It's On, AAP, It's On!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Yesterday, I began to write about the American Academy of Pediatrics. They, of course, have devised a whole new way to make parents feel real, real bad.

Parent's like me, for instance, who have tried every way - short of illegal, like tying your child down to her bed at night, to get her to sleep in her bed - not mine.

Believe me. I have no need or desire to share my bed with a spastic, bony seven year old who shoves me into 2 square inches of bed and pummels me with various body parts. There was no moment that I woke up to the "family bed" and said "Yes - I'd like some of that please. Some additional abuse whilst I sleep would be superb!"

It just happened. And now these arrogant mo-fo's at the AAP are going to tell me that I am a worse parent for allowing my child to have slept with me for the last 7 years?

Lets' talk about the reality of sleeping with a child of any age. I have never been so asleep that I have rolled on ANYTHING and not been aware of it. At no point in the last seven years have I awoken on top of my child and wondered how I got there. This must be a myth written by the same people who claim they didn't know they were pregnant until they were in labor. This same woman gave a quote to NPR that went something like "Parents may roll on top of their babies and smother them, or the baby may get wedged between a headboard and mattress and suffocate"

What? Has this person encountered a real, live baby? Mine hasn't stopped moving and/or making noise in 7 years. Even when she is asleep.

As an infant, she nursed all the time. Yes - and had a binky too - but I perfected the "roll over and nurse with the opposite breast" technique so I could stay in one place and meet everyone's needs. I heard every snuffle, every snort, every "eh-eh-eh" that meant she was waking. We were exhausted and the family bed was the only option. It was that or listen to her scream, as we sat in our bedroom sweating like addicts and counted off the 5 minute increments that Dr Ferber had prescribed.

And yes, we tried that too. After 4 hours of screaming, on night three - we gave it up. Fuck Dr Ferber and his method. I would have punched him right in the face on that last night. That would have been right after I knee'ed him in the nads.

Oh, and also , while I'm on this topic, American Academy of Pediatrics, She slept on her belly. ALL THE TIME. Sue me.

Then when the ear infections came - every 2 weeks for 18 months, I could sleep with her on my belly, at an angle - while I slept immobilized in one place - from exhaustion and the fear of changing her position which would surely start the wailing again.

And by that time, we were transitioning her to a "big girl bed" and now she could move freely about the cabin, as the seatbelt light had been turned off. We tried a gate on her door. She climbed over it, and/or kicked it down. We tried the gate on our door - until we both tripped over it on the way to the bathroom at 2 a.m. Ever had a baby gate in the crotch at 2 a.m.?
A not so jolly feeling.

So, at some point, we just gave up.

Sure, occasionally we try and convince her that she really should sleep in her bed. We threaten, we bribe, we scold. It doesn't work. She ends up in bed right next to me, every morning.

And you know what? In the scheme of things? Not a big deal. Very, very soon she will come to the conclusion that Mama and Dada aren't so great. She will want to do things with her friends, and not with us. She will stop coming into my room and cuddling up to me. She will grow up. I will get my bed back.

2 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

I sleep with my five month old.

I didn't know it could last until she's seven.

Holy crap.

Anonymous said...

Oh, lady, I too am allergic to the family bed concept. And our younger one has only slept on her stomach since birth.

We know some nice folks whose five-year-old daughter doesn't even have her own bed to go to, so enamored is she of the family bed. I think I would go certifiable.

Hang in there, like that cat in the 1980s poster.

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