Monday, August 13, 2007


Friday night. We lowered the shades and turned on the nightlight and kissed the boy frantically, too many times, and said "I love you" as though we were saying "I'm sorry", and we turned on the noise machine and the baby monitor and tiptoed backwards out of his room.

He cried for thirteen minutes.

It wasn't too bad. I had Mr. E here with me and we'd make faces at each other and we both found other things to do during the crying and then when the boy fell asleep we silently high fived as we held our breath, waiting for more crying.

The boy slept till 6 am on Saturday morning and when we woke up and realized we'd gotten seven hours of sleep without any interruptions, angels sang. A glorious chorus of angels. I felt like a new woman. I could have climbed a mountain or parted seas or something. It was magnificent.

And I felt so proud that a theory of mine (he's waking up all the time because he's sleeping right next to us) was actually correct! My hair brained theories are never correct. Holy crap. To finally be right about something made me feel super.

My mom said, on the phone, "it's good for him to sleep by himself. He's his own person, separate from you."

Is that why it took me so long to put him in the other room? Is that why I kept co sleeping even when it stopped working? So I could keep him snuggled up next to me, part of me, for as long as I could?

This morning Mr. E is not here and Eli is crying in his crib and he is separate from me, his own person, and I am not super. I have no one to make faces at. I am not in this together with anyone. It is me and my screaming unhappy son and I am the one who always fixes the crying and I hate this. I can't even write coherently about it. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

All I know is that I am the one who keeps him safe. I am the one who takes him, screaming, crying and afraid when someone has sneezed or he gets scared or he's cold, who says "I forgot to tell you, he doesn't like sneezing," who holds him to me and who wipes the tears and who feels the shudders leave his body as he curls into me and gulps and eats for comfort and now I am supposed to leave him to cry, to hear him scream and do nothing.

Twenty minutes are up. Going to get my boy. He needs his mom.


Chris H said...

Wise decision, 20 mnutes is quite enough for a wee baby to cry.. stick to your guns though, cos you are doing the right thing... he will get used to it eventually. Just don't give in too soon.

J said...

If Eli is used to falling asleep on a warm body you may want to try using a heating pad to warm up his crib before laying him down. My neighbor said this did the trick for her baby.