My best friend from high school had a Calvin and Hobbes comic up on his bedroom door. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but basically Calvin was totally stressing out because it was the last day of the summer and there was no way he could possibly have enough fun in one day.
Suddenly it is December.
I keep telling people I’m going back to work in January.
Truth is, I am going back for two days in December, right before the vacation, so I can get paid for the vacation. Right after those two days, I’m going to my mother-out-law’s house for Christmas. So really, my time as a stay at home mom to a little baby ends in December. And here it is. I can no longer say, “I go back next month.” I know that I’ve been home a lot longer than many people get to stay. I don’t, however, feel like I’ve had ample time to enjoy it. Ample time would be a whole year.
My friend SN asked me to post about sleep. People with babies my age start to worry about it now. Usually when it is time to go back to work. When Cake was a babe, I took my February vaction and dedicated it to sleep training the boy. He was waking up three times a night and taking over 45 minutes to get back to sleep each time. I did “The Baby Whisperer” technique (it is a book; a rather condescending one, at that.) It took two nights. The technique, called “pick up, put down” was a sort of modified cry it out. But instead of leaving the baby alone in the room to cry, you stand there by the crib and pick the baby up and tell him you love him and to go to sleep, then you put him right down. Repeat. Repeat until the kid gets the picture that you will not be rocking him for 45 minutes more.* The first night was the hardest. Just awful. The second night was the same as nights had been before the first night. Every night after that for the next year and a half, he slept through from 7 to 6ish.
Back then, I swore that when I had our second child, I’d keep him on a schedule and teach him to fall asleep on his own, yadda yadda. Of course that didn’t happen. Now we’re doing something that makes very little sense. I call it the hope-the-baby-will-sleep-through-the-night-of-his-own-accord technique. Uuuh. It isn’t as hard with this guy. Trucker only really gets up once on a normal night, if you don’t count the 5 am wake up. But he goes right back to sleep both times. So I am actually getting a fair amount of sleep.
One of th promises I made to myself was to avoid nursing the baby to sleep. Yes, it is sweet. Yes, it is easy. But it makes the baby need you to put him down. I don’t want to be the only person who can put him down. I just don’t. It should be able to be anyone who [ok, right in the middle of typing this sentence, the baby woke up and i nursed him back to sleep. This is going so well!] can rock or pat or calm him, not just the one with the lactating parts. I was doing a good job. But as you can see, something went awry this week and now he’s wanting to be nursed to sleep. And I’m doing it. And it is making me even more upset about going to work.
I know that he will be ok. I know that he will adapt to daycare. I will adapt to work. We will all manage to get out the door and to our respective places on time. That’s all intellectual. Emotionally? Just take a guess.
*I know you are not so foolish, but just in case… please don’t try “pick up / put down” based on my blog post. Go get the book from the library, if you want to try it. There’s other scheduling stuff involved in the technique. I think the author’s name is Tracy Hogg.