They tell me that confession is good for the soul... In my experience, it has only gotten me into more trouble than I started out in. However, in the interest of maturity, growth and all of that other bullshit I am supposed to be into now that I am personally responsible for the moral upbringing of 1.75 human people... here goes.
Two roads diverged in the t'pon household, and sorry that we could not travel both and be a united set of parents, long we stood and looked down one as far as we could, to where it bent in the undergrowth...
About a week ago, N. and I were faced with the hard choice between what most would consider "humane and just" and "what would keep us from losing our freaking minds."
Bean, as I have mentioned before, is working his way through a very tumultuous transition from crib to "big boy" bed. We were planning on making this transition to keep us from having to buy another crib for Banzo, but Bean jump started the process by channeling his father's "special combat warrior" training and becoming a very sneaky and agile baby ninja. In a manner of weeks, he figured out how to scale his crib, hoist himself out of a pack and play, manipulate door handles, traverse the baby-gates, and walk through walls (ok, I can't prove that last one, but I have my suspicions). At every turn, we have tried to stay ahead of the little Houdini, but alas when the baby gates began to fail us... we were at a loss. There was precious little separating our bundle of Bean from the inevitable tumble down the stairs under the cover of night. Plus, we were obviously going a little insane from the lack of continuous sleep.
Together, we (with more than a mortgage worth of education between us) could think of only one option... an option not discussed in any book, or on any parenting website we could find. We were filled with shame even considering this option... but what else to do, continue patiently putting this willful ninja back in bed over and over and over ( it is like a repeating six)... begin camping out in front of his door... set a ear-piercing motion detector outside of his room... or do the unmentionable.
Seeking to alleviate myself of some of this guilt... looking for someone to share the blame, I turned to the experts in the computer. I called upon Mary and Laura, of Partners in Parenting fame. I won't lie to you, after pouring out my pain and confiding in them the path upon which we were about to embark, they laughed a little (I am sure when one is not so sleep-deprived that they are rocking under their desk at work, curled in the fetal position, sucking on a Tylen*l PM, it would seem rather amusing).
But in a mere 24 hour period, they delivered our saving grace directly to my email inbox... Permission to do the unmentionable... not for the sake of our sanity, but for the SAFETY OF OUR CHILD! There was our out, we were NOT horrible parents... we were preventing a catastrophe.
Hallelujah, all praise be to the women of P-I-P... Although, I still worry that through this confession I am inviting Texas CPS directly into my house for a spot of tea. But, at the very least, I will be better-rested (and thus not bear the appearance and communication skills of a drug-addict at the tail end of a nine-day bender) and Bean will not be wrapped in plaster casts and Ses*me Street band-aids.
And both that day equally lay in advice (offered by drive-by moms and grandparents) no step had trodden black. Oh, we kept the first for another baby! Yet knowing how way leads on to way (or habit and experience), we doubted if we should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence (while paying for Bean's inevitable therapy): two roads diverged in the t'pon household, we took the one less talked about, and that has made all the difference.*
The thing is... it has worked. After more than a month of struggling with Bean, trying desperately to negotiate, reason, communicate with a 19-month old boy hell-bent on nighttime mischief, he is finally, and happily, back to his old sleeping self. The kid who goes to bed at a reasonable hour and sleeps all night. The kid who can put himself back to sleep without roaming the halls like a very small, but very effective banshee. The kid who willingly goes down for a nap without testing the hinges on the door 783 times.
I still feel a twinge of guilt knowing it has come to this... but sleep... safety. Surely, my Wubbies, in the interest of these things, you can forgive me?
Hello, my name is t'pon. And for the past week and a half, I have been locking my kid in his room at night.
* My thanks and apologies to Mr. Frost for the inspiration and subsequent adaptation of his work...