Thursday, July 28, 2011

Frustrations of Motherhood, Part 346,578

Back in the day, when we weaned, I traded nursing to sleep for rubbing the back and singing to sleep.  I did this knowing full well that it would one day come back to haunt me, and so it has.

When we came back from Hawaii, Willow had some trouble adjusting.  And then even after she adjusted, she refused to go to sleep.  Our routine would extend an hour to an hour and a half past her "bedtime," and even then Dave and I would sometimes throw up our hands and give up, and Willow would end up crying for a while until she wore herself out enough to go to sleep.  Obviously, this was unpleasant for everyone (and cut way into our television watching time, I might add).

So Dave and I decided that since she was essentially crying herself to sleep anyway, we should take advantage of this opportunity and work on ditching the rubbing the back to sleep.  The first few nights went, as all these things go, rather poorly.  There was heart-breaking crying for an hour and a half past her bedtime (and sometimes longer), rather than rather annoying back-rubbing.  But by the third night, which was Dave's turn, he only had to go in once or twice, and Willow settled right down.  We breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Until the next night, which was my turn to put her to bed.  And she screamed for forty minutes.

You can see where this is going, can't you?  Willow goes to bed like a little angel for Dave, but when it's Mommy saying goodnight?  Well that's completely unacceptable how could you abandon me like this I will proceed to stomp around my crib screaming bloody murder NONONONONONO.

I don't do anything differently from Dave.  In fact, I take copious notes on what songs he sings, when he sings them, how he holds her, whatever--it doesn't matter.   I have never given in, I have never rubbed her back not even once, but she will not let it go.  No way.

Actually, we had a breakthrough last night.  Though Dave still has to put her down when she has had a longer nap than usual, or when Toaster and RockNoodle are here because they are so extraordinarily exciting that she couldn't possibly be expected to go to bed--if Willow has had a tiring day, but isn't overtired, and the weather and the neighbors and a hundred other factors cooperate...I can put her to bed.  Last night, Willow went to sleep within three minutes.

Go me.


regina said...

I suspect the issue isn't what songs you sing or anything else: of course she doesn't want to go sleep when you're the one putting her to bed. She'll miss you too much.

Gina said...

One of the frustrations and blessings of motherhood is the constant change. This too shall pass, along with the millions of other terrific, annoying, terrifying, heartbreaking, etc., behaviors yet to come. Putting her to bed will seem like a breeze compared to handing over the car keys or putting her on a plane bound for college. Years from now you will have forgotten the bedtime screaming and will only remember how angelic she looked while napping. Thank goodness for parental memory loss.