Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Baby to Sleep OR A Play By Play Analysis of a Mother's Technique As Told By Jim Nantz (Golf Announcer Extraordinaire)


We're here in the bedroom of one Logan Fisher as she attempts to get her distraught 21 month old asleep.  Currently the toddler is not buying into the regular routine of singing and rocking.  Let's take a look at how Logan handles this setback.  Ahhh, it is the ol' warm milk routine I think.  Yes yes, we can see Logan sling Ila onto her hip and walk the long hall to the kitchen.  She is shushing and cooing and saying all the right things.  Listen.

"Shhhhh Ila.  It's ok.  Everyone is sleeping.  Daddy is sleeping.  Aidan is sleeping.   Elmo is sleeping.  You can have a drink and then Ila is going to go to sleep." 

Well folks, that diatribe seemed to work a bit, because the toddler has reduced her wailing to a slight whimper.  Logan's walking back to her bedroom now.  She sits in her rocking chair.  Her strategy seems to be to combine the regular routine, singing and rocking, with the warm milk.  Keep an eye out to see if this pays off.  

She's seems to be a rocking expert.  But when you've played in this arena for as long as Logan has we must consider her a pro.  That expertise seems to be paying  off.  As you can see, the toddler's eyes are drooping, pacifier is slipping out of her slacked jaw, a tad bit of drool is slipping from the corner of her mouth.  Yes, Ila's telltale twitches seems to be a sign that Logan has succeeded in getting her daughter to sleep.  

But anyone who has competed in this sport, anyone who has played this game knows that GETTING the toddler to sleep is just the first step.  What comes next is nearly impossible even for the most seasoned veteran; standing up, walking AND placing a toddler in her crib WITHOUT waking her up.  Let's see if Fisher is up to the task. 

She shifts her weight to tilt the rocker forward.  Her stance is wide as she uses every muscle in her legs to stand in order to keep her torso completely still so as to not jostle her daughter.  Uh oh, the baby is stirring.  Logan quickly places her hand upon the toddler's head and begins a rhythmic "shhhh shhhh sh. shhhh shhhhh sh."  It worked.  Ila's eyes are still closed.  It seems as if Logan dodged a bullet. 

Like many moms, Ms. Fisher uses the "purposeful walk" method to carry her daughter back to her room.  Her steps are deliberate but smooth.  The rhythmic shushing beats in time with her steps.  They are almost to the finish line.  All that is left is the tricky release of the toddler into her crib.   After taking a deep breath, Logan bends her waist over the side of the crib.  She stands on her toes so that she is able to lower the baby right to the mattress without a thump or bump or jiggle.  Here's where it gets tricky.  Logan must get her arm out from under the baby without the toddler noticing that the warmth and safety of her mother has suddenly disappeared. 

Ah...what a MOVE!  With her left hand, Logan presses Ila's stuffed lamb to her chest to replicate the pressure of being in her mother's arms all while slowly moving her right arm out from under the child.  First her elbow is visible, now her forearm.  Here comes her wrist and fingers.  Yes!  She's done it! The toddler is safely and contentedly in her crib.  Finally, we see a smile of triumph on Logan's face as she turns and.....OH NO!  The dreaded loose and creaky floor board!  How could she have forgotten?  Logan puts her head down.  Her fists clench at her side.  She holds her breath and waits.  The baby stirs.  Yes, she is rolling over now.   Her head pops up....and here comes the wailing!  Score one for the toddler.  

Dejected, Logan sits on the floor next to the crib.  She reaches in and absentmindedly pats her daughter's back.  She looks exhausted, defeated, discouraged.    I have a feeling that she'll be sitting in this position for awhile.  Not much to see here folks.  I'm afraid that the rest of the broadcast would be quite boring, but luckily thanks to "bloggervision science" we have the capability for the first time ever to be able to hear a mother's thoughts, actually read her mind.  I dare say this ought to be entertaining.  Let's listen in. 

"Thank God we put this bean bag in Ila's room.  At least I can lean against it while I try to get her back to sleep.  I wonder if I just lay down on it and keep my hand on her back  that will be enough for her stay calm.   Just move slowly Logan.  No sudden loud noises. Ahhhhh...sweet victory.   Why is it that I am sitting in this room while everyone else is sleeping?  After all I am the one who has to get up in the morning.  Is it irrational of me to feel pissed that my hubby gets to sleep soundly while I sit on this floor trying to get HIS daughter to sleep?  Ok ok....OUR daughter.  But hey...if I am up he should be.  What is that saying...if mama ain't happy....well you know the rest.  I know.  I know.  These are really pissy thoughts.  It's just that I am in desperate need of sleep.  

Speaking of sleeping, let's see if my little one has finally fallen into a deep enough sleep that I can try to escape.  I'll just slowly remove my hand.  Slowly....slowly lifting.  Sh!#!!  Crying again.  Good lord will I ever get to sleep?  Ok...I'll try the shushing again.  Awwww.  She really is so cute.  How can I resist that sweet little voice saying 'mommy' the way she just did.  It really is an amazing feeling being needed as much as she seems to need me.   Now Logan...don't get sucked in by her cuteness.  She needs to learn to sleep on her own.  Awwww but one night of me putting her to sleep won't hurt her.........Or will it?  Am I setting her up for failure by being in here tonight?  What if I am setting a precedence and she now thinks that mommy shushing her to sleep on the floor next to her crib is the only way she'll sleep.  Do I really want to do this nightly.  I mean the bean bag is good for a short time but, my a$$ is killing me right now.  I don't know how anyone could sleep on a floor.   Give me a four star bedroom and high count linens any day.  Okay, I am getting loopy.  It is time for her to sleep on her own." 

(Jim Nantz whispering again.)  Ehem....quite the busy mind that Fisher has....let's watch as she tries once again to make her final move and leave her toddler's room.  Rolling adeptly to avoid the squeaky floor board, Logan gets to her knees while continuously shushing.  She's on her feet now and backing out of the room at a turtle's pace.  Her shushing gets quieter as she gets closer to the door.  With her hand on the knob, she stops the shushing all together.  This is the moment of truth.  Will Ila stay asleep or will she immediately wake due to the sudden silence.  Silently craning her neck, Logan watches her toddler.  Her eyes squeezed, eyebrows raised, mouth pursed, her face oozing hope and need.  She remains in this stance for ten seconds, twenty seconds.  

Ah yes, relief!!   Logan's shoulders lower.  Her hand turns the knob.  She tiptoes through the doorway to the hallway of freedom. Triumph was a hard fight tonight.   Rolling her neck, she pumps her fist into the air, bows to an imaginary audience and heads to bed for a well deserved sleep.