Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Cosmic Loss of Sanity

There are some things that just shouldn't be said or written because they provide excellent opportunities for the cosmos to rain down a little comedic humility to your life. You know what I am talking about.

Like when you see children behaving terribly in a store and think to yourself, "Oh, I am so glad my kids never act like that!" and the very next day your children do the very same thing only exponentially worse. Or when you run into an a former acquaintance and walk away thinking, "Man, time has not treated them well! They looked awful!" and the very next day you run into the convenience store not caring at all about the baby snot dried on your shirt and the cheeto dust wiped across your leg, and you run into a high school boyfriend. Or when you use your car as an excuse to not come into work, only to find the next day that there really is something wrong with your car? Stuff like that.

Same rule applies to a baby's sleeping habits. If you are a new mama, and your baby is a pro at sleeping through the night, listen to me sister, close your pretty little mouth and don't say a word. When all your girlfriends are nearly drooling on themselves due to their lack of sleep and you want to flaunt your well rested eyes, Don't do it! The moment you brag about your quiet nights, that little booger will be up every two hours. That is just how it goes.

I have not written about what a fantastic sleeper Baby John has been his entire life for that very reason. I knew better. All was going phenomenally well in the most beautiful of glorious ways when it came to him sleeping.

From day one, we practiced the art of Co-sleeping. For those of you who are unfamiliar - cosleeping means just that: you and your baby sleep together. It is not for everyone and is somewhat debated - for us, it worked. Basically you feed your baby in your bed and he sleeps snuggled next to you. No delicate ballet of tip toeing him back to his bed and nearly passing out because you are holding your breath as you lay him down, just pure, wonderful uninterrupted sleep.

That worked until he was about 9months old when he started walking. At that point, I could no longer sleep with my favorite cuddle buddy because I was afraid he would sneak out of bed and wander dangerously around. I had no choice to put him into his own crib, in the room he shared with his brother. There was no messy transition - only one or two nights with him crying for about 15minutes or so before he fell asleep on his own. It was delightful. There was no fighting, no sad crying - every night at 7pm, armed with his blankie and his monkey, he laid down and drifted off to dream land not awaking until nearly 7am the next morning. (He would do the same for his daily nap, too!)

Did I mention this was DELIGHTFUL and incredibly good for my sanity? I love my little boy to the moon and back, but I definitely appreciate the hours where I do not have to chase him around and keep him from accomplishing his next devious mission of eating toilet paper or climbing onto a chair, onto the table onto the window seal (true story.).

Sigh.

It all came to a very sad, very restless end.

He is climbing out of his bed, very quietly, surprising me by slouching down the stairs on his belly and greeting me with the most shit-eating-est grin you ever did see. 

SAD, DRAMATIC, POUTY LIP, SIGH.

What the heck do I do? My first thought was to just let him stay up a bit, become super tired, and put him into his bed. Surely then, out of sheer exhaustion, he would just go to sleep.

Fail.

My next thought tapped into to all of those Super Nanny tricks where she advises: Say Nothing, continue to put him back in his bed until he stays there. I attempted that - and on the 50th trip back into his bed in 35 minutes, (I so wish I was exaggerating) I decided that perhaps this trick was meant of an older child. Not a 14month old future mountain climber. He is still visibly tired at this point so I have to do something.

I decided to try my hand at rocking him. Rocking a baby to sleep can be a calm, relaxing, special gift from God. It can also be a very frustrating, very exhausting wrestling match wherein a toddler defeats a much stronger opponent. He pwn'd me WWE style. He is not used to being coddled to sleep anymore as he has been falling asleep on his own for several months now.

I do not know what to do. Good ladies suggested a crib tent or a canopy and after some research, I am not comfortable with that. Instead, we are getting him a toddler bed this weekend and I am going to gate off his doorway so that he cannot wander around. That solves the climbing problem, but I have never transitioned a baby this young to a "big boy" bed.

My other children were at least 2 1/2 nearly 3 before moving to such a bed.  We built it up as a big right of passage - there is no discussion like that with my sweet baby John. At 14months, he doesn't give a crap about that kind of logic. I honestly do not know how this is all going to go down.

Hear that? The cosmos are CACKLING at me.