Tuesday, March 24, 2009

confessions of a baby whisperer drop-out

you know how in the movie Matrix, if they needed to know something, the guy back at command central (or whatever it was called where their heads are plugged in), would just upload the information into their brain? like when they needed to know how to fly a helicopter within 5 seconds? yeah, so that is what i was wishing for last night.

only instead of operating an apache, i needed all the baby whisperer's secrets... like NOW.

the only way to get mason to sleep is by nursing him. precious, sweet and enduring and a little like my own private prison with a chain attached to me that i can NEVER escape from. and seriously, you are 6 months old now so lets fall asleep on our own.

some babies come out of the womb able to do this. not my children. don't judge me. its not my fault. i'm just trying to survive here.

i like the baby whisperer because i think she likes children. i agree with her philosophy. but i'm kinda wondering where i can get me one of those babies she is talking about. the kind that are "settling" as they fall asleep instead of contorting in rage. or who will cry until you pick them up and then are miraculously calmed by your presence... instead of frenzied rage that escalates as they pull your hair and beat their head against your chest. hmmm.... maybe its just me.

so when i put mason to bed last night, this whole "pick-up/put-down" method worked. pick them up when they are upset and then put them down once they are calm and repeat until they fall asleep on their own. lovely.

1 am rolls around and after filling his tummy, i get a little confident in my sleepiness and i think, hey, he should go right back to sleep.

ahh haaa haaa haaa haaa... ahhh haaa haaa haaa haaa haaa

funny, funny me.

as mason is in his frantic fits of hysteria i'm thinking, now what did the baby whisperer say about this, again? he's supposed to calm down at some point, right? i'm picking him up to "comfort" him but i'm sure that if he had a knife in his hand he'd stab me. i mean, that kid was MAAAADDDDD!!!!

so then i think, if he's this mad, i should just lay him back down. he can't get worse???


now what was it she said to do when your baby doesn't calm down? EVER?

and what do you do when he doesn't stop pulling on your hair and screaming in your ear?

funny how "patting his back" and softly whispering, "mommy's here" doesn't seem to calm him in the slightest. in fact, i'm pretty sure he would be swearing at me if he could talk. i mean, even when i hear myself saying, "mommy's here" over his wails, i almost chuckled. this is borderline ridiculous.

i'm thinking, isn't the title of her book, the baby whisperer solves ALL your problems? somewhere in there has to be all my answers.

i sorta remember her saying something about some of those tough cases taking an hour or more. and hour? no problem. well guess what, i have a new record for you. 2 hours of non-stop crying. in my ear. my head is pounding and all i can think is, why didn't i just bring him to bed with me?

wow. he may be in counseling when he's older... they'll be trying to figure out what's wrong with him and then he'll say, "i do have this vivid memory of when i was 6 months old and my mom, who was on the very edge of losing all her sanity, decided to mess with my sleep to make her life easier. she tried to torture me. and i'll never let her forget it!"

so after no such thing as "settling" and plenty of "picking up" and not as much "putting down" since he never "calmed himself," i gave up.

that's right, I GAVE UP.

i'm not afraid to admit it. 2 hours of desperation expressed in escalating shrieks in my ear and a mommy can't take it anymore. he got another bottle that put him right to sleep. (that is what ms. baby whisperer calls a "prop" and also "accidental parenting" that creates bad habits)

(accidental... yeah right. it was very intentional.)

maybe part of the problem is that "calm" should be a sort of baseline to begin with.

in the midst of this madness, i was thinking to myself, maybe we can cash in our 401(k)s and hire this famous baby whisperer to come to our house and do this for us... since it always seems to work for her. then i realized we don't have much in those 401(k)s anymore... and i think the sweet lady actually died a few years ago. what a shame. i'm confident i would have been that chapter she would add to her book titled: my method always worked... and then i met mason.

my friend robin did this with her daughter and it worked. i'm looking forward to discussing my options with her. maybe i can hire her to come perform the magic on my precious angel.

robin, what i want to know is:
1. did your daughter feel comforted by your presence? or just tormented?

2. was there ever a calm moment?
3. when you tripped over the scotch-tape dispenser strategically placed in the middle of your baby's bedroom floor by your 4 year-old, did you startle your already hysterical baby and make things worse? (oh, never mind, you don't have a 4 year-old. scratch that question.)
4. did you ever "put down" your baby and "pick up" a bottle? i mean, like, for yourself? like, i don't know, maybe tequila?

through the years of babyhood, i often think of some very wise advice my sister gave me shortly after ella was born. "when its nap time, just get yourself a good book, get comfortable and let 'em nurse."

i'm off to read...

"who, me?"


Rachael Schepemaker said...

Yeah, seriously. That picture of Mason makes him look 100% innocent. I often struggle with the dilemma of quickly picking up Landon when he cries at night because I don't want him to wake up Taylor, which he almost always does, and then the 2-year-old is wide awake and the baby goes back to sleep. Oh it makes me tired just thinking about it ;-)

Megan O. said...

You're reminding me about the fun sleepless nights with an infant and I'm starting to get scared. We haven't been there for two whole years now, why did we think it was a good idea to go back?

Teri said...

I think all those how to have a perfect baby where what made me so crazy. My babies where never like ANY of the babies in those books. I know how to books helped out some parents, but my help came from a bottle, a pacifier and a good friend to share by woes with. I will be praying for you.

debby94 said...

With all of his determination, he will surely be something great when he gets older. God has some big plans in store for him. Good luck in this department. Sleep is always a hard issue. Really hard for you.

Mama Kat said...

Oh. my. goodness. This is hysterical. For me. Maybe not for you at 1am, but Lawdy Lawdy what a mess!!

I'll tell you what worked for me since it's all I know. I put ALL of my babies to bed with bottles. Eventually they outgrew them and I gave them a book instead. Sometimes they cried. I let them.

Cry it out Bud. Have a bottle and find your happy place. Both of you.

Is it possible he's just extra hungry?? Or maybe has an ear infection?? Maybe your husband can do the night time routine?? Maybe you can just drink yourself into a deep sleep and not deal with it at all??

That's all I got.

aunt gigi said...

Someday you may look back on all of this with a smile.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

Steph....my mom always used to tell me..."He won't do it when he goes to kindergarten, just do what works!" All rules go out the door...Jake had a bottle until he was 3...I know, that's not the worst...we put Coke in it sometimes! He loved it! Guess what? He never went to kindergarten with a bottle of Coke!
To funny! Do what works for you and Mason...if you can figure that out! Love you!