God, I love these kids. My boys are so great, even when they steadfastly refuse to sleep in their own beds. Jamie made it all the way till 10 pm last night before waking up and refusing to go back down. Seriously, he will fall dead asleep in my arms or Tony’s arms, be silent and unmoving for 20 minutes, and will wake up the instant he even gets close to his crib. I’m not afraid to admit that we have given up. He slept with us all night last night.
Someone once accused me of letting Charles manipulate me with regard to sleeping. Manipulate? No, I firmly believe that he was not intentionally trying to get me to let him sleep with us. At that age (18 months or so), he hurt (herniated umbilical cord, teething for-freaking-ever) and he felt more secure sleeping with us. Truth be told, Charles would still rather sleep with us, but he’s old enough that we can mostly reason with him (or threaten him) and keep him in his own bed. He’s also large enough that he can’t fit with us for a whole night anymore. And, you know, it worked itself out. He doesn’t cry and scream when we put him to bed. Sure, he might take another hour or two after bedtime to finally settle into sleep, but he no longer screams like I’m pulling out his toenails with pliers when we put him into bed.
But Jamie does. Last night we let him scream and wail and stomp his feet in his crib for almost 40 minutes. By the time I finally relented and said “enough!” he was dehydrated and blotchy and had nearly barfed in anger and anxiety.
Oh, I know all the rules about cry-it-out. I know all the methods for graduated cry-it-out and sleep easy method and blah, blah, blah. But the bottom line, for us, is that we don’t want Jamie to cry it out if it will take hours each night. We don’t want him to feel anxiety because he wants us and we’re not there. He used to be a great sleeper who would cry for a minute or two, AT MOST, and then put his thumb in his mouth and go to sleep. For whatever reason, he won’t do it anymore.
And I’m saying that’s okay. He’s small, he’s cuddly, he still smells like baby, so he can sleep with us (Charles does not smell like a baby any longer. And he farts). Right in the middle of the bed, all tucked in next to mom and dad. And I guarantee he won’t be doing it when he’s twelve, or even when he’s two. But right now he needs us, he needs the comfort of sleeping with us, and I’m done fighting. We always get a couple of hours after we put him down during which he sleeps in his crib and for the short term, that will be fine. It allows me and Tony time to do laundry and dishes, snuggle on the couch, or whatever we need to do before bed. And sleeping in our bed gives me and Tony the chance to cuddle with a little boy who is growing up all too soon.
Fortunately, despite our nighttime disturbances, these boys continue to be adorable. Observe:
Charles will sometimes read simple books to Jamie… he editorializes, frequently with the words, “poopy, you pooper!” Four-year-old humor is awesome.
Hat. He put it on himself.
“I’m in a box!”
This is from an epic tantrum yesterday that lasted 45 minutes. He thrashed about on the floor of the basement, which he was forbidden to leave, until he got his coat out of the car. Time out is the worst punishment ever, but for three quarters of an hour, it was, apparently, a better choice than going to the car and getting that jacket. I’ll never understand it.