In honor of B’s birthday week, welcome to another installment of our new favorite series: Things B Does That Annoy Us. Just kidding! It’s definitely nothing personal; any parents out there who have had a difficult sleeper will understand the struggle. For those of you who don’t have or have never had a B, go back to watching The Bachelor on TV while eating bon-bons or whatever it is you do at night.
Despite the challenges, I should add (for my Mom’s sake), that B is very cute and snuggly and has such a great personality for a soon-to-be 1-year-old. Just not necessarily at night.
My true aims here are threefold:
- Provide a step-by-step guide for the overnight babysitters that I expect will begin to queue up as soon as this goes live.
- Create a written record of this experience for future reference (i.e., something I can email myself monthly in case I ever get any ideas about future procreation).
- Provide an alternative to the crazy idea of “sleep training” that seems to be gaining momentum. My way is clearly better.
And off we go…
Step 1: Complete the preparations for bed time: pajama selection, lotion(s) application, diaper change, and pajama application. Do not let B’s fussiness and repeated rubbing of the face and eyes lull you into a false sense of optimism.
Step 2: Block off somewhere between 14 and 83 minutes on your schedule.
Step 3: Gather up B and his bottle and head to a dark room free of noise and distractions.
Step 4: LOL at Step 3 when you remember there is also a 3-year-old in the house and your house is built in such a way that you can hear every sound emanating from every room in the house through the walls and/or air ducts.
Step 5: Console yourself with the fact that the level of noise or distraction is completely irrelevant anyway.
Step 6: Settle into a rocking chair or other piece of furniture and begin the feeding process.
Step 7: Be sure to maintain a steady rocking motion, either as provided by the rocking chair or by subtle side-to-side body movements if using a non-mobile furniture piece.
Step 8: Ignore Step 7. None of that matters.
Step 9: Keep a close eye on B’s left arm; it functions independently of the rest of his body. Be vigilant for unexpected slaps to the face, fingers up your nose, and digital examination of your eyelids and ear drum.
Step 10: When he has finished drinking the bottle, adjust your arms into the transfer-to-bed position: Left arm cupped under the neck, head to inside of elbow, and right arm under the knees with right hand positioned for maximal rear end support. Wait a minute or two to make sure he is fully asleep. J/K…it doesn’t matter if he’s fully asleep or not. Keep reading.
Step 11: Extricate yourself from your chosen piece of furniture and move towards the crib, making sure to keep his head in close contact with your chest at all times.
Step 12: Bending from the waist, gently bring your torso and B to the bed surface in a slow and gentle motion. Make sure his head stays in contact with your chest until his head touches the sheet! Execute a slow and soft roll over. Rest your hand on his back for a moment, then back slowly away.
Step 13: And that’s all there is to…..never mind, he’s up. B presses into a modified jackknife pushup position, his head pops up, and then the slow cry starts. Let’s try this again.
Step 14: Gather him up and pace back and forth across the room for between 7 and 37 minutes. On the plus side, if you have a FitBit, this is when you start to dominate your FitBit Challenge competition. If you don’t, sorry.
Step 15: Repeat Step 12. Except instead of doing it slowly and carefully, just flop him down because it doesn’t matter anyway; the putting into the bed bit never takes until at least the third try. So just get it over with: Flopping around, arms flailing, whatever.
Step 16: Repeat Step 14. Keep racking up those steps!
Step 17: Repeat Step 12, this time for real. I really feel like it’s going to work this time. Do not get sloppy! Do not mess this up!
Step 18: Remove yourself ninja-style from the bedroom and retreat to the kitchen. Find something that contains chocolate. Eat it.
Step 19: Enjoy your 2 hours of rest.
See, less than 20 steps: Easy. Let me know when everyone is coming over to babysit, I’ll draw up a calendar. If the queue starts to get too long, I’ll implement a lottery system. Talk soon.