Yes, LP here. I think it is really sort of unfair that I’m completely dependent on you to write my letters for me. I mean, you’re writing a letter to yourself, from me, but you’re not me. Does that strike you as problematic? Just sayin’.
The good stuff or the bad stuff first? Good stuff? Ok.
You’re doing alright. As in, I know that you spend a lot of time worrying about us, and thinking about our futures, but try not to go too far. Because let’s be real here—we’re not likely to appreciate all the stuff you do for us until maybe twenty years from now. And that is being optimistic. You’re in it for the long game, mama. Before long, my sissies and I will be self-centered, hormonal, young people who are too busy figuring out their own crap to stop and appreciate what went into getting us there. Plus, some of the crap we’ll be busy trying to figure out will be from you (just being real again). Seriously, it’ll all work out, promise.
How do I know that we’ll become too busy to notice you? Because look at Mouse and Chipmunk, they’ve already started! They’re too busy in their imaginary lands and dealing with their dramas to even notice you lately! They notice me puuulenty though. Have you seen how often I have to play the evil pirate, or they end up making me into the pet dog/cat/rabbit? It’s just not dignified.
Another good thing, life seems good right now. You’re not taking me to any more sleep studies, because my sleep apnea is now mild (I told you so). The whole homeschooling thing is looking good. I can tell you and dad are dreaming and talking about the future, and that looks good too. Mouse and Chipmunk are awesome (let’s just pretend that this is more often than not for the sake of this cute letter). Me? I won’t brag here, but let’s just say that I’m on top of things. That poop? It gets pooped. That box of stuff? It gets emptied. That silence? It gets filled with
yelling sweet babbles. All thanks to yours truly. You’re very welcome, mama, it is really good to know that all my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed!
Ok. Now. I’ve got some, um… constructive feedback for you. This bed/sleep situation. Come on. That bed has no boobs, no cuddles, no parents to kick in my sleep, no sleeping noses to pick when I wake up. WTF, right? Why would I want to sleep in there? What’s worse, you put me in those sleep sack thingies, and they get all twisted up while I’m rolling around yelling my head off for you to let me into your bed. Look. You and dad are sleeping on that nice memory foam pad, with the down comforter, and all you give me is a sleep sack??? I already gave up most of my nursing at night. I object.
I know that I slept through the night at two months, blah blah blah. Let’s remember, though, that my thyroid didn’t work so well back then. I mean, I’m just trying to recapture the quintessential baby experience. Yelling, and seeing the horrified look on your tired face as you come and bring me to your soft, warm, wonderful bed. Listening to you and dad argue in the middle of the night about what to do about me. Sitting triumphantly on your head with a dirty diaper, each morning I manage to wheedle my way into bed with you. Are you truly going to deny me this? What kind of mother are you?
Ok, sorry. Maybe that went a little too far. Just ride it out, ok? I’ll probably get over it. Like in a couple of years. Maybe five. Ten, maaax.
Let’s talk about that therapist. I know she comes over to watch me do stuff. I know y’all have discussed me crawling differently. Something about crawling and brain development. Check it—there is no way you’re going to get me to do something I don’t want to do! Just because I have this sweet disposition doesn’t mean that I won’t put my foot down. And it is down, mama. I will play with her awesome toys. I will “talk” to her. I will even let her hold me, because I happen to like her. I might even high five her every now and then. That’s it, though. I crawl the way I do because it works, dagnabbit.
Last but not least, let’s talk about baths. I. Will. Never. Like. Baths.
I know you think I’ll get used to them because all my baby friends have. When I’m a teenager and I’m begging you for some expensive gadget because all my friends have them I’m pretty sure you’ll say something about me not being the same as my friends. Yup. Touche. You’d think that because I was born in the caul, I’d have some kind of affinity for water. Yeah, I know, that confuses me too. I have no explanation; I am what I am.
So, mama, that is my letter to you. A wee snapshot of what life is like in my brain after 14 months of life. Except it is your brain. Pretending to be my brain. You really should think about that stuff I said in the first paragraph. Mwah.
Remember how Latke so confidently declared that he would one day regain the bed back from LP? How LP might be winning the battle, but that Latke would win the war? Well. Let me just share my handy ten step guide on how NOT to night wean your baby.
- Tell your partner you want to night wean, make a plan. As it is predictable that such an endeavor might involve some tears, it might be best to undertake the night weaning over a long weekend.
- On the first night, get your baby good and tired, stuff him full of dinner, then let him have a nice long nurse. Put him to bed. Stand over the bed and look at his adorable sleeping face and feel a little guilty for wanting to night wean him. Remember how much your back hurts from months of trying to sleep with him perma-latched to your boob from midnight to 7am, then don’t feel so bad.
- When your baby wakes for the first time expecting perma-boob time, send your partner to soothe him back to sleep. When partner pats the baby on the back for all of three minutes and insists that you nurse the baby back to sleep, you might give in and do it. Immediately regret it.
- The next day, discuss with your partner that perhaps more than three minutes will be required to soothe your baby when weaning him from the almighty boob at night. Maybe five minutes. Maybe (gasp!) even ten or more. Have your partner reluctantly agree.
- On night 2, listen to your partner cursing while getting out of bed to “soothe” your crying baby. Also hear him irrationally arguing with your baby about how rude it is to yell in the middle of the night. Devolve into a whisper-scream argument about how to soothe the baby to sleep. Your baby will momentarily stop crying because he will be inwardly laughing. His plan has worked, the ‘rents are crumbling, milk will come soon.
- Repeat steps 3-5.
- The next day, when your partner gamely suggests that he really needs his sleep to go to work (your long weekend is over by now), remind him that not only did you lose sleep while you carried his child for nine months, but that you woke up every two hours in the beginning to nurse the sleepiest-baby-ever. Yes, there was a blissful couple months when he slept through the night, but that bliss ended many, many months ago. Invite your partner to sleep with a kicking, 20 pound bundle that is permanently attached to his nipple all night, every night. Would a few tired days at work be the equivalent experience? Would it???
- Finally, be relieved when the partner wakes up and soothes the baby back to sleep with no cursing or arguing. Unfortunately, this night, you wake up the baby with your own allergic sniffles and snores. When your partner demands that you must then nurse the baby, recall the eight bajillion times that he woke up the baby with his snoring, and wait, oh, he never woke up and did diddly-squat about it except roll over and mutter about imaginary legal briefings in his head. Drowsily try to recall why it wasn’t like this when you night weaned your other two children, then realize you’re too tired to remember anything.
- Wake up in the morning to this little person:
- Take stock. Crook in my neck from sleeping funny, check. Tired parents, check. Irritated mommy, check. Outrageously cute baby who is still on the all night milk train, check. Night weaning: mission not accomplished.
And that, my friends, is how NOT to night wean your baby. In case you were wondering.