To sleep, perchance to dream

So, we finally told Isaac to go suck it. Seriously, I looked it up in the sleep training books and those are the exact words they use. Right there on page 37, Dr. Richard Ferber and Dr. Marc Weissbluth and even Mrs. Elizabeth Pantley of No Cry Sleep Solution fame all told us to tell Isaac to go suck it. At least, that’s what I’m fairly sure they said when I racked my brains for how we handled tumultuous nighttimes in the past. Suck it, baby.

Okay, so we didn’t quite use those exact words. More a lot of “Night night” and “Back to bed, Isaac” and “No, cuddles all gone” and “Time for bed.” Forty-five minutes’ worth of that on the first night, 30 minutes on the second, 15 on the third night, two on the fourth, and then — none. Maybe half a protest squawk and off to sleep. Textbook.

And, you know, not perfect sleep. Not necessarily all through the night, every night. Still some ridiculously early mornings. But, all things considered, much improved sleep. Even better, we have our evenings back. Instead of lying next to a squirming toddler until 9 PM each night, the resentment creeping in through the holes worn through my good attitude, I am free by about 7:30, often earlier. There’s a new regime in the house: dinner at 5:30, bath at six, reading stories in bed by seven, lights out shortly after. And then: grown-up time! (Excuse me while I go French kiss Dr. Marc W. on my way to watching Mad Men with Rachel.)

All this extra sleep, plus a weekend away, plus the reacquisition of my evenings, has made me downright giddy. The kids, too. I mean, there’s nothing like two extra hours of sleep a night for the toddler mood. The four-year-old — who now starts off the night in our bed, and is then moved to the “spare” room — also seems to be benefiting. Good moods abound around here, aided in no small part by sunshine and warmer weather.

This morning, I woke up before Isaac woke up, woke up to sunlight, got up with him at the downright civilized hour of 6:15. By 7:15, both kids were up and fed and happy. By 7:30, the four of us were piled into our bed, Rachel and I bookending some thumb-sucking, blanket-toting, footed-pajama-wearing, squirming little chatty boys who competed to kiss our faces. As Rowan read a copy of Today’s Parent to Isaac (“Dat baby. Dat more baby.” “Isaac! Look! Another baby!”), Rachel looked at me across the tops of their heads and said, “This is what I thought it would be like.”