It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written, and the reason for that is very much related to the reason I need to write this particular story today. I know what you’re thinking. But Dustin, what the heck are you talking about? That’s the most awkwardly worded sentence ever. While you have a penchant for hyperbole, you do have a point. I’ll explain.
Morris was born the day after Christmas last year, making him over ten months old now. And he still sleeps in our bed. When he wakes up at night – which is often – I feed him and we hang out until he goes back to sleep. This can sometimes take an hour or two. Occasionally, I transfer him to the crib once asleep, but he rarely sleeps in it for very long and sometimes wakes up immediately when he realizes that dream he’s having where he’s flying through the bedroom is actually not a dream and it’s the beginnings of me leaving him alone in a cage.
We have avoided sleep training him for a few reasons, but those reasons gave way to the need to sleep an embarrassingly long time ago. And I have been dragging my feet because he was sick one time, and because Jenn got a promotion another time, and because the Eagles played on Monday Night Football once, and it’s time for the excuses to stop. I wrote it down on the calendar that the sleep training starts tonight. But knowing my penchant for excuses and the lack of people who see my kitchen calendar on a month-to-month basis, I wanted to put it out there online for all to see. Not to brag or complain or entertain, but to be held accountable. That’s where you all come in.
I expect you all to tell me how much of a wus I am if I don’t start doing this tonight. When we finally did this for real to Mabel, she cried for 47 minutes the first night, 20 the second, and never more than 10 every night after. I have no reason to believe Morris won’t be able to make the transition just as easily. But it does mean the end of cuddle time. And at this point, that’s fine with me.
Maybe it’s because this time around, I’ve seen it work once already. Or maybe because I’m curious to see Morris tackle this new problem. Or maybe it’s because I’m barely sleeping at night anymore and it’s causing me to be irritable toward the kids and Jenn and the people on the phone at Comcast (actually, they had it coming), and I’m looking forward to not being irritable anymore. I’m looking forward to my left shoulder not hurting anymore because I don’t have anywhere to put it night after night. I’m looking forward to sleeping without being kicked in the ribs or without having a pair of knees in my back. And I’m mostly looking forward to eventually getting on a schedule again where my body gets tired at night. Over the course of the last ten months, my body has stopped getting tired at night, so even when the little guy sleeps, I can’t. My biology is all wonked up. And for that reason, and the fact that I usually have a pair of little legs on my gut, I can’t find time to open the computer to write. Hopefully that begins to end tonight. And if not, I expect to hear it from all of you. Please.
So the cold strategic neglect that is the extinction method starts tonight. And I think he knows it because he decided to mess with his nap schedule. But I will not back down. And I’m not going to wus out like I did the first two times with Mabel. It happens tonight. Because it’s on the calendar.