March 4, 2008

STW 2.0

What are the white lies you tell? Are you the person who lies about how long you’ve been playing golf to justify that slice? Are you the person who innocently exaggerates how quickly you made it to work this morning, even if just by a few minutes, so that your commute doesn’t sound quite so bad? Maybe you’re the person who ups the ante a bit and uses your “sick” child as an excuse to avoid seeing some friends that aren’t really friends. Every day we tell these lies, and having a kid simply opens up hundreds of new avenues even with higher stakes. The well being of your child is at stake. I know what you’re thinking. He wants to know if he should eventually tell little Annie that there is no Easter Bunny. Or that Samoas are only for adults. Or that he doesn’t believe in God.

Those may be the white lies that we talk about every day and later laugh about with our kids and friends, but what about the lies we tell to make ourselves seem like more accomplished parents? The other day my wife and I were telling someone that Annie has been getting up at least once a night lately, and that the only way to put her back to sleep is to give her a bottle. Our friend was shocked that we were still feeding Annie in the middle of the night. After all, she is eight months old, an age that seems to be universally known as the bridge to toddler hood. A seven month old can still get away with the whole baby act, but once you cross over into your eighth month it is time to start fending for yourself. Baby be of use!

Personally, I’m skeptical of parents that tell me their child fits into any of the time lines and milestones you might read about. Don’t sit there in Gymboree and make excuses for you baby’s stuttered crawling or leave off a couple of weeks from their age to explain all that spitting up. Parents, learn from your babies and be yourself. If they can drool all over themselves, grunt and get red-faced while pooping, and still just want to be near you, then you can take what comes and learn from it. Annie won’t mind and I won’t either if your son is packing a few extra pounds lately. If you still coddle the little one and you are being true to your belief system, then keep on plugging along. When the time is right to lay down the law you’ll know it. If you know deep down that it’s time for a change then implement one, but don’t torture yourself because a book tells you that you should be feeding your baby solids now, or that she should be napping at 10 and 2.

Okay, so that segue was on the lengthy side. I would like to welcome you to STW 2.0. For all you loyal readers out there, you will remember that STW stands for sleep training week. Back in early November, my wife and I reached the point at which we realized Annie’s sleeping habits, or lack thereof, were beginning to affect all of our lives. So we embarked on a one week journey towards better sleep habits. Starting on Sunday, we decided to let Annie cry for successively longer intervals as the week progressed. By the time we reached Thursday and 40 minutes the issue resolved itself and she was sleeping for twelve hours straight. We were scared to take such measures and felt like we were torturing Annie, but the improvement in our lives was immediate and very satisfying.

This new Annie lasted for a little over three months and then Annie 2.0 learned how to sit up on her own, oh, and then stand on her own. The first time I witnessed this, I was sitting on the couch listening to her cry and hoping that she would take an afternoon nap. When I poked my head in to check on her, she was standing straight up and gnawing on the top rail of the crib. Ever since then, every time she wakes up (day or night) she stands up and gets stuck there. The crying becomes both about exhaustion and the fear of the unknown. Until she learns how to get back down from her perch I fear consistent sleep may be put on hold.

As of this post we are on day three of STW 2.0. Sunday night’s 10 minute wait did absolutely nothing. When my wife and I came in to feed her she was waiting for us, not with bells on, but the next best thing…tears and poop. Monday and 15 minutes were also unsuccessful, with Annie not even batting an eye. She waited us out like a kidnapper demanding ransom. Tonight, we move to 20 minutes, but in this war of attrition I have my doubts. The first time around I was confident that we would find a resolution. However, that baby wasn’t as smart as this one. Annie knows what we are up to and nothing short of complete disregard will get her to fall (literally) back to sleep. This time around I’m not willing to do that. So the next time I see my friends, should I lie about it?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

STW2.0-keep on plugging away.
From personal experience-white lies lead to half truths, and it gets easier every time!So...........

March 5, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

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