Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Sleeping Saga

Yes, my dear friends, we have reached another chapter in the saga of Harriet's sleeping.

Lo and behold...falling asleep without Mommy.

Up until, oh, last night, Harriet's bedtime routine went something like this: take bath, get in bed with Mommy, read a few books, turn off lights, pray, roll around for hours singing and talking and being generally obnoxious.  If Harriet perceived that she was being ignored, she would up the ante and whisper "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy," five hundred times until she was acknowledged.

Something had to change.  I knew it for months.

And last night it did.

Last night I decided that it was time for yet another round of "tough love" with Harriet and her sleeping issues.  I got her settled into bed, prayed with her, gave her a big hug and kiss and then announced that I was going to leave the room.  I left the door open just a small crack and then listened to her wail for fifteen minutes.  It wasn't sad wailing or scared wailing.  It was "I'm not getting what I want and I'm mad" wailing.  Harriet is a stubborn chicky.  She knows that she can push my buttons and get me to give in.  But I remained stalwart, with the affirmation of my decision from Clara and Jen.  She went to sleep and still loved me when she woke up this morning.

Harriet has always been a beast about sleeping.  This blog is a record of our struggles from the time she was eight weeks old.  I am convinced that she was doing this all out of purely wicked spite...even when she was only a few months old.  She is so crazy stubborn about this and I know that this is just a another step in the process of training her to be a healthy sleeper.

Now we are on night #2 of the drama llama.  I hate it.  It makes me feel like the worst mother on the planet.  I feel like I'm losing another "connection" with her.  Like she's growing up way too fast.  But this is the sentimental side ruling out over reality.  I may dislike this temporary discomfort, but I dislike the horrendous frustration and resentment I feel towards her at 9:30pm every evening much more.

I remember how wretched I felt about night weaning her at 13 when Steve came home from work he found us both sobbing on the bed.  It was really hard, but only for two nights.  Then it was wonderful!  And our relationship strengthened because Harriet knew that I was the Mommy and I was in charge.  I wasn't feeling angry with her every single evening.

I'm confident that this chapter of Harriet's sleeping saga will end positively.

(Meanwhile Edmund sleeps contentedly without assistance in his co-sleeper, just like I told him to do while he was in the womb.)