You’ve reached your limit. You’re done. No more co-sleeping/hushing/feeding to sleep. You’ve had enough of the endless stories, lullabies, back rubbing and then the ballerina gymnastics needed to extricate without waking. You are a grown up. They are a child. You need a plan and a united front.
No Cry Sleep Solution. Super-Nanny. Sleep trainers. The NCT What’s App group chat is alive with suggestions. You’ve done the jasmine and lavender bath salts. The calming bedtime. You’ve feng shui’d the crap out of the bedroom. You are ready.
Whatever route you take, you’re gonna count. Minutes. Returns to bed. Phases of the moon. Whichever. You’ll be counting.
Considering they tick a lot of the psychopath boxes (self-absorbed, risk takers, ruthless, lack of empathy), kids are master manipulators. Mine have demonstrated the full range of tactics to get me to buckle at bedtime: disbelief, humour, heartstrings, outrage, hurt. Each turn is always a sucker punch to the guilt gut and each blow is artfully crafted for maximum effect- ie, let them downstairs for ‘just one more PJ Masks’
You will suffer lower back pain from hoiking 20 kilos of child back in to bed 87 times. You will suffer stress headaches. You may stub your foot as you hover by the door. The stakes are high.
There will be a moment in sleep training where you nearly nearly break. A poorly-times Amazon delivery. A screeching neighbourhood cat. A motorbike. A jaunty ice cream van. Any of these may send you spiralling back to square one.
You will nearly break-you may well indeed submit, fair play to you- but you may also summon up deep reserves of determination and press on. It’s like labour- at its peak worst just before it delivers.
You’ve won! You know you shouldn’t think of it as winning! But you won! The bugger’s asleep! You did it!
You have to do it again tomorrow. But it’ll probably be better tomorrow night. Right?