Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baby S finally sleeps in her crib.

9:00 p.m last night. All tuckered out with Funky Dog and Snoopy blankie.

3:00 a.m.

6:00 a.m., showered and ready to roll.

I am the most impatient person in this world. So I am still astounded that I waited five months for Baby S to be ready to sleep in her crib. She did spend about four hours at night in September, when J was working on the desktop in the master bedroom and we did not want Baby S to wake up. Other than that, not even a nap in her crib.

Ever since we met Baby S, we have been working on establishing trust. Let's face it, to her we are responsible for turning her world upside down and taking her away from her nanny. As a result, we had to let go of many of the ideals we had regarding parenting. The biggest joke here is that P and I are rather laid back and middle of the road. Authoritarian parenting is useless and we are more on the authoritative side. However, when it comes to co-sleeping, we both felt strongly against the practice. For me it is simply an irrational fear of rolling over and suffocating a child. For P it is about keeping one, just one part of his life that is still his.

Years ago, we babysat the children of our friends. Our friends visited the east coast for a wedding and we spent two weekends at their home with their kids. My friends warned me that their youngest (2 at the time) would wake up in the middle of the night scared and would bolt for their bed. My friend knew how I felt about co-sleeping, but also informed me that if he awoke his sister, I would have two cranky kids up. Good times!

On our first night there, around 2:30 a.m., T2 awoke as predicted, scared and screaming. I bolted towards him and took him to the living room where we cuddled for a while until he fell asleep. I finally gave in to sleep and brought him to bed with us. I awoke a few hours later with a funky sensation on my back, but could not see what was going on. P was already awake and although my back was to him, he could tell when I came to. T2 was sleeping perpendicular between us, his head deeply buried on my back and his feet firmly planted on P's chest. We remained in that uncomfortable position for quite a while, waiting for T2 to move. We later looked at each other and said "When we have our baby, she will NEVER sleep with us, that is crazy stuff." Ah, famous last words.

T2 trusted that his parents would be there for him when he was afraid, and that is a trust that was built over two years. There is no way I could agree to be his caretaker for two weekends and then apply our rules to him. Totally unfair, as unfair as it is to expect Baby S to adapt to whatever expectations we had of parenthood when we just met and she had no reason to trust or love us.

For the past five months we have painstakingly worked on gaining Baby S's trust. This means that we have had to let a lot of things go. Things that would be a given if she were younger when we met or if she had been with us since birth. During the last month we have seen how those baby steps have equated to progress. Now, we do not measure progress like most parents do, because, well, we are not doing by the number parenting.

Allowing Baby S to spend hours in her crib crying was never an option for us. There are many aspects about her history that we have not discussed outside our nuclear family and we never will. All we know is that our approach is the best for her at this time and it will obviously change as her time with us increases and she learns that we are worthy of her trust.

Something as seemingly insignificant as Baby S playing with her back to us is a major accomplishment to us. In September, we went on a hike and I had Baby S on my back during the descent and P tackled the uphill trek. Baby S had to see me at all times and would become agitated when she could not see me. Then she would only play with me by her side and sometimes would only play while sitting on my lap. Would I have done that with J? No, not a chance, but it was the right thing for Baby S.

Yesterday afternoon we lowered the mattress on her crib to the lowest setting (the kid is a Houdini), allowed her to fall asleep on our bed as usual, then transferred her to her crib. She slept through the night, which would not have happened had we dumped her on her crib and walked away. P had the first full night of sleep in five months. While I was tired, I did not sleep much last night, because I was anxious about Baby S waking up, and me not responding fast enough. So I stayed up and waited. Upon awakening, P stated that while he really needed the sleep, "I really missed her you know. Having that little creature between us is just something good." Really good Baby, but it's time for our little wondrous creature to move on to her crib. We have no idea if this is going to happen tonight, but we will keep on trying. She already took a two hour nap in her crib today. We waited years to bring Baby S home, we can wait until she is ready to trust us.

Baby S is getting a cold and gosh darn it why couldn't it happen Wednesday when she had her Dr.'s appointment? The poor thing woke up from her nap barking like a seal.

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