You remember sleep training, don’t you? When your sweet precious angel baby was six months old and you thought if you didn’t get three whole hours of sleep in a row that you’d leave that sweet tender thing out for the dingoes? So you let her cry her little lungs out while you sat outside the door to her room silently crying yourself because you knew good and well you could provide comfort with something as simple as a pat on the back and a lullaby, but if you did she’d NEVER learn to sleep without your assistance? Remember that?
I’m having to do that again now that she’s 174 months old.
She’d been sleeping through the night for years, and then, suddenly, nope. With the advent of a social life came social media. There were too many Facetime requests and Snapchats and group messaging for her to dare go to sleep. She might miss a precious piece of information or be three hours behind her friends in finding out WHO kissed WHO behind WHOSE back.
We took her phone away after 9:00 p.m. There was crying, stamping of feet, and eyes rolling so far back in her head all you could see was bloodshot white and running mascara. When she was a baby she’d cry so hard her head would sweat and her hair would be dripping wet with sour despair. She was a champion crier back in the day and she seems to have lost none of her skill.
We didn’t relent, though it was tempting. Soothing her was simple. We didn’t even need to pretend to know all the verses to “Hush Little Baby.” We just had to hand her a phone. Her night owlishness wasn’t keeping us awake, after all. She’s old enough to make herself a Poptart and go potty without assistance. It would have been easy to let her be. But her grades were suffering, and bad grades mean no college which means no high paying job which means a cut-rate nursing home for me when I’m old and helpless.
After day three of hysteria, Babygirl realized we were serious and went to bed with only a minor whine and a side-eye.
Now that she’s sleep trained, we can rest for another six months. Then driver’s training begins, and I’ll never sleep again.
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com , on Twitter, or on Facebook. Lori is a New Apple, Readers’ Favorite, and eLit award winner for her latest release, “You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive.” She is also the author of the bestselling books “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza,” and “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket.”