Call it laziness, call it fatigue. We finally just sort of succumbed to the reality of Stella’s sleep idiosyncrasies. I think I wrote a while back about Will’s epiphany about our child at night. If I didn’t, I meant to. One night, he slept with her while I stayed in the bed. The next day he said “You know, I’ve been a real asshole about the baby at night. I don’t want to sleep by myself at night. Why should I expect a baby to do it?” After that, the conflict as to how to “fix” our kid pretty much disintegrated and we just embraced the nighttime nomadic routine. Some nights it was one or three of us on a couch, a futon, the bed. With me being pregnant and Will and I both just being usually worn out from having full time jobs out of the house plus being parents and spouses, the goal was to sleep, no matter where or with who. Like somnambulant soldiers, we slept where we fell.
Fast forward a few months and we started to resemble a “normal” household. The routine was that I would put Stella down to sleep on the futon in her room complete with nightlight and monitor. For the most part, she stayed asleep for a good long while. When I/we went to bed, we opened up all doors and left a light on near our room. When she woke up, she just came down the hall to our bed and resumed sleeping with us. The worst thing about it was that she tended to come screaming down the hall like she was on fire; I don’t think she had quite adjusted to waking up without someone -usually me – being next to her. I think with a little time this would have become more natural for her and she would A) stop screaming while running down the hall and B) perhaps even opted to just stay put in her room, knowing that we are just down the hall. As a matter of fact, she actually did sleep one night on her own, all night long. And then? The time change. And we’re screwy again. A full week later and we’re still screwy. Damn you, time change.
I can usually feel or sense the judgment when I talk about this stuff. I hear “I let my kid cry it out” or “you’re only making it worse for yourselves.” Maybe it is ridiculous that our kid is 2 and has been pretty much co-sleeping her whole life. We certainly didn’t knowingly choose that path but that’s the way it evolved. Twice recently we’ve been asked about how/when we transitioned Stella to her toddler bed. I can only laugh and deflect the question. We’re not a good instruction manual for most people. I guess Will and I are just parental cream puffs: we cannot bear the idea of our kid waking at night alone and upset. Regardless, I feel good about our choices on this one. I don’t think it’s really hurt any of us, at least not long-term. I think that as with nursing, a slow, gradual weaning is the way to go. I have hope that within a week or two we’ll be back to pre-time change behavior and resume.
Of course with my luck, Stella will start sleeping through the night in her bed alone right around the time BY enters the equation and the whole thing has to reset itself. In any case, I think this will save us (or one of our parents, who have all offered) money to buy BY a crib. Since Stella won’t go near her toddler bed, even with the rocking Yo Gabba Gabba sheets, we’ll probably just re-convert it back to a crib for BY and let Stella keep the futon. Goodness knows we don’t need yet another bed that won’t be used for its intended purpose! The moral of this blog? Sleep is for suckers.