Recently, my darling baby daughter has decided, not that she is more than a year old, that she is unable to put herself to sleep at night. Instead her method of choice to attains Zs has been. . .mommy’s face, in her hands, less than 2 inches away from her face. Now I am not saying anything bad about that face. I am just saying: She needs to be in bed earlier. I need to be able to homework while she sleeps. And I need my face back.
And so as much as I have enjoyed our bonding experiences over the past few weeks, tonight things changed.
We started a new bedtime routine.
This was finally decided last night after something like 3 hours of trying to get E. to go to sleep, without my face. A chunk of that time was even spent driving around. She fell asleep and we hashed out a bedtime plan. Finally, we pulled into the parking lot and were ready to try and move sleeping beauty from car to crib, when she realized the car had stopped and woke up. Another half hour was wasted attempting to get her back to sleep. We eventually just had to let her cry it out.
Ahhh, and there is the problem. I am a weak and manipulate-able mommy. I hate to hear my sweet sunshine cry. I abhor the idea of “crying it out.” So, I have avoided making her do so as long as I possibly could. The cost: my face.
Maybe if I wasn’t a student and my time could realistically be spent catering to her every night-time when, this arrangement would work. But baby, I have homework, and lots of it!
So tonight is Night #1 of our Iron Face Bedtime Plan. We start with 15 minutes (or so) of down time. The lights are low. We read books, have some milk and stay calm. Then she takes nice warm bath, with lavender baby bath. We move to the bedroom with soothing music already playing, lights are dim, and she gets to rock and cuddle for a few minutes. Finally, when she seems calm and quiet we lay her in the crib and emotionally prepare for lock-down.
I have to put on my Iron Face, because when we shut that door (actually when we stand up and act like we might lay her down), she starts screaming.
And for however long she manages to cry and yell and scream and ball, I hate myself and listen to her “cry it out.”
Tonight, she lasted 22 minutes. It seemed like 2 hours. And actually, when she falls asleep, I still hate myself for not being there for her.
Then only thing that give me any peace is that when I looked at the clock, it was only 9:30ish. Which means I have lots of time to get my homework done, now that I don’t feel like doing it.
Will some one please tell her how bad I felt about this when she grows up? That way, if she is scarred for life, she will at lease know that I do love her.
Here’s to hoping tomorrow night will be 17 minutes (or less) and that I won’t cave while my husband is at work.
-Sarah, One Desperate Mama