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Nothing On The Top But A Bucket And A Mop


After I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like I had somehow died and this was my own version of hell, I informed my poor husband that I had finally reached my breaking point with Alex and his lackluster sleep patterns. I told him that I was now so furious with the Baby that he was going to have to just start crying it out.

And I meant it.

We snared a babysitter and went off to Target to look at all of the gimicky stuff that baby manufacturers produce for people like me, who feel better if they’re doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING to work towards a solution.

I even oogled those baby video monitors for a spell, despite their price, when it dawned on me that I can see the baby with my own two eyes most of the day (and night!) and therefore did not need to watch him on the television. But man, the draw was there.

It was only after we got home with a sleep positioner (c’mon, Becky, HE CAN ROLL OVER! What the hell is the purpose of THAT?), a crib pad (which I had needed for him anyway as his mattress is vinyl and when he sleeps on it, he sweats, which is not pleasant for anyone), several new crib sheets, and a bottle of No Doze (for me, obviously), and I peered none too lovingly at his chubby face and realized that he was either sick or teething because his cheeks were bright red.

And because I am not quite a monster, I decided that Crying it Out was just going to have to wait until he felt better.

As a complete aside, if you do not want to feel badly about yourself DO NOT GOOGLE “CRYING IT OUT.” Most people who write about it on the Internet seem to liken it to child abuse and list all sorts of problems that may or may not be caused by this horrible oh horrible method of parenting.

I’d be hard pressed to call this method of sleep training “ideal” but I cannot get over the fact that Crying it Out is worse than “child abuse” or “suicide.” Besides, I haven’t met a single supporter of the Crying it Out Is Bad camp who has selflessly offered to give up their foray into the Land of Nod to help me out.

(And even as parents, at some point we do need to reclaim our lives, don’t we?)

I guess my own personal motto of parenting (which my husband firmly agrees with) could be called “Whatever Gets You Through The Night (Or Day)” and I can’t feel all that bad about it. I try like hell to be as non-judgmental as possible for people who don’t parent exactly the same way I do, but hell, reading some of those responses to “Cry it Out” on the Internet does tend to chafe a bit and raise my hackles.

(Hmmmm….I wonder if I should come up with some sort of code name for Crying it Out here, because as the Lovers of Vincent D’Onofrio found me, I’m sure the Parenting Police will be following suit and telling me that I shouldn’t have had kids if I was going to abuse them by making them cry at night AND occasionally forcing them to listen to Britney Spears (although not at night).)

Ah, oh well, bring on the haters, I say!

I could use a blog troll here or there, right?

(and under no circumstances should one google “baby slaps face” because I was trying to ascertain why Alex seems to delight is slapping my face as I hold him and when the hell this annoying habit will cease. But all that this search pulled up is a bunch of child abuse articles, NOT parental abuse ones.)

So, for now, I will get up at night with Alex, who has stopped being such an asshole for the time being, and soon, oh soon, Crying It Out must begin in my home. Otherwise I am apt to lose any shreds of sanity I have left (which are few and far between).

15 Comments to

“Nothing On The Top But A Bucket And A Mop”

  1. On January 28th, 2008 at 1:39 pm Jessi Louise Says:

    I am a firm supporter of “whatever gets you through the night (or day).”

  2. On January 28th, 2008 at 2:00 pm Jenn Says:

    I hope the sickness passes soon. Somehow it’s easier to get up at night when there is something actually with the kid, isn’t it?

    When my first child was a baby I used to be one of those, “Oh, how can you let a child cry-it-out like that?” But my first kid was the perfect sleeper. Even now he falls out of bed and doesn’t bat an eyelash. THEN I had my daughter (and I got my payback for being so “I know everything nyah nyah nyah” about sleep before). She is the exact opposite. She needed everything JUST RIGHT to fall asleep. I would go through the checklist every night (bone dry diaper? check. cold play on the stereo? check. fan on and pointed in the correct direction? check check.) That was just to fall asleep. Then up until recently she was waking up every half hour or hour (if I was extremely lucky) all night long. What a pain.

    Anyway, you know all that stuff. I don’t know why I feel the need to keep telling you. It must be the misery loves company thing. Yep.

  3. On January 28th, 2008 at 2:13 pm Chris Says:

    Since I have no actual parenting experience, I’m just going to continue to advise you to get your kid drunk. Being drunk cures all.

  4. On January 28th, 2008 at 2:59 pm Kim Says:


  5. On January 28th, 2008 at 3:02 pm Kim Says:

    No, seriously….

    I can remember it, but it’s NOTHING like being there in the moment. I feel for ya, Sista.

    we had to do the “cry it out” and if not for my hubby, the boy would still be pushing me out of my bed each night with his co-sleeping ways!… was really hard, but it did not last as long as I feared it would.

    I hope you have the same luck, you can do a week of it, easy, just knowing that at the week’s end ,(or sooner), it will all be a new routine for lil’ Master Alex, and your life will resemble what it was prior to popping this one out!

    and…..a whiskey or two for Mom b4 bed won’t hurt either.

  6. On January 28th, 2008 at 3:12 pm MsPrufrock Says:

    Since she was but a wee nipper P would fall asleep on me. Naptimes, bedtime, whatever. At about 8 months I decided that she was going to sleep in her crib from the start of the falling asleep thing – screaming and yelling or not. HOWEVER, life had other plans called teething and repeated friggin colds. I couldn’t in good conscience do the crying it out thing whilst the poor little mite was unwell.

    In the rare times she wasn’t teething/sick, we tried crying it out. Moxie says there are two kinds of kids -the ones who release tension by crying, and those who gain tension by crying. Guess which one mine is? Anyway, long story long, she has, in the past month, started going to bed on her own and it is bliss. I agree, you gotta do what you gotta do. Sleep is required, you know?

  7. On January 28th, 2008 at 3:15 pm Andria Says:

    We are going through the same thing here. Rock, rock, rock for an hour and then move the teeniest bit and back to rock, rock, rocking some more. Down in the bed WITH ME at ten, back up at one, marathon nurse and down until three, when apparently, is the baby wake up time. I am thinking of divorcing my husband as he sleeps ALL NIGHT in the baby’s room while I wrestle her all.night.long. I can’t cry it out, though, because he’s in there. With her crib. The crib that’s never been slept in, that still needs lowered. I am so tired.

  8. On January 28th, 2008 at 3:17 pm shay Says:

    Oh you just sent be back to a time and place I thought I’d forgotten or put out of my mind or blocked.
    We tired everything, even crying it out, nothing really worked.
    I just went without sleep and he eventually, grew up. I just held on to that knowledge that, it couldn’t go on forever and he had to sleep sometime… right?!


    (I’ve met lots of kids that cried it out and they’re just fine. do what works is my motto.)

  9. On January 28th, 2008 at 4:19 pm Emily Says:

    Read up on Ferber. It is not just “let ’em cry.” You go in at timed intervals and reassure the baby you are there. It is the nicest thing you can do, teaching a baby to rely on himself to go to sleep.

    Oh, and we taught Ben “gentle” very early on for a good reason!

  10. On January 28th, 2008 at 4:27 pm Kim Says:


    I was just at Alexa’s site and I’m heart sick. I just wanted to say that out loud to someone else how knows her (cyberwise). My heart breaks at the prospect of Simone showing up too early, Damn, I hope that child can hold out until her lungs are ready.

    thanks again, for giving me a place to speak.


  11. On January 28th, 2008 at 5:13 pm Chicory Says:

    I have no advice but lots and lots of “I’ve been there, I’ve felt that!” as my 2 and a half year old STILL isn’t sleeping through the night, though with our new sleep plan she’s doing much better. But the new sleep plan relies on a lot of talking and reasoning and verbal threats which a 10 month old might not be capable of participating in.

    I will tell you that we let Sassa sleep in her swing until she was more than a year old (she was really small so she still fit till she was something like 15 months old) because it was the only way we could get more than 15 minutes of continuous sleep out of her. So yes, I am definitely a believer of whatever gets you through. We’ve also been known to BEG for infant’s codeine cough syrup (yes, they do have it, and yes, if your kid is coughing enough they will give it to you) so we could get some sleep when she was sick.

  12. On January 28th, 2008 at 5:19 pm becky Says:

    Kim, I know.

    It’s awful.

  13. On January 28th, 2008 at 8:43 pm baseballmom Says:

    Oooh, yeah…baby codeine cough syrup ROCKS! Luckily my dr. was really liberal about prescribing it, because he said they’d ‘never get better if they don’t get some sleep’. At least your little guy is just slapping, not headbutting like mine used to. He LOVED the reaction he got, but I think he broke my nose once, and my eye socket another time, and I had lots of black eyes!

  14. On January 28th, 2008 at 8:59 pm Suz Says:

    Crying It Out is hard. Leaving the house makes it better (kidding). However, our kids are good sleepers now.

  15. On January 28th, 2008 at 9:58 pm TheRamblingHousewife Says:

    Turns out you are a softy, after all!! (And apparently I am too, for that matter!) Because we JUST “Ferberized” Keegan recently.

    (And he is 14 months, mind you)

    Best thing I have ever done in my life!!!! Seriously!!!
    The first 2 nights were hard–VERY HARD!!!

    (And Suz I almost did have to leave the house and let my husband deal with the situation because I ALWAYS CRATER!!!)

    But we stuck it out. It took about 4 days total. Now, I literally lay him in bed, and he does not make a peep.

    Not a whimper. Not a whine. Not even a whence!

    Life is Beautiful!!! 🙂

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