Who’s Training Who? by Heather Bowles
Remember those Saturday night gatherings I’ve been telling you ladies about? The ones where my husband and I bounce back and forth between entertaining friends and trying to coax our daughter back to sleep, usually unsuccessfully? Even though I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, I’d be willing to change that if I could have one evening a week when I can carry on a conversation for at least 3 hours without having to coo at my daughter in front of my childless friends. To that end, we’ve begun sleep training in earnest now. I had hoped that the exhaustion from sleeping in a strange place for a couple days over the Christmas holiday would have made her more suggestible, but it has only made ME more tired. I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt my age until yesterday. Yesterday, she got up at 7:20 in the morning, after going to bed at 1 am. She was awake til 10:30, and then went to sleep, so I cancelled a therapy appointment so I could get an hour and a half nap before I had to pump my breasts empty. She woke up with me at noon and screamed the whole time I was pumping. I cannot express to you how stressful it is to be this sleep deprived, and then to be screamed at on top of it. During the day she is glued to my skin. If I want her to nap longer than 15 minutes, I have to let her sleep in the bed with me. I can’t do that today. I’m too tired. Luckily, her father will be out of class today for once, so I might actually get a nap, but if this does not resolve itself soon, I’m going to collapse from exhaustion. BabyCenter.com suggests 11 hours of sleep at night, and 2 naps, for an average of 14 hours of infant sleep a day, but the schedule just doesn’t jive with the breast pumping schedule. I’m determined to provide breastmilk at least the first year, but God help me. Something has to give. I need a baby sitter just so I can sleep!!!
In addition, she now has a runny nose on top of the teething she’s been going through off and on for the last two months. I should never have agreed to stay in a smoker’s home overnight, but the drive back home would have been 2 hours, and it was the halfway point between home and where we were supposed to be the next day. The area is extremely rural, so finding a motel would have required us to ask for a phone book and directions. No Wi-Fi to do it myself out there, and explaining to my mother-in-law that cigarettes make me (and I’m now learning, my daughter, as well) ill for several days after exposure without hurting her feelings and feeling like crap about it would have been impossible.
How do you deal with family members who smoke in front of your children when you are in their homes? How long did it take you to train your children to sleep at night?