Okay, thought I'd try something different, or, rather, try to distract myself less I run out the back door and scream at the top of my lungs into the crisp mountain air tonight. Why? I'm sitting here listening to Matthew scream and scream and scream. I put him to bed half an hour ago. He usually goes in fine - give him a sippy cup with some water, give him a little pat, cover him up, press the button on his little crib/aquarium/music thing and depart. Good for 12 hours. But lately, he's been having a few issues. Perhaps it's related to the two HUGE molars the kid's getting. This child grows the biggest teeth I've ever seen. Like horse-sized. He's getting his two bottom final molars and it's got to hurt. Or perhaps it's related to the hacking cough he's had since Monday. Or maybe it's because we've been babying him a bit (well, he IS a baby) and going into him lately, because a) he's getting molars and b) he has a cough. Somewhat of a circular argument, but I digress.
So half hour ago, I rocked him awhile, kissed his sweet little cheek, smelled his freshly washed head, snuggled in the rocker with him and he was fine. Then I made the supreme mistake of telling him it was bedtime and putting him in his little crib. It's been angst ever since.
So what to do? What to do? Go into him? Pick him up? NO. Will not do one bit of good - he'll just stop crying and then when I put him in again, he'll be hysterical another half hour. So how about going in and giving him a little pat? Nope. He's too old for that. Maybe would work on an 8 month old. But I know as soon as I walk in there, he'll shoot right up, hold his little arms up to be picked up and be all the more insulted if I don't actually pick him up. Sit here and listen to him cry more? Well, so far, it's done nothing except cause me stress. Nail-biting, self-hating, parental technique-doubting stress. I want to scream. He's still screaming.
By now, with the cold he's got, his face is probably soaked with tears and snot. His mattress sheet is probably soaked and slimy. He's probably all congested and has swollen eyes, face, etc....
WAIT. Haven't heard anything for about 30 seconds. Is he....giving up? Still quiet. Could he be falling asleep? Fingers crossed. Heart rate falling ever so slightly. Still quiet. Silence. Don't breathe. If I could whisper-type, I would.
While I'm waiting, let's talk about Ferber. Many people don't like him or his ideas about kids and sleep. I didn't think much of it until my very sanity was in question, then I bought his book. While the man isn't the genius some make him out to be, he does have some good ideas. And while "Ferberizing" your child can be emotionally painful, it does work in the long run. When Matthew was 8 months old, he was waking up to nurse 4-5 times a night, then sleeping half the day and not eating much through the day. It was the Ferber method that not only reversed that, but got him sleeping entirely through the night at about 8.5 months, without even a nursing break - something that Jonathan never gave up until he was completely weaned at one year. So ever since 8.5 months, Matthew's been sleeping through the night wonderful. Except in times of sickness, or if we're traveling or whatever. Jonathan? Well, we weren't so lucky with him - he started sleeping through at about a year old, but it was hit or miss. For the most part, we can't complain. Once they're actually ASLEEP, our kiddos sleep fairly well, and for that, I can be grateful.
And right now, I'm REALLY grateful, because Matthew is still quiet, so it looks like he's down for the count. Hope he stays that way - although it wouldn't surprise me if he needs a midnight round of motrin for his teeth. We had to do that the other night, and we fought our instincts tonight to give him a dose before bedtime. Maybe we should have!