Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't call 911

I'm going to be setting a fire here at my house.  If you see the flames, don't call 911--I promise I'll keep it all (mostly) under control.

We had a rough night last night. In my blog post, I said she'd calmed down.  Well, she did...until she was put in her crib again.  I know she was horribly overtired.  It was awful.  We ended up just bringing her downstairs to see what she would do.  She crawled around like it was two o'clock in the afternoon.  She was happy and playing around.  Which is why no one other than us sees when she's tired--she doesn't get cranky until you try to get her to sleep.

We let her play.  And play.  Eventually, I picked her up and read to her while I rocked gently.  She sort of rolled toward me and sucked her thumb.  I knew she was ready, but she didn't seem to think so.  I rocked a bit more.  When she realized my motives, she wasn't happy.  But I held her like I did when she was little and we rocked.  I snuggled her close to me, on her right side, so she could suck her left thumb.  I held her close to my chest, patted her perfect little bum, and whispered "shh" to her when she'd start to fuss. She finally succumbed to the soothing and fell asleep at 9.  I let her sleep there with me for about 45 minutes before The Hubby took her upstairs.  This time she didn't wake until 3:30 a.m. 

After this experience, I had to figure out why it was happening.  I needed answers.  Like any person who loves learning like I do, I read.  I read anything I could find on the subject of baby sleep.  I turned to the book that my sister-in-law and several friends swear by.  I read a section geared specifically toward babies 5 months to one year.  I even found a paragraph that described all the symptoms Baby Girl was exhibiting, to the letter.  I was so excited--maybe he knew the answer to our problem!

As I read, though, it became apparent that the author wrote this book as literature for families with only one working parent.  I had noticed it before--the mentions of "the working parent"--but didn't think much of it.  But then I read that paragraph and knew that he was only interested in dealing with families with one parent working.  Families where a baby can be put to bed at 5 p.m.  And if you're not one of those families, you're officially being selfish.

Sure, there's about 3 pages toward the back that is specifically for dual-working parents.  It says that if you can't be flexible enough to get your child to bed when s/he needs it, you're being selfish.  It insinuates that all families where both parents work are doing too much on the weekends and aren't allowing their children to get the sleep they need.  It equates us to withholding food from our child, without knowing our situation.  Without knowing that we both HAVE to work and that our schedules cannot be adjusted and that we cannot physically get this child home from the sitter's before 5:30, but that we still put her to bed pretty much immediately after getting home, even though neither of us spends time with her during the week.  Without knowing that we don't really go anywhere on the weekends, either, to allow her to sleep in her crib as needed.  He suggests that we should be having the sitter feed the child if we cannot get home early enough to do everything we need to before bed.  We could do that, but we still couldn't meet his 5 p.m. uber-early bedtime that he says my baby needs because she's so overtired.  And therefore, we're bad parents.

Well doctor, we got the kid home at 4 today.  We had dinner at 5:15, she was nursed starting at 5:45 (where she immediately passed out), and she was in bed by 6:05.  Yes, it was obvious to us, too, that she needed it.  But today was an anomaly.  The Hubby got out of work early to take care of some other things and was able to rescue pick up Baby Girl from the sitter's, where she was hanging out in her bed with toys and a bottle, but was expected to be sleeping.  And the sitter wonders why she isn't napping there anymore.  If I had toys and food in my bed, I wouldn't be sleeping, either.  But we're going to work on that.  Or find a new sitter.

You know what, though?  I'm tired of reading that book, of having it suggested that we're doing something wrong by working.  That maybe we shouldn't have had this child if we both have to work and have to live further from work than we'd like.  So I'm going to set it ablaze.  I've taken the batteries out of the smoke alarms and bought the marshmallows.  I'm going to make some s'mores on this fire...but I'm sure I won't get to eat them because as soon as they're assembled, she'll wake up.


Mandy said...

Wow, what an effed up book. I can't read too many baby books/magazines/websites because they make me crazy. I was convinced DS had a cold sore the other day because that was my best guess and I mistakenly opened a book to research that theory. Turns out he just scratched himself.

You are doing a great job!

Andrea said...

That book sounds horrible! It deserves the fate you'll be giving it.

Cassie said...

I've heard of this before, and it makes me so angry. I think most moms, probably 3 out of 4, would stay at home with their kids if it was financially possible. I know that I would. The last thing we need is someone making us feel guilty for working when, at least in my case, working is not even something I WANT to do. I could go on forever about this, but I won't.

I don't blame you one bit for wanting to burn the book. I hope you stomped on it first and ripped out some of the pages.

Sarah Dee said...

burn baby burn!