I know. I know you think I probably fell of the earth. Sometimes I think I have too. The best thing in the world has happened! My party animal of 16 months has decided to rescue me from the psych ward at the hospital and let me sleep. Well kinda, sorta, maybe, not completely, but definitely with long term potential. Did you get that? Ohhhhh where do I begin? Should I begin with the story of how I contacted the baby whisperer? Or perhaps a couple incidents that led to the nervous breakdown and the desperation that provoked me to track the baby whisperer down? And by the way, I didn’t end up using the baby whisperer so this is where I am patting myself on the back. You must read on…
Chaos ensued, as it usually does as soon as they open their little eyelids in the morning. And by the morning, I mean anytime after 6, because at this point C was still waking up twice a night so naturally I had already seen the whites of her eyes too many times before 6am. C walked over to Pixie’s water and food bowl and proceeded to dump it all over and then lay in it like she was swimming and row her arms back and forth to make sure the small breed dog food flew all around the kitchen. Nice work C, A for effort. There was a knock at the door and in walked her swimming instructor which led to wailing and screaming with Niagara falls rushing my way. To get me back she decided to poop in her swim diaper during her lesson, and because she apparently doesn’t chew her food, her grapes exited out of the top of her diaper and floated around the pool…in whole form…for me to clean up later. 2 points for her. You would think this traumatic experience coupled with the fact that she doesn’t sleep at night would make her fall fast asleep…think again. She came out of the pool with more energy than she went in with and threw her angel smile on trying to show me how cute she could be. L, who is the original honey badger, even wonders how this new version can possibly keep going all day.
To the park! We had to kill some time before lunch and my house can only provide so much stimulation before it looks like a tornado attacked it. Well, it looks like that everyday so I take that statement back. L is now potty trained completely but insists on seeing every toilet God made so naturally we stepped foot on the playground and “PEE PEE MOMMA”. Yes, of course. What do I do with Honey Badger 4.0 while the original is dropping her drawers? How can I make sure C doesn’t lick the walls and floor (because she touches and mouths everything) while I am trying to make sure L doesn’t touch the sides of the public restroom? I had to hold C behind my back with one hand sideways while trying to rip sand paper, I mean toilet paper, off the roll and lay it neatly down with fifty sheets so that L stays sanitary. Anddddddd down go her shorts on the wet, nasty, dark and dirty floor. Well I didn’t like those Janie and Jack shorts anyway, I wondered if I could let her run around the park in her Hello Kitty underwear…No? I put C in the swing to contain her and let L run around the slide only to look down and see C sucking on the bucket swing. Why do I even wonder how they get sick.
I won’t drag you through my day but basically I ran into a woman and started telling her my whole life story. Surprising, right? I am an open book and my book always turns toward the sob story about no sleep. The woman tells me of a baby whisperer who changed her life. Yes, Yes, go on, go on, and then what happened? You lived happily ever after? I want her number. Awesome! How much would it cost? I didn’t care! Sign me up! How can you put a price on sleep! I contacted her ASAP. Cricket, cricket. No response for a week! How rude! If she ever called I wouldn’t use her out of principle! How can she wait so long!??? Two weeks later she called and that whole shpeal about blowing her off flew out the window. After I went over my life for the past 16 months, she told me it was all behavioral and she GUARANTEED she could have her sleeping through the night but I needed her for a minimum of 3 days along with being consistent with her plan for the following 2 weeks. Yes, YES, of course, whatever she wanted, here’s my social security, take it all. She was booked for the next couple weeks but had a few open days coming up next week. I called J immediately for his approval. This is where J and I differ. I am very impulsive…in a positive way of course. I think it’s a good quality however, J is very methodical and likes to analyze things for a while before making a decision. OH NOOOOOO, this wouldn’t work for me. We needed to act fast, she was going to book up! She’s awesome and perfect and did you hear me say she GUARANTEES her services??!!! Don’t you love me enough to do it right now? He wanted to know the cost which she was sending me in the next couple hours. Who cares!! It couldn’t be more than a couple hundred dollars! Where do I sign up?
When the email came and I opened it, I fell on the floor and started crying. Like real tears crying. Like my life was over crying. It was over. I would never sleep again. She wanted $1224 for 72 hours. Even if I asked for Christmas and birthday money ahead of time and then asked for J’s too I still couldn’t cover it and to be honest with you there is a really awesome pair of shoes I want. Just kidding of course, I would cut my finger and pour blood on paper if she would just sleep!!! But $1200 for 3 days was a little much even for me. Ugh. I even had a very sweet friend offer to give me the money, probably because she’s so sick of hearing about me complain! Like you! HA!
My next resort was to read every blog I could find on the internet. I googled “sleep training a toddler” and a thousand articles from specialists who clearly have no child like mine were giving advice. Thank you and good-bye. What turned out to be my saving grace were the comments, by the hundreds, of people who actually had real world experiences and spoke my language… the language of dark eyes, lots of makeup, and no sleep. These parents suggested I pull a couch/mattress next to the crib and let her know I was there but let her know she would not get picked up or be given milk. I was just suppose to soothe her through the little slats of the crib and tell her she wasn’t alone. BINGO. This gave me hope. The game plan was in place and the husband was given instructions. I went to publix and cruised the ear plug isle. No, no, no, no, YES! Soft wax ear plugs promising to shut out over 22 decibels of sound. Not quite enough, as C can hit an extraordinarily high octave, but I’ll take it. She went to bed as usual, J and I watched TV on the couch, and we hugged and kissed each other goodnight and prayed it would not be a horror movie. Scream 10 ensued. I was in and out of consciousness all night and my arm was in and out of the crib with a lot of “Shhhhhh’s”. The next five nights were more of the same. We gave each other pep talks and talked about how “surely this was working” and “don’t you feel like it was a better night?”. No. I finally spoke to my sister in law after a week and I told her I was giving up. I needed to accept the fact that this was my life. There would never be a third child in the birthing plan because the second felt like three, four, five and six. She told me not to give up, she told me if I gave up C would always get her way and I needed to stay strong. Yadda yadda yadda yadda. I am not functioning well these days and if there was ever a time for Botox it was now. My forehead looks like the bleacher rows at a baseball field and I’m hitting the nose bleed section. Please make it stop.
That night it was J’s turn. He decided to fall asleep next to me and go in later. I heard him get up around 2 and leave the room but it wasn’t because she was screaming, it was just because he was anticipating the screams. He came back in at 6:30 am and woke me up. Good news. She slept. All night. SHE SLEPT ALL NIGHT. Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth? SHE SLEPT! The pterodactyl, who usually makes the house shake and should be trying out for dinosaur movies in Hollywood, kept her trap shut. First night ever. Amen sister!!! I knew it must be a fluke but hey, who’s complaining?!! Not this girl!! The following nights were pretty good. Some screaming here and there but all in all pretty encouraging. Of course now she’s teething all four molars so I’ve got that. Thank you teeth, for screwing up what was about to be a fairy tale ending. I wish I could finish this blog with a goodnight kiss and a promise of REM sleep but last night was ugly and the last molar cut so I’m going to say adios and sayonara. I will try not to stay away too long and on that note I hear her screaming…again!
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10 NIV