I've always taken my inspiration from one of my favorite literary heroines, “I'll think about that tomorrow.”
Yes, I've always been a procrastinator. I counted on that late burst of adrenaline to power me through the hard part of papers in college. When I worked in publishing, many nights saw me hunched over the kitchen table, flipping through a manuscript I needed to read by the next day, praying that the words would take over and make me forget the sleep I was missing. Besides, there was always the weekend. I could sleep in!
Moment of silence for the weekend sleep-in.
So, yes, I've always procrastinated, but I vowed that after Madam, I would get things done efficiently. Like a good mother.
For the most part, I have kept to this pledge. Oh, sure, the writing goes slowly more often than not, and let's not talk about the state of my nails, or my waistline. But mothering tasks, those get done promptly—bills paid, appointments made, dinner made, laundry done (and done...and done...).
I'll try not to hurt myself with the back patting.
But this post is about a mothering task I AM procrastinating about...I can't seem to find my way into it, and oh, it so needs to be done, like, yesterday.
I am talking about weaning. I need to night wean, desperately.
And I have no one to blame but myself. Everyone said it. Don't let the baby associate sleep with nursing. Don't don't DON'T!
I was so careful on this point, so aware. I would nurse her until DROWSY, just like the books said, and then rocked or walked or sang her the rest of the way. And TEG took at least one of the night wakings. Anyone, with enough patience and a soft touch, could put her to sleep. TEG, my mother, sister, MIL, SIL, friends, heck, even my Father-in-law could do it.
And it was good. I was smug, I admit it. Madam was a good but fairly indifferent nurser, and I had apparently dodged the “nurse/sleep association” bullet.
I was kicked out of Eden at about six months. Madam and I got sick, and in order to get us through it, I did the awful, terrible, very bad, no good thing. I started nursing to sleep.
And now I can't seem to stop. I've tried sleeping away from her. I've tried singing, rocking, patting, stroking. Madam's had a taste of the good life, and she'll be damned if she'll let go now.
So...here I am. Exhausted—she wakes about seven times a night. Aching (not to get too graphic, but Madam has all her teeth and enjoys a bit of thrashing while she nurses. You make the connections). I've always loved nursing her—her little sighs of contentment, her plump hand like a sleeping starfish on her breast, her little head nodding yes, yes while she drank.
But...it's time to stop procrastinating now. Beyond time. At least at night. Have I mentioned that I am tired? And achy? And that I live in an apartment building and thus can't just let her cry, even if I wanted to (and believe me, lately I am more than open to that)?
So, I appeal to you, lovely internet readers—please, break it down for me—night weaning? Without screaming? How?
And here is my public service announcement—don't do the awful, terrible, very bad, no good thing. Don't nurse to sleep. No, no...not “just this once.” Because there will BE no “once.” Once the baby's figured it out, there is no turning back. For either of you. It's just too easy. So..like the Ancient Mariner (who I resemble more and more these days), heed my tale of woe!
Thus ends my PSA.