Sleep Wars


While we were out of town, young Robert found himself very off-schedule. There were short naps and inexcusably late bedtimes. And now I pay the price…

Last night’s bedtime was epic. It was a two-hour bonanza of ear-piercing shrieking. There was no escape from Robbie’s shrill demonstration of displeasure. I put him down at 6:20 (I know because I called my sister right after he went down and checked my call log to see how long he had been screaming – a mere six minutes). At 6:26 I went in to get him. Normally, I would have waited much longer, but it was that screaming you can feel in your bones.

The screaming continued for another two hours. We tried to rock and soothe Robbie, which just made him more irate. We let him play quietly in his room, which was fine until he realized we were doing other things. We put him back in his crib to see if he would just get tired. Nothing worked. Not even when we drew the big guns: a bottle of milk.

The only thing that worked was Justin, who decided to try soothing Robbie two hours after the whole sleep ordeal began. How did that work out? Mmhmm… He had Robbie asleep in five minutes. Where, I ask you, was this man when the whole thing started?

Don’t think it was over… Like we did. We were lulled into a false sense of security that was rudely interrupted at 9:30 when Robbie woke up and beckoned us with his war cry. It was more attempts at soothing, this time with all of us trying to go to sleep. Unfortunately, only two of us went to sleep. I woke up at 11:00 with a little smiling face two inches from mine, saying, “Hi!”

I naively hoped that one day at Zhining’s would have Robbie back on track. Surely playing all day would get him so tired that he couldn’t help but go straight to sleep. Of course. Not. The young one screamed as soon as we put him down. I took a shower, hoping he would fall asleep in the meantime. No such luck. I took him up a bottle of milk, as that usually does the trick (see big guns, above).

Robbie gratefully took the milk. As I turned away, he threw his arms up in the air and started screaming, “Mamamamamama!” Sensing that this was not going to go well for me, I picked Robbie up and went to the rocking chair, where we sat for the next half hour. Robbie drank his milk and stared at me like he did when he was a little baby, making googlie eyes. He nestled in a little closer and smiled up at me, closing his eyes for a little longer each time he blinked. And then he fell asleep. It turns out, all he wanted was a little time with me. And, since he has been so independent about sleeping for so long, I’m not going to question whether or not I’m starting a bad trend. I’m just going to enjoy that, tonight, my little boy just needed some more time with me in order to fall asleep. Oh, and that I didn’t need Justin to come up and finish the job for me. At least not for the moment.


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