solidarity sister!

  15. Janelle
    June 24th, 2010 @ 2:04 am

    This could be our story – I went through the same thing, finally breaking down and buying the sleep lady book, trying it, and lasting all of a few hours before I gave up. I found this site in a googling fit of desperation and it made me feel much better – it didn't fix the problem, but assured me that I was a good mom and doing the best I could with my kid's temperament.


    And, if it makes you feel better, suddenly, at 13 months, he started magically sleeping through the night. They were 13 very long months, but we survived. Good luck!

  16. Polly
    June 24th, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    Hugest of hugs, its not easy.

  17. ~*Jess*~
    June 24th, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

    I'm glad your husband came in and reassured you to cut it off. When we first tried sleep training it did NOT work. Cue the hysterics the screaming. It was not good. Only my hub was like no no it's fine. Um no the hell it is not. And that was that. I quit. But when I tried it again a couple months later, it was like she was meant to sleep in her crib by herself. It was just so much better. Don't worry. It will work when it's time. BTW, Ava was about 13 months when she started doing that.

  18. Steph
    June 25th, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

    I am sure you've said it and I just haven't noticed it but J's on solids right? If not it might be time to try some. Sometimes that's all they need to get to the sleep point. Cereal before bed is a miracle worker.

    My daughter is a champion sleeper and always has been. My son was a colicky nightmare. I never knew to try sleep training and I'm sure that's a bit of what we did but honest to goodness he started sleeping better after daycare did something with him. I don't know what they did and I DO NOT want to know.

    I do know when I couldn't take it anymore I would sit in the hallway and cry and sometimes he'd fall asleep. Also, I never spoke to him at night. I picked him up and laid him back down and walked back out. It was just how I had to cope.

  19. Shelley T.
    June 27th, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

    I think sleep training is different for everyone and each parent should not feel bad about choosing what is right for them.

    New follower


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