Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

Anyone that reads my blog with any kind of regularity (probably just me, myself and I) knows that I like to gripe and complain because my kid is almost 14 months old and doesn’t sleep through the night.

Anyone that reads my blog also knows that it’s my own darn fault because I have working mommy guilt. I still nurse Little King David to sleep at night and I allow him to wake up at 2:00am and snack if the thought occurs to him. I could simply wean him off the night feedings and my problems would be solved. I’m just too sentimental and weak to deny my son the comfort he seeks from his Mama during the too few hours of his life when she is actually available to him. Is it his fault that Mama is home in the middle of the night, but not in the middle of the day?

I’m not the only person to blame for his dependency issues, though. At daycare, he also needs help to fall asleep. Obviously, there is no one available to nurse him to sleep, but his favorite-teacher-of-all-time does spend about 20 minutes a day patting his butt while he lays in his crib and drifts off to sleep. Tiny babies wail all around him while he is pampered and spoiled. Do you see a pattern emerging here?

Luckily, David met Miss Jill last week. Miss Jill is the new teacher’s aide in his classroom. Miss Jill doesn’t pamper and spoil. Her first day on the job, she told David to lie down and go to sleep. David laid down and went to sleep.

Surely, this must be a coincidence. Surely, this couldn’t work once David got to know Miss Jill. But day after day, Miss Jill told David to go to sleep and David went to sleep.

Yesterday, David’s favorite-teacher-of-all-time decided to give it a try. She put David in his crib and walked away. David went to sleep.

Last night, Mommy decided that if David can fall asleep alone at daycare then he certainly might be capable of falling asleep alone at home.

Mommy nursed David and laid him in his crib. She sat in the rocking chair and told David to lie down. After about 20 minutes of playing and bouncing, David simply laid down in his crib and fell asleep.

Mommy sat in the dark with tears rolling down her cheeks. David is a big boy. He doesn’t need Mommy’s help to go to sleep anymore. He doesn’t need Mommy to hug him and cuddle him and rock him and soothe him until his eyes slide closed. He doesn’t need Mommy to gingerly lay him in his crib, cover him with his favorite, soft blanket, and tip-toe out the door while carefully avoiding the creaking floorboards.

Mommy reminds herself that it’s her goal as a mother to teach David not to need her. He needs to be independent, but each step he takes away from her breaks her heart just a little bit more.

David also slept through the night! Mommy won’t shed a single tear about that!!

1 comment:

Heather said...

YAY!!!!!! Yes, it is your job to teach David not to need you. But the joy is, if you do that job well, he will always be close to his momma!