First of all, said lovely neighbor’s kid (she really is nice and may the lord strike me down for writing all of this) had a productive, hacking cough. Awesome. The hostess was nice enough to put out all kinds of kid-friendly snacks for the toddlers and moms. One such snack was a bowl of popcorn into which the hands of the hacking toddler went, repeatedly. My favorite part of the snacking experience was when hacking toddler felt she wanted to eat her popcorn with a spoon. Spoon to mouth, spoon to community bowl. Spoon to mouth, spoon to community bowl. Delicious. Suffice it to say that I did not indulge in the offerings, and thank goodness Z is still too little.
The real kicker was the discussion of sleep. At least 3 of the 5 moms had regular night-wakers. I’d like to remind you that these babies were AT LEAST 8 months older than our little guy. I don’t even think I can put into words the horror I felt at the prospect of losing out on sleep for yet another year! One of the moms with a 20 month old said she literally hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in 3 years. With her pregnancy she was up in the night throwing up, and then everyone knows what the first 6 months are like, but her first six months extended into the first two years. Call me smug, but I HAVE to believe that there is something these parents are either doing or not doing with regard to sleep to be living in such misery. Again, God strike me down now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far about parenting it is, “judge ye not” until you walk a mile in so-and-so’s shoes. And yet here I am, doing it.
I’m not at all saying that these mamas deserve the sleeplessness that they’re getting, but I’m saying that there are methodologies out there to help your child sleep that actually work, right??? Please tell me I’m right about this. Another one of the moms told me that they’d tried sleep training 5 times with their LO but to no avail. Define tried. Seriously, I am terrified. I know that there are many, many worse possible scenarios with regard to babies, but sleeping affects quality of life so directly. Affects, effects- it does both!
Clearly, I’ve worked myself into a proper tizzy, and I’ve made these Mom’s respective sleep problems all about me.
I forgot to mention that we’ve been SO lucky of late with sleep and Z. (I know I’m jinxing it right now.) After hitting the wall, I scoured the internet, read several books, and we found a method that resonated with me and D. And so, we did some difficult but so far (knock on wood) well worth-it sleep training, and Z has been sleeping through the night. After experiencing life with adequate amounts of sleep for the last 2 weeks (woohoo!) I cannot imagine going back. Sure, I understand that Z will have some needs in the middle of the night as he moves through his childhood. Awesome- that’s what I signed up for. But, and I do have a big butt (that one never gets old and it’s so true!), endless exhaustion just makes life feel really difficult.
So, to turn it back around, I am wishing the moms and dads who have lost 3+ years worth of sleep some respite in the very near future. And I am *praying* (invoking G again here, sorry) that D and I do not find ourselves in that boat a few years down the road. I am also recognizing that there are worse boats.