None, I repeat, none of my boys ever learnt to self soothe as a baby or toddler for that. Each night I’d sit with then and often hold them to sleep. And with no.1 & no. 2 it was an issue. A huge, gut wrenching, I’m failing at this parenting lark issue.
It was all me, I’d done it all wrong. That rod that people talk about. Well, I’d only gone and bought the blady t-shirt, cemented it in iron and left it there for good.
I’d tried the ‘put your baby down drowsy thing,’ yeah, that didn’t work. Lies, all lies, or at least to me. For my babies, putting them down was the absolute worst thing which I could do, so their ear-piercing cries told me. Like I’d laid them on a bed of nails.
How very dare you mother!
They’d say in thief Stewie from Family Guy voices
So guiltily, I picked them up. Guilt from knowing “the books” would scorn at my weakness, guilt that I’d not been strong enough to sit it out, to wait to see if it was just a momentary protest cry, and guilt that by picking them up I was causing deeper, long-term problems. They’d have sleep issues as adults and it would be all my fault.
I blame my parents
They’d tell their psychologists trying to repair the damage I’d caused.
Only it didn’t cause any damage. My cuddles and bedtime love caused no damage at all.
I can tell you that now. As hindsight, that wonderful, beautiful thing called hindsight. Tells me that what I did was just what my babies needed.
As those babies, those little, cot resisting, Velcro babies are now teenagers who can quite easily sleep through the protest cries of their little, cot protesting Velcro baby brother.
Who each night curls up, in the safe, comforting arms of his cocksure (I know what I’m doing this time) mother and I hold him while he drifts to sleep. Sometimes in my arms, sometimes holding me. But never out of touch or out of reach.
And he let’s me know, my beautiful little boy, that there’s no way on this earth that tonight, or any other for that matter, will he be drifting off on that 16-year-old bed of nails!