Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Night of 1,000 Screams


Or "Wherein We Teach Chloe That Her Crib is NOT Made of Lava"


Just to catch everyone up, Chloe has decided that sleeping in our bed is much preferable to her crib (which is made of fire or some other extremely painful surface to sleep upon, after 12am). I gave in on this over last week while we were on vacation (from which I have some of the funniest pictures of them dealing with sand), but since we've been home, it's only gotten worse.

So H and I decided that last night was D-day (or night, whatever, I'm tired). And since we are sleep training we might as well night wean. I didn't say this was a smart plan…

I went out to twin club dinner after helping get them into PJs. I nursed them both before I left and H was all prepped to put them to bed around 7:30.

At 7:30, Zoe was rubbing her face and sucking her thumb. She went right in the crib, grabbed her blankie and passed out. Chloe was lying on the floor sucking her thumb, but the minute her back hit the mattress she was pissed. Red faced, screaming, 'how could you do this to me?!', etc. H let her scream for 15 minutes, but, as he put it "I didn't know anyone could scream that much and derive extra energy from it. It was like the crib was fueling the anger". So he gave in and picked her up. They went back to the living room where she chewed on the TV remote until she fell asleep. Don't worry, H gave her stunt remote, but not until she had changed the channel and turned the DVD player on and off a few times. Then he tried to put her in the crib again. This time her meltdown woke up Zoe so poor H wound up taking both babies out to the living room to rock them in the glider. After around 45 minutes, they both fell asleep and he had to maneuver them through the house and back into the cribs without waking them. (Note that I do this quite frequently and let me tell you, it ain't easy to haul two dead weights through a small hallway without wacking their heads, tripping over a walker or kicking the cat)

I got home around 10:30 and H was just finishing his cold pizza, he looked like someone had beaten him. Apparently they had. At 11:30 I was headed to bed when I heard Zoe creeping in the crib. I decided to wait her out before going in there to go to bed. HA! You cannot outwait a hungry baby. She freaked and I wound up sitting with her in the rocking chair. But without the nursing. This is like poking a tiger. She was screaming and pulling on my shirt. At one point she tried to nurse through the shirt. It was a thin shirt and it might have worked, so I gave in. 4 minutes later she was in a coma. But not Chloe.

She didn't want to miss out on the all night scream-a-thon. H took her to the kitchen to get her a sippy cup with milk. She drank (reluctantly) an ounce or so. He brought her back to the bedroom and she went nuclear again. In an effort to not re-wake Zoe, I took her and held her on my lap. See above re: angry tiger. So she nursed again at 12am. After about 5 minutes, she was drifting off so I handed her to H to put back in her crib. HA! Again!

She grabbed my arm and was screaming like we were sending her to camp for the summer. And not just any camp, EVIL CRAFT CAMP where they make you macramé all your clothes and paint ashtrays.

H wrestled her away from me and plopped her in the volcanic crib. She screamed for another 15 or 20 minutes. How Zoe slept, I have no idea. But then the screaming stopped and she must have fallen asleep. I refused to get up and find out. Also I had the non-baby side of the bed at that point and I wasn't giving it up. She could have spit flaming arrows and it would have been H's problem.

Zoe was back up again at 5:30. I figured this was close enough to morning and I nursed her and put her back in the crib. She went back to sleep until 7:45. Chloe got up at 6 and managed to convince me that sleeping the next hour or so in bed with me was worth the extra sleep. She is very persuasive.

So final scores look something like this:


    2 rounds of nursing

    1 baby sleeping in the big bed for an hour and a half


    1 cold pizza

    1 wet T-shirt

    10 toes kicking me from 6-7:30am

    5 straight hours of sleep


Who's winning? I have no idea.



Eva said...

Can't say much more than give my sympathy. I decided to gradually night wean. I would set these rules - no nursing before midnight. So if someone woke up before midnight I would get them back to sleep without picking them up (which stunk at first, but got easier with time). Once we mastered that it was 2:00. Then 4:00. Now it's more like 6:00, though days like today, it's 5:30. I am totally willing to nurse at 5:30 if it buys me sleeping until 7:00 (though this morning, it resulted in 2 toddlers awake and chatting between their cribs from 6:45 to 7:45. Whatever, I was in bed).

You will figure out what works for you -- all 4 of you -- and get more sleep eventually.

Clover said...

Oh man- I hear ya. We weaned a few months ago, so I don't have that to deal with, but the screaming- yeah. My twins are 11 months old. My daughter is usually an angel unless she's sick- goes to bed happy, wakes up happy. My son is the drama boy- but only in bed. Like you say, the crib is made of lava or something, but as soon as I pick him up to rock him, he's smiling and laughing and a goof. Ugh!