Sunday, May 24, 2009


I think it is safe to discuss, in a completely nonchalant way, the breakthrough we have achieved are achieving with Will's sleep situation.

It is very far from successful, if one defines success as sleeping through the night. But! But.

I no longer lie down with Will in her bed as she falls asleep. I don't even sit on the bed with her. Instead, I sit across the room - next to the door even! - and I read my book with the fantastic LED book light I got at Chapters. (The light also doubles as a flashlight I can shine across the room to see if Will has fallen asleep. Something that backfires if I shine the bright light onto the face of an almost sleeping child. But we were talking about successes here.)

It all started with laundry. There were two baskets overflowing with clean and dry, but unfolded laundry that had been taunting me for days. One night last week I said to Will, "I'm just going to sit over here and fold laundry while you go to sleep."

She didn't go to sleep while I folded the first basket. But she stayed in bed. She had not fallen asleep by the time I finished the second basket. But still in bed. Then I leaned against the wall between her dresser and the door and waited. She fell asleep.

I actually asked my husband to give up "his night" at bed and bath so I could try it again the next night. Much dirty laundry was washed and dried, ready to be folded. Other than a brief meltdown over a sip of water ("The water's right there, you can get it. Good. Now climb back into bed.") it worked again.

The next time it was my turn I showed up with just a book. Sat in the same spot and read. It worked again.

Now, it still takes FOREVER for Will to fall asleep. And when I tried to replicate the snuggle, tuck-in and then go to the door to read routine when she woke up at midnight last night? Forget it.

But my daughter is finally learning to fall asleep on her own, without either one of us getting particularly upset and without me feeling like I am falling into an abyss or losing my mind.

That's my definition of success.

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