Karen went to Illinois for two days to present her research to some of her peers. That left The Boy with me and just me. Of course, this isn’t fully correct. Savta came over and spent a morning with The Boy while daddy worked and Alon was reunited with his great nanny for half of the two days Karen was gone. Plus, we are hosting a student from Sweden. She has been keen to run to him when he cries just a little bit [when I was willing to let him sort things out himself for a bit]. So, there were many hands on deck.
The big event, besides Ima being gone and Alon getting over jet lag (he has had more coming home than going to the Middle East – he traveled like a champ!), is that he was going to go through sleep training – yes, was that it was time to let him know that he could put himself to sleep and sleep through the night.
Perhaps some of you know of this new controversy in the US on attachment parenting? Some aspects of it make good sense to us. However, after 6 months of interrupted sleep, we draw the line of complete attachment at the border of the day and the night. It benefits everyone in the house when everyone gets a good night sleep. So, sleep training was finally beginning in earnest. To borrow a phrase from friends, it was time for Alon to take one for the Team (you know, beyond leaving the womb).
Night 1: After a good bath, a nice meal, two books, and one rendition of my favorite lullaby (fast forward 2:15 into the video), I moved The Boy to his crib, put him on his belly, and sang him another round of our favorite lullaby (see above). I kissed him and wished him a good night and then stepped out of the room while closing the door behind me. Things were calm for about 5-7 minutes. Then the wailing began. I let it go until I went into his room about 45 minutes later. I rubbed him and assured him everything was ok and that I had not left him. I told him it was night time and time to sleep. Ima and daddy sleep at night. Most birds sleep at night. So, Alon should be sleeping at night. I rolled him to his belly, patted his bottom, kissed him, and bid him a good night.
Before I got out of the room he rolled onto his back and cried at me defiantly. I said good night, closed the door, and went to the kitchen downstairs to clean and prep his bottles. After less than 10 minutes I came to the living room and was encountered by silence. He was asleep (I snuck in to check).
At ~ 12:30 am he started crying. Or, he woke me with his crying. I set my alarm for 37 minutes with the goal of falling back asleep. When the alarm went off, Alon was still crying. I went into his room to assure him that I had not left and that everything was ok. I also reminded him that it was night time and this is when Ima and Daddy sleep as well as most of the birds in our neighborhood. I kissed him and rolled him to his belly. He IMMEDIATELY flipped to his back and started crying. I wished him a good night and closed his door. He cried for about 5 minutes and then, seemingly, fell asleep.
At about 5 am I was awaken by slow and tired-sounding crying. I let this round go for about 50 minutes thinking that he might put himself to sleep. After 50 minutes I went into his room and reminded him it was still night and that most people were sleeping [but not the birds. Early bird and all that]. I kissed him, closed the door and went back to bed. It took perhaps 20 minutes for him to go back to sleep.
He woke a bit over an hour later and we started our day. We had a good day. Ima arrived early and took him from me [in a loving way, of course] and we went to work (me and Andrea). When I got back, Alon’s nanny said he was out of sorts, but ok. So, we went for a walk after she left and then went to the backyard to play on the blanket. it was his first time out in our back yard, I think. He loved it.
Of course, he loved it until he rolled onto the grass.
But, overall, he loved it.
Soon though, the excitement got to him and it was bed time.
Night 2: Bath, a nice meal, a couple good books, a song, and it was time to go to sleep. I kissed him, wished him a good night, and rolled him onto his belly. He was quiet as I left the room. He soon started crying, however. He cried for ~20 minutes before he presumably fell asleep. It was 7:20 pm.
I woke at 4:44 am and heard nothing. I started to wonder if he was still alive. I was tempted to go intrude into his space to check, but decided it against it since 1) he was likely still breathing and 2) going in on our creaky, hardwood floors would likely wake him and erase all previous efforts. So, I waited….
Until ~5:45! Yup, on the second night of sleep training The Boy gave us 10.5 hrs of sleep. He awoke sleepily, but happily. And, throughout this morning he has eaten a bit greedily. He is already over the normal 50% mark for milk consumption. I’ve tried to put him to bed twice thinking he was sleepy when he was in reality quite hungry. And, both times I didn’t put enough milk in the bottle and has to replenish it. He is on his second nap. Here’s to hoping it last another hour. He needs it still.
See, The Boy is changing rapidly. We have recently discovered that his middle initial, ‘S’, actually stands for Steamroller. He only rolls in one direction and if the university gets in the way, he will just roll right on over it [gosh, I hope this isn’t the early signs of a climate change skeptic or Young Earth Creationist].
Apparently, after 10.5 hrs of sleep there is nothing better to do than to continue to bulldoze the university.
The Boy is changing rapidly and in great ways. Two nights ago his toes found their way into his mouth. And, he is really learning to use his mouth. Witness his review of Israeli hummus.
And, yesterday with Savta and this morning with me, he is beginning to self-feed. The Boy is growing up quick. Come see him soon before he really goes to university.