Of all the questions I hated the most when the kids were little, it was this one:
“Is he (or she) sleeping through the night?”
My babies and toddlers never slept “through the night”. Never, ever. Not when their little bodies were pressed up to mine, and certainly not when they were on their own in their big beds a couple of doors down.
I have slept on bedroom floors near a frightened child, on top of stuffed animals with a sick one, and on couches holding an inconsolable toddler. My husband and I even split up for a while: He in one bed with one child, me with the younger baby in our room.
I don’t like to tell new parents this because it freaks them out. The good news is that I now have two children who do sleep pretty well through the night. Belly, at 9 1/2, takes a while to settle down, but once she is out, she’s out. And Jilly, at 7 1/2, is the restless one, often screaming out or talking in her sleep, but is mostly in her own bed, sleeping, for the entire night. But that 9 1/2 and 7 1/2 is years, not months.
And, D, my newly 6-year-old? He still crawls into my bed at some point in the dark night. In fact, this morning at 4:30am, I carried him back to his room, crawled into bed with him, and fell asleep for an hour before stumbling back to my own bed.
I’m pretty sure Dr. Ferber is shaking his head in disbelief and pity. But, I sucked at Cry It Out. I can’t listen to my cat cry without going to see what she needs, never mind my kid.
So, in an effort to make conversation, if I ever approach you, coo over your sweet little bundle and ask you those words I hated so much, you have my permission to stomp on my foot and bring me back to reality. I deserve it.