Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's Like A Miracle!

I know I mentioned this in a previous entry, but I am just so excited that I must elaborate, expand and clarify.
Liam can put himself to sleep.
It's true!
What? You say that's no big deal? Let's examine the situation. Caleb, born seven weeks early, was a horrible sleeper. If he could get away with it, he simply didn't. Well, not for longer than 1.5 - 2 hours. And when he learned to sit up, he'd often fall asleep that way, so determined was he not to give in to slumber. He refused to sleep in a crib, and although we had a briefly successful period with his playpen, he slept with us for the majority of his first sixteen months. At that point, we moved him to a toddler bed, and rejoiced at the success of this risky manoeuvre. By the time he was two, we were all enjoying full nights of sleep. Incidentally, Caleb is a wonderful sleeper now.
Aidan slept in a crib, but only after much rocking and singing and head-patting. Every naptime and bedtime, I'd sing Dreaming My Dreams by the Cranberries to him:

All the things you said to me today,
Change my perspective in every way.
These things count to mean so much to me,
Into my faith, you and your baby.

It's out there. It's out there. It's out there.
If you want me I'll be here.

I'll be dreaming my dreams with you.
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you.
And there's no other place,
That I'd lay down my face.
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you...

He'd drift off, only to wake several times in the night. Even now, at three, he takes ages to get to sleep and still wakes at night.
When Liam was born, I fantasized that he would be one of those babies that you could just put down at naptime or bedtime and he's just...go to sleep. Hahahahahaha! I know, I know. Ambitious, but a girl can dream! So I worked on it. I've never been a "cry in out" type, but when sleep time would come, I'd feed the lad, give him a snuggle and them lay him in his hammock with some soft words and a caress on his cheek. He'd look at me like I'd lost it and commence to fuss. Or cry. So I'd sit beside his hammock, and pat him, talking soothingly and praying. Sometimes it would take an hour and a half, sometimes it would take fifteen minutes. Other times it didn't work at all. Our vacation back home to Nova Scotia in October knocked down all that I had built with one fell blow.
Since then, I'd sort of given up. I held him when it was time for him to sleep, and it worked well until a couple weeks ago, when he begun to arch his back and flail his arms each time I'd try to snuggle him to sleep. Unfailingly, he'd rip his susie (a.k.a. pacifier) out and try desperately to see something to our left. What could he want? There was the closet door, slightly ajar, letting out a bit of light. That must be what was so fascinating. Hmmm. Nope, he's looking...over...there. Toward his...bed? Reaching for...his bed? Naw, can't be. It took several of these sessions for me to clue in and just lay him in his bed. Do you know what happened? He put his thumb in his mouth. His eyes drifted to half-mast. He sighed and moaned happily. He went to sleep.
I spontaneously combusted.
As I tip-toed from the room, barely breathing, I thought, "Surely this will not happen again! Surely I have been blessed this one, rare time with the gift of a self-comforting baby and I'm meant to do something meaningful with this time like volunteer work or maybe laundry...?" Well, guess what?
It continues to happen! Naptime! Through the night! I've discovered that the key is to NOT let him have his susie. See, when he has his susie, he grabs it and flails it about violently. Then he bites it and chews it and yells and even if he does fall asleep, said pacifier gets lodged uncomfortably 'neath his tiny neck or skull. Without the susie, the thumb is the pacifier. Not only does the thumb effectively plug the orifice regularly used to scream, it does not get lost. Nor does it become irretrievably lodged behind one's neck or skull. It is easy to find. You cannot toss it about or flail it violently, as it is quite consistently attached to the body and therefore does not wave or flop so dramatically.
Don't get me wrong; the child still has sleep issues. His naps are forty minutes long. All four of them. And he wakes up twice a night to feed. But after he feeds, I put him back to bed! And he sleeps! And so do I! Nirvana!
I'm still holding my breath when I leave the bedroom, just waiting for the Universe to figure out that this is me, this is Theresa whose babe is going to sleep on his own. Theresa doesn't get to have that!
Until the Universe figures it out, though, I do! I do have that! And I am eternally grateful.


At 9:39 AM, Blogger Mone said...

You are very blessed. Enjoy the time...

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Tree said...

Thanks, Mone!

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Eve said...

Sweet baby boys. :)
I'm giving you a standing ovation for being able to juggle 3 different sleeping styles, and still getting enough sleep on your own to function. It's just amazing to me, how do you DO that?
ps- LOVE that whole Cranberries CD!


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