As I sat last night, my head pressed up against the bars of the crib, a chunk of my hair firmly clutched in the sweaty palm of my other little man, a'la Jasper, I really didn't bat an eye. I didn't agonize, fret or even whimper.
I am sleep deprived, oh yes, I am. I am going through exactly what HBM is at this very moment. Leave him in his crib and his shrieking will break me AND wake his brother who will immediately want a snack, a drink, a bathroom break and can we please watch tv now? (NO WE CAN NOT!) Bring him to our bed and he will kick and thrash and gouge someone (cough*dad*cough)so fiercely in the eyeball that it will require an urgent care visit. (True story)
I am mostly to blame. I have no knack for sleep training. I could never get the hang of it with the first and I really didn't care with the second. I was too tired to care. Bring him to bed, go back to sleep, the end. Only now he's old enough to know what's up and what's up is me, practically every night.
I've let him fall asleep in my arms in my room at night, every night. I've brought him to bed as soon as he wakes. I have reminded myself that he's my last baby and he's barely even a baby anymore and we are apart during the day, he needs to be close to me and I need to be close to him. This is all true. But when he started climbing out of my bed in the middle of the night and I had to put him in his crib because what else could I do and he lost his little mind I realized that it wasn't fair to him. He doesn't recognize his crib or his room as a happy, comfy place.
So I've invested in some D batteries (not cheap! Hello recession!) and I fired up the aquarium and instead of cradling him in my bed I've held him in his rocking chair before bed. He doesn't seem to mind. I've tucked him into his crib before he was sound asleep. His hands reach and search for my hair even as he drifts to sleep so I pressed my head against the bars and let him have it. In a few weeks I will try this when he wakes before morning, once he's had a chance to acclimate. Baby steps.
I've been here before. The thing is I can't even picture it. I know we would rock and there was a smooth jazz station that is no longer on the radio that I used to play every night to soothe him. I remember the sweet smell of a freshly bathed little creature who is about to be five years old. Five years from now my forehead against the hard crib bars will be a hazy, lingering, dreamy memory.