So we've been doing the cry thing since Saturday night, after much encouragement from many other moms (thank you, you rule). Yesterday he went down for naps ok, but cried for almost a full hour when we put him to bed. I almost gave in, but an email from an old friend put things into perspective for me. She's got a one year old, and told me she knew how much this time sucked, but to think of it this way: those kids you see out in public having total screaming, writhing, throwing-things fits? And their parents look like they really wish a hole would open up in the earth and swallow them? Yeah, those are kids who never learned how to self-soothe, and can't appropriately deal with their emotions.
I wasn't really thinking of the whole sleep thing in a good way, and to be honest, I was being a little selfish-I didn't mind Henry being up late because in general, he's pretty happy and I like being near him as much as I can. But the lack of sleep was making him miserable, and leaving him to cry doesn't make me a negligent mother, it makes me a mother who knows he needs sleep even though he'd rather be up playing. In a few years he'll want to stay up all night and eat candy for dinner, and when he's a teenager....well, given our backgrounds, he may want to stay out all night and drink beer through a funnel, but I'm sure as hell not going to let him do any of that stuff (but again, given his parents, he'll probably manage a time or two).
So this is just the first in a long line of things I'll have to do that he will hate, just because it's what he really needs. And that's my job. Plus I'm pretty freaking tired and have exams next week, so some extra studying time at night is a godsend. Who knows, maybe Ben and I will have more energy to hang out, talk about things that don't involve poop, vomit, or onesies (but hey, if that's what YOU'RE into for your adult time, I'm not here to judge.) Tonight, just three nights in, he took his bath, I read him a book and put him into his crib, and he fell asleep with no crying at all.
Of course, I can't just enjoy this development. I've become convinced that he went down so easily because something's wrong with him, and have been checking incessantly to make sure he's still breathing. My constant poking will probably be what wakes him up.
My friend mentioned above also said that to avoid the emotional trauma of hearing her kid crying, she'd get into the shower, and even take the time to shave. Sadly, I could use more than a passing acquaintance with my razor, so maybe that's not the worst idea, either.
In other news, my sister got pissed at me because she said my blog about her wanting to live at the mall made her seem shallow. That wasn't my point and I try to avoid pissing my loved ones off, particularly those who offer to babysit or buy my kid clothes. So I am officially saying my sister is a delightful person, a good mother, a great sister, honestly one of the funniest people I know, and she wouldn't knock you down and stomp over you for a Kate Spade bag on sale.
Well, she probably wouldn't STOMP on you, anyway.