Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Regression Analysis.

The elation my parents display around being grandparents is always mixed with a pinch of smugness. Breaking the news over the phone 18 months ago, my mom started laughing hysterically and said, "You NEVER slept! Maybe this baby will be just like you!" Their joint excitement about potentially watching me go through the same wringer I wrenched them through was palpable over the cell signal.

Partially because I couldn't let smug win but mainly because I love plans, I vowed sleep training would make our impending arrival sleep...errr, like a baby.

And work it did! I bombastically announced that MY baby slept 12 hours through the night before he was 12 weeks old. I even took a picture of him wearing one of my marathon medals after he did it three nights in a row.

My parents, albeit in shock, shrugged their shoulders and set their insomniac sights on a future, unborn grandchild.

It was when we took to the road in June that my sweet dreams soured. He started waking up several times a night demanding mom and/or a bottle. He became incredibly difficult to get to sleep and started waking up around 6:00 instead of 7:30. My glorious 12 hours of sleep were wrecked, but who can blame the little guy? In eight weeks he slept in six different places. Whose sleep habits wouldn't get a little funky, right?

Trouble is, they're still funky and Grandma and Grandpa are in their glory watching me sleepwalk through life as they did 32 years ago.

I know it's my fault, but not because I placate his screams. Oh no, the problem is deeper than that. The problem is, he's mine.

My husband frequently says I'm stubborn. I prefer the word "determined."

I didn't run fast marathons because I'm long and lean. I'm 5' 2" with short legs, but my 40+ mile training weeks and stubborn refusal to take a day off propelled me like my sinewy counterparts.

It wasn't marketing genius that got me an office, but rather an inability to let go until the murky details could be explained intelligibly to a child and the decks were pristine.

If anyone could be equally determined, it's my spawn.

If anyone could beat me it would be an individual as determined as me and as obsessive as my husband.

The boy proved this the other night with a 90 MINUTE screamfest.

We have a genetic Molotov cocktail upstairs in the crib.

The only people who seem happy about this are my parents, who jocularly revisit their new parent hell and regale the similarities between me and my mini monster me every time they ask how he's sleeping.

The little boy is also quite pleased. You've never seen a prouder, happier nine-month old than the one I scoop up from his crib after 30-90 minutes of screaming.

And of course, there's me. Truth be told, despite the sleepy eyes, I'm a proud mom as I'm scooping. He is the most determined little boy I've ever met!


  1. OMG sleep regression SUCKS! And he's right on time for it too. Thankfully it generally only lasts a few weeks, maybe a month, and then they go back to whatever "normal" is. Unfortunately, it happens several more times.

    It may also help to know what kind of crier your son is if you haven't already thought that part out. Lord knows I didn't until I read up on it, and now I can't find the information. Basically, you have two kinds - those who simply escalate if left alone, to the point where it can take HOURS to calm them if they are allowed to get going, and those who will calm after a few minutes if left to their own devices. Mine tends to fall in the latter, thankfully, but I have friends whose children are the former. If their parents attempted the CIO method, it would backfire horribly. The key for them was not to let them get going, but to calm them immediately and then try again. *shrug* Might work for your little too, because who likes 90 minute scream fests?

    1. This is fabulous advice. He seems to be one who has a hard time calming himself down as 60 mins of the 90 min screamfest were him whimpering and crying after he'd been left alone for 30. Lesson learned!

  2. That determination will serve him well later in life. Right now, it just makes night times hell...I know because I had one who did it to me too.

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  3. This is hilarious. At least you can see the positive qualities leading to this behavior. A think atiggerslife is right about different kinds of screamers. I don't think my son could ever self-calm. But if it was working for you once before, hopefully it will again (although at some point, they no longer need 12 hours of sleep).

  4. Oh don't you love with your parents wish you trouble? Backwards isn't it! Here's to him sleeping later...and have a glass of wine!

  5. Isn't it funny how you can be proud if not a little bit smug by some of their behaviour. I always think I would rather have personality :)