3.20.2006

Hear Me Roar

I have presented across intimidatingly large conference tables to bold-letter names you've seen on the cover of Newsweek or in the pages of People.

I have cheered for the Yankees right outside Fenway Park, while men with names like Sully threatened me with bodily harm to a degree disproportionate to the offense committed.

I have battled severe dehydration on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, narrowly avoiding transport by Medevac.

I have survived 8 straight weeks of mean girls at Camp Wicosuta.

I have endured a third cup of Turkish coffee in the Stari Grad of Sarajevo.

I have quit smoking. Five times.

I have meandered through the Houston airport with an anti-Bush button front and center on my handbag.

I have walked the gauntlet known as the Sale at Fred Segal.

And I have grown a 6 pound-15 ounce human being from scratch, hustled her down the birth canal, and pushed her out my vajoojee into the world.

But my most Sisyphean challenge to date: Convincing Nate to let this same human being cry for a few minutes in her crib at bedtime.

Give me strength.


45 Comments:

Blogger something blue said...

You go girl! So funny.

I had the leave baby alone crying topic on my list of things to write about, but you beat me to it.

Personally, I'm just coaxing myself to give it a try as I sit outside her room cringing and counting the seconds before I should go back in for a round of comfort. I've seen other moms walk away without a second glance and eventually the cries quiet down. I'm still biting my tongue and cringing. I'm sure they won't grow up with resentment issues. Right? What's the magic number of minutes?

3/20/06, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Heh heh. I thought the cry it out stuff would be so easy and that I'd be more immune to the cries than my husband, but I'm much more of a softie than I expected. Good luck to you (and Nate!)

3/20/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

I am the queen of sleep and letting them cry it out now, but girl did you just bring back an awful memory. Me and hubby huddled on the couch, TV way down, Monitor way up, feeling HORRIBLE.

It gets better. You're doing great. Hope Nate can jump on board, but it is HARD!

3/20/06, 10:20 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Ironic isn't it. Manly men, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound and crush all sorts of insects to protect us women, are brought down by the cries of their own baby. Good luck.

3/20/06, 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

Yeah, that's a tough one.

Just make sure she can't climb out of the crib.

:)

3/20/06, 10:32 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

We couldn't do it...We always went to our little one. Now that she is a little older we are forced to b/c if not she will play us like a fiddle!! It is so hard not to respond to their cries!!

3/20/06, 10:32 AM  
Blogger stefanierj said...

It took us FOURTEEN MONTHS to get to CIO (!!!!), but dude, it worked. We went from D being up 6x in 3 hours to--eventually--sleeping 10-11 hours at a stretch. It's hard as hell, but you can do it (I'm talking to Nate, of course.) Good luck, mom- and dad-101.

3/20/06, 10:33 AM  
Anonymous reluctant housewife said...

I send you strength!

It'll be 3 nights of pain and doubt and fighting with the husband (why are they so weak when it comes to this?) but sleep, oh blessed, uninterrupted sleep! is at the end of the rainbow.

Keep your eye on the prize.

Good luck.

3/20/06, 10:36 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

This is a tough one... you either have to be pro-CIO or anti-CIO. There's no fence sittin' with this one. We had to use the Weissbluth method, ourselves. But I'm here to tell you that once your husband sees the results, he'll forget all about the fights, tears, and jagermeister shots you had over letting your baby for a little while at bedtime. You will both go into this unsure, but you will come out the other side as a rested family.

Best of luck!

3/20/06, 10:47 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Ooops. I meant to say "...letting your baby cry for a little while at bedtime."

I clearly need some sleep myself!

3/20/06, 10:49 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

oh boy--i have so been there (was the one who was caving tho'). let her cry, and you will never regret it. (serious). don't let her cry, then nate can be the one to amoooose her until she feels like sleepytime. meanwhile, mommy can get a manicure.

i feel a "why dr. sears was, for a short time, my own mortal enemy" diatribe coming on...

good to have you back!

3/20/06, 10:51 AM  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

Let me know how you do it. Bump has also been unable to do the "let the baby cry" thing. I'm more dedicated to it than he is, so needless to say, it's not happening.

There will probably be some issues I'll take a stand on, if we have a substantial parenting disagreement. Thus far, I'm trying to let Bump handle most things - like Lumpyhead's 2am to noon sleep schedule - the way he sees fit. He's the one dealing with the brunt of it, after all. I would do it differently, but shut up, for I am at work all day.

3/20/06, 11:26 AM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Damn. My comment was just eaten by some kind of cybermonster.

Basically I was saying I loved this set-up. Good luck! My friends are going through the same thing with their little guy right now. I think they've gone through the worst of it. So it seems to get better. :)

3/20/06, 12:13 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Wow. A man who wants to forgo sleep to pick up his crying baby. I didn't know those kind existed. :)

Well, good luck with CIO. My husband was all for it, and it really did work!

3/20/06, 1:27 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

Make a deal with him: He gets up and goes to her EVERY SINGLE TIME for a week.

He'll be pro-CIO in no time.

3/20/06, 1:31 PM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

Okay you had me at hustling the baby down the birth canal x4 for me but I am embarrassed to say that I had to look the word sisyphean up on the web dictionary. It means effortful for anyone else in my position that doesn't want to take the time to look it up. This one also spoke to me because my younger brother and his wife have a 14 month old baby girl named Giselle that my brother cannot let cry. In fact I told him if he just turned off the monitor it would be okay-It's a good thing for her to learn to put herself to sleep, so he went out and bought the little TV monitor to watch her so he would be able to turn the monitor off. what are my brother and Nate going to do when these two little girls, start school, cry over a boy,get car keys, leave for college...oh yeah I forgot that is when Nate and I are going to go with the kids.

Good Luck and remember it takes 2 weeks of consistancy to form a habit.

3/20/06, 1:32 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I'm the Nate in our family. Even now, on infant #4, you'd think I'd be an old pro. And yet my overactive imagination (the one that HATES hearing a baby cry) wants to convince itself that something is wrong and I HAVE to go check on her, maybe FEED her or see if she's running a fever or make sure she isn't just cold... so, yeah, I have no advice to offer, except this: don't be me. You obviously offer some balance to the relationship.

3/20/06, 1:54 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

I am one of the most relaxed moms you'll ever meet, but when it came time to let my first born cry it out, I sat outside her door, crying that I couldn't go in. I got over it when I realized that sleep was on the horizon...

By the time our second child came along? No problem. The boy was uncerimoniously laid to rest while hubby and I watched a movie. Yeah, you get over it pretty quickly when you realize that they aren't going to break as easily as you think they will.

3/20/06, 2:24 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

hahaha!! Good luck!!

3/20/06, 2:33 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I busted out laughing at "vajoojee". I have a 4 month old daughter and my husband still can't bring himself to call her girl parts by their actual names.

The dehydration thing sounds scary, but the Houston airport thing might just be scarier!

We did the CIO technique on #1 son, #2 son was fairly easy to get to sleep, #1 daughter can be laid down awake and will fall asleep on her own. I know, weird, huh? Good luck with the baby and Nate too.

3/20/06, 3:14 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

SIGH...I'm afraid it never changes. The Mom is ALWAYS the bad guy. The upside is, that you have a girl, who will one day realize that you were really acting in her best interest and taking the fall for her marshma...er, father's softheartedness.

I live in the South. I can fully appreciate the peril of displaying anti-bush anything in a red state, much less the mother of all things red. You are a brave woman.

I did CIO. It was a matter of survival. ;?)

3/20/06, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Never worked for me. My son has some lungs and sheer determination, but we are going to try again soon. Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

3/20/06, 3:38 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh wow. This didn't work for me either. I have a child who inherited his father's will of steel.

3/20/06, 4:15 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

I really am enjoying the fact that you're doing all this now. Make sure you keep all this advice for little old moi.

3/20/06, 4:18 PM  
Blogger tracey said...

A note to Nate:
A child that learns the beauty of self soothing will be A HAPPY CHILD! And a happy child means a happy Mommy. And a happy Child and a happy Mommy makes for a VERY HAPPY DADDY! Just do it Nate! You'll never regret it.
And now the disclaimer:
It may end up having to be a bit more than fussing (a few nights of screaming even) but by god, it works. My husband was the strong and determined one and would make me leave the house and drive around (tears streaming down my face) when we did the CIO thing with both my daughters. Now they are 2 and 8 and both SUPER-STAR SLEEPERS!
GOOD LUCK! And when things get rough, go outside, call a friend, or put in the earplugs. You'll be glad you did.

3/20/06, 4:29 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Such amazing advice! I have the greatest mothers EVER reading my blog. (Sorry to other bloggers out there, but my readers are the best and we can't all be #1.)

I am saving every scrap of it and putting it all to work tonight.

3/20/06, 5:10 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Good luck! It didn't work w/our little son. We did it for 10 days, that's right, 10 days before we gave up. That's 10 days of screaming (some nights worse than others) with one night of crying so much he vomited. I nearly freaked, my husband kept me strong. We never pick him up, but we do go into to soothe. Still not a good sleeper at 21 months.

It's magic for some and a curse for others. May the force be on your side!

3/20/06, 5:11 PM  
Blogger Alisyn said...

For me, it worked on #2, not on #1. I really think some kids'll work with you on it, others, not so much. Hope you have one that'll work with you. Good luck, and get some good EARPLUGS!

3/20/06, 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Christina/aka Kitty said...

Oh dear; I could never stomach this. Of course, I have woken up with all three in our bed at times, but I really have no regrets. And, to those who say they will never sleep on their own if they don't CIO, I say 'pah': Our 5yo is a super sleeper. But, to each their own, I just hope your neighbors don't mind!

I loved the set up to this, BTW, and you know I love you!

3/20/06, 5:36 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I crouch on the floor behind her bassinet holding my breath and counting to ten over and over while she fusses, then cries. My record so far? Two minutes. Needs some work, I know. I'm looking forward to hearing how you fare...

But really? VAJOOJEE! That was the best part of this post. Probably the best thing I've read all day.

3/20/06, 6:15 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

All I can say - Mine still sleeps with me/us and she is almost 8.

I am a pussy.

3/20/06, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

My 2nd needed to cry herself to sleep. Swear ta god. We felt so mean, but truly, it was part of her comfort routine. She'd fuss (not scream) in a monotonous rhythm until she feel asleep minutes later. Totally threw me for a loop since my first 1) didnt do that and 2) never *really* cried it out. Sometimes a little crying is okay. Just sayin'.

3/20/06, 8:49 PM  
Blogger Carrcakes said...

You neglected to include your bar dancing talents on your list of accomplishments.

3/20/06, 9:38 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Lady, if you can survive the sale at Fred Segal I have no advice to give.

I bow down before you.

(Hey, you didn't say anything about the Barneys sale. Oh wait - mean girls camp. I guess you did.)

3/20/06, 10:07 PM  
Blogger tom's wife said...

How old is your baby? My third is 4 months old and I just did the CIO thing...and of coarse it does work. Some advice I got from a good friend...No one ever died from crying!!! Good luck.

3/20/06, 10:15 PM  
Blogger IzzyMom said...

Been there and it was hard but after 7 months of chronic sleep deprivation, I was willing to try it. It only took a few days.

3/20/06, 11:36 PM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

What was it like in Sarajevo? When were you there?

I can't really be helpful on the sleep thing, I'm afraid. When my girls (twins) were small, we kind of let them cry sometimes for a wee bit, then sometimes not. Depending on ... I'm really not sure what it was dependant on.

'It's all about inconsistency' is something you never read in a parenting book but dammit if we weren't consistent in our inconsistency, which must count for something.

In short, we muddled through it until sleep started to be had again. At one point, it was harder to come by than venereal disease in a convent but, by the other end of the first year, sleep was getting more promiscuous; sleep was beginning to flirt with me, teasing me with the ecstasy of a whole night's slumber. Sleep and I began seeing more of each other and pretty soon I was full on sleeping with sleep. It was everything I knew it would be. Dreamy, deep and blissful. And (oh my!) he lasted 8 hours!

Oh sure, he played hard to get and our relationship continues to be rocky, (there's this fabulous litle blue pill now though) but guiltless sleep will come to you too, and I think I've now belaboured this metaphor to the extent that I've probably breached the labour laws of both the Koreas with it. So I'll stop.

Sorry I don't have any actual useful advice to give. The best I can offer is a kind of nebulous 'it'll work out somehow, some way, some day' and a vague shoulder and arm thing. Which is crap, so sorry an'that.

3/21/06, 12:44 AM  
Blogger vasilisa said...

If you succeed, let me know. My little monster is almost a year now and still is a nightmare at night. I think we missed the "let him cry" opportunity, and were weak enough to take him to our bed. (not because of mushy parenting theories, but just so we could get some SLEEP, you know). Now we can't get him out. The cry-it-out doesn't do anything other than threaten the integrity of our windows. Not even trying any more.

agrh...

3/21/06, 1:35 AM  
Blogger zeldafitz said...

Sorry--I have no advice--just want to say BLESS YOU for "vajoojee."

It needs to be patented and sold to Merriam-Webster as the ONLY suitable slang (nay, word!) to describe, well, ya know.

3/21/06, 1:12 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

There was seriously no way I could use the CIO method with my child, because after 4 or 5 months of desperation with his OUTSTANDINGLY poor sleeping habits, when we finally decided to try to just let him cry for a little while in his crib, he would just cry harder and harder and get louder and louder and more agitated and more and more COMPLETELY AWAKE the longer we left him alone. He would get so loud and so panicked-sounding after even a short period of time that I was seriously afraid our neighbors would call the police, and that upon seeing our wild-eyed, red-faced, scream-hoarse child flailing in panic on a tear-soaked mattress and choking on his own spittle, the police might actually arrest us.

If we let him cry for even just 15-20 minutes without intervention, it would get that bad. And it often would take three hours to get him to go back to sleep afterward.

So, if it works for you (and I hope it does), that's great, but do keep in mind it doesn't work for every child!

3/21/06, 2:30 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Sam: I've been to Sarajevo twice, 2000 and 2001 to do some grassroots work with women refugees from there, many who have grown to be like long-lost cousins to me.

My trips there have been among the most earth-shattering, eye-opening, formative experiences of my life and I can't wait to bring Thalia there to meet everyone. But that's all another post for another day...

3/21/06, 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Tie him to a chair. Just a thought. It will really only take a couple of times.

3/21/06, 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Great post that highlights some of the things you have endured. My kidneys failed last year due to dehydration it can be quite serious.

I think my son was about 13 before I started letting him cry at night. 10 minutes felt like forever!

3/23/06, 11:31 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

Tough love baby. that's what it's all about. Good on ya.

PS: We bought a new mattress that was to be delivered a week after we began the CIO. It was a good and somewhat expensive incentive. Dreaming about the rockin' sleep we'd be getting in a week's time helped us to stay the course.

Ear plugs help too.

3/24/06, 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i survived mean girls at camp wicosuta too!!!

12/5/06, 10:53 PM  

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