Sleep training for the soft-hearted, weak-minded, sleep-deprived parent.

I got this baby at a hospital once. She was so adorable and cuddly and snoozy and quiet. The doctors actually let me take her home and I named her Cheyenne, and I haven’t slept since. Cause babies? Are freakin’ addictive.

I ended up getting 3 more over the years and with each one, it’s the same old story: baby be’s cute and amazing during the day, baby turns into a rabid feral cat at the stroke of 10 p.m., mom is zombified in the morning, mom goes literally insane for the next 2 years.

It is nature’s way.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve had to share a room with all my babies–we’ve never had the luxury of the extra space for a nursery with any of them, it just so happened, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it, except for the nighttime kicking and screaming, of which there have been approximately 856,390,000 combined minutes to date.

I love my kids.

But I’m losing my mind.

During Tuesday evening’s bedtime temper tantrum, I figured Arbor would be less traumatized by sleeping in her own bed than she would if, say, mommy killed herself by ramming her head through the wall.

The screaming: CANNOT DEAL.

So into the closet went the pack-n-play, and  into the pack-n-play went the baby. Caleb bunked with Merrick for the night, and I shut the door to the bathroom and the bedroom before camping in the living room, determined to wait her out because there was no other way:I knew checking in on her and patting her back would make me even more of a wreck, and I’d just cave and pick her up. It had to be cold turkey. Stone cold turkey.

Now, the crying was muffled, but I could hear it, and I immediately begin to experience very painful physical withdrawal symptoms. I lost it. I went completely apeshit (quietly, though). I was like a mama animal whose baby was being held captive by human scientists. I kept picturing her scared and lonely face crying all alone in her crib and I regretted ever considering the cry-it-out method (also known as “What Mothers Do To Torture Themselves and The Babies They Clearly Hate.)

Tears were pouring. Skin was crawling. Brain was exploding. I was out of my mind and honestly I don’t know what kept me from just going to her and picking her up and having her surgically grafted to my chest so we’d never be apart again.

10 minutes went by. Still crying.

15 minutes. Sobbing.

20 minutes. I swear she was trying to say my name amidst all her screams.

25 minutes. Silence.

I ever so slowly crept through my room, and then my bathroom, and finally to the closet to make sure she was still alive. There she was, curled up with a stuffed hedgehog and her red-and-white polka dot blankie, sleeping peacefully.

The joy and also the worry I faced at that moment: sure, she was passed out cold now, but what about in an hour? What about 3 hours? Could I do this again? Could I keep this up all night, every night, for however long it takes?

I fell asleep and woke up 6 glorious hours later, and this morning? Same. Arbor cried for two seconds around midnight last night and this mama animal has a skip in her step and a song in her heart today. Life’s so good when your baby stops acting like a terrorist and you’re no longer a human pacifier. This a pattern I could really get used to…wait…yep, I’m used to it.

Thanks to my good mom friends for the advice and words of encouragement. And thanks to everyone who listened to me whine and wail over our sleep dilemma.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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