Thursday, April 26, 2012


This week has been trouble. We’re transitioning Lennon from our bed into his crib. The crux of his ‘sleep training’—a controversial practice, to be sure, and a term I use loosely here to describe adjusting his sleep habits—is to have Lennon learn how to soothe himself into a sleepy state without needing to be in bed with Mommy. This alone might result in a lot less sleep for me than usual since babies don’t often appreciate their routines being disrupted, but his crib sits just at the end of the bed in which he’s been evicted, making the situation all the more complicated. About every other hour throughout the night he cries, “I know you’re there. I can smell you.”

What’s more?

Lennon is teething. He has had two teeth break through in the past twelve days. The two ‘biggie’ teeth—named so by other moms I know for their trauma-drama factor—are the upper fronts and they are showing definitive signs of popping; bulging white just beneath the skin. Lennon is in pain and at night.


Lennon is about to start to crawl and spends every moment that he’s on a parallel surface flipping himself from his back to his chest and kicking his legs. Supposedly, when a baby goes through a motor milestone such as crawling, it’s not uncommon for them to wake up in the middle of the night and practice their new skill. When Lennon wakes with teething pain, generally cross for finding himself in his crib and not the family bed, I often discover him on his belly ready to crawl away.

Not to mention that:

We just returned from a trip to the U.S. last week and I truly believe we’re just now getting over our jet lag.

To say my sleepiness has made me feel defeated would be an understatement. I’m pretty sure no one is at their best when sleep deprived but my symptoms feel very acute. Compounding the chaos, Nicholas is out of town chaperoning a school trip to Prague. When Nicholas is away, it becomes glaringly clear how much I depend on him for emotional support—something I’m not ashamed to admit since our wedding vows talked about doing just that. In all fairness, it was my benevolent idea to transition Lennon to his crib this week so Nicholas wouldn’t be sleep deprived, as he needs to be up early each morning. I stand by this decision, but I’m missing his tender perspective this week.

While Lennon is getting enough sleep—in fits and starts—being bathed, eating healthily, exercising, and playing, his mother is a mess. I’ll be honest with you—I showered for the first time this week just yesterday. Gross. Food wise, I do okay with first two meals of the day, but by five o’clock, when my body screams in protest from lack of sleep, it’s all I can do to open a bottle of non-alcoholic wheat beer and a bar of Ritter Sport chocolate and call it dinner. We have been outside each day this week for lengthy walks, a testament to the fact that while I may have lost some sense of self-pride, I have my wits about me enough to rally so my son can get some daylight and fresh air. I haven’t had many face-to-face conversations with adults this week and when having lunch with a friend yesterday, I noticed that it took me a good half-hour to find any coherence in forming sentences. The academic term at Freie Universit├Ąt began April 1st and I’ve slowly started my research, but the idea of working on it this week makes me want to impale myself on my retractable highlighter.

Last night, after a supper of eight or so—maybe more—sandwich cookies, a bar of Choco-Cherry Ritter, and a nonalcoholic wheat beer, with Lennon asleep in his crib, I treated myself to the 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens. I’ve seen the film more than a dozen times and find that watching Mrs. Edith Beale in her East Hampton house makes me feel better about myself. Last night, it served as a cautionary tale—a potential destination should I remain on my present course: filth and liver pate and forgotten dreams and unbathed octogenarians and raccoons in the attic and resentful children.

I really need to learn how to self-soothe.

Luckily for my family and I, I’ve seen enough years to know not to make any rash decisions or judgments about myself when I haven’t had enough sleep. So as much as I wanted to call it quits on the whole lot of life’s ambitions and only do things that would allow me to never leave the house, I decided to sleep on it—even if for just an hour at a time. Before I did, I went to my blue bowl with the fifty curled papers of wisdom and pulled out this little token of the toughest love:

14. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Photo source found here.


  1. My dear, you may be sleep deprived, but you do, in fact, still have your wits about you. I thought about transitioning Mo to the crib while daddy was in Canada last month. I then decided that I wasn't ready and that he should get the joy of the experience too. ;)

    Here's to hoping things go smoothly and soothingly. I have no doubt that you and Lennon will come through this unscathed. xoxo

    1. Thank you, Love. It's a little two steps forward one step back. I'd love to hear how it goes for you. I actually think it will really happen when Nicholas is home. Lennon just expects too much form me and has a hard time settling in the middle of the night. Drinking lots of coffee now...xox