I’m tired, people.
Last night was a familiar story around here. We’re starting to get ready for bed, and Ivy needs her gigi for sleeping, and so we start looking for it, and we can’t find it. Even though we have implemented a “gigi goes on this shelf right here way up high where you can’t reach it as soon as you wake up and doesn’t come down until bedtime” rule, it still gets lost. Rules aren’t followed as closely as they should be, and then it’s bedtime, and there’s no gigi, and mild panic sets in.
Which gives way to bigger panic. And, if you’re Neil, profanity. We search the whole house. WHOLE house. Then Ivy remembers she had it outside. (WHY!) It’s already dark, and next thing you know you’re texting your neighbor to search her trampoline for a tiny grey blanket. Her search is fruitless. Neil takes round two of the outside, where he steps on a giant frog, who pees on him whilst scaring the bejeebers out of him.
Then it gets to be all, well, this was going to happen one day. We might as well just bite the bullet and do it. The gigi needed to go, and now it’s gone, and now we’re committing.
That’s what happened last night anyway. So Ivy went to bed without gigi. And she stayed pretty calm. (Disclaimer: we tried this about a month ago. HUGE fail. MUCH screaming.) She got a little restless/sad/exhausted around 8:30, and so I laid down with her, lied to her about how we were looking very hard for her gigi, and surely it would turn up any minute, and then sang to her for approximately 20 seconds, and she was sleeping.
Five minutes later, we found gigi on the paper towel shelf of the linen closet. I may or may not have been responsible for this, as I vaguely remember, in a haze of over-mothering busy-ness, picking gigi up and putting it “away”. I must have just put it away on the wrong shelf. In the wrong closet. But no matter. Too bad. We committed. Gigi is stuffed in the back of a drawer and may as well not exist anymore. We’re doing this thing.
She slept until midnight. When she was crying. And crying. And mad. And all “I’m going to wake up now. I’m not sleeping anymore. Give me water.” And I lied to her some more. I told her she needed to stop crying, because Sara (Neil’s cousin Sara moved in with us a few weeks ago to go to school) was in the bedroom right below Ivy, and she needed it to be very quiet while she looked for Ivy’s gigi. Sara was looking so hard, everywhere, and she needed Ivy to be very quiet.
And then Ivy went back to sleep. Until 3. She called out, and when I went to check on her, the first thing she asked me was if Sara had found her gigi. I lied and told her Sara was still looking, but now she was looking in the whole basement, and the basement is so big. I suggested she be extra quiet so she could hear if Sara found it. So she was quiet.
Until 3:45. I don’t remember what I said at that point because exhaustion, but I do know I lied some more. She must have been exhausted too because she didn’t put up much of a fight, and went back to sleep again, all the way until 7:45 am THANK GOODNESS.
So now we’re on to night two. She acted so tough all day, didn’t seem phased at all by last night. I bought her a $5 cheapie blanket at Superstore and she acted like it was the best thing all day.
Until bedtime, when she’s all where’s my gigi get it for me right now i want it. So more lying. I left her in bed, fidgeting and tossing and turning. She eventually started crying, and by that point she’d been in bed for well over an hour. I had to pull out the big guns.
And that’s when I remembered it. The surefire way to get your kid to fall asleep. And I’ve probably blogged about this before, but not for about 7 years. Oh never mind I didn’t blog 7 years ago. Anyway, I used to use this trick on Seth (aka worst sleeper ever) all the time. It’s so simple, anyone can do it, and I really believe in the results.
All you have to do is sing “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” You know that song? Of course you do. Everyone does. You just keep singing it, over and over and over again, and you just change one part, every time. Kids lay so very quietly, just waiting to hear what’s coming next. They’re so quiet and so still that they FALL ASLEEP. I hardly had to do any verses with Ivy tonight. I remember with Seth I’d have to do whole themes, just to keep track of what things I’d sang. So first I’d do our family, “He’s got baby Ben, in his hands, he’s got baby Ben, in his hands….” Then I’d move on to every single farm animal, “He’s got hor-ses in his hands, he’s got hor-ses in his hands”, and from there I’d go to different continents and sing every single animal I could think of. Sometimes it took forever, but it always worked. I actually hadn’t sang it in so long that I don’t think Ivy had ever heard it, so it was especially magical tonight. I’m praying so extremely hard that that sleeping magic lasts all night.
As for the gigi, in case you’re wondering why we’re being such hard-asses about a tiny little scrap of blanket, here’s why. It’s ONLY because as soon as that gigi goes into Ivy’s hand, her fingers from her other hand go straight to her mouth. And then she sucks on them, a lot, off and on, all night long. She ONLY sucks on her fingers when she has her gigi. She actually cannot do it without the blanket. It’s weird. So that’s why the gigi had to go. She needs to stop sucking on those fingers because I like straight teeth, and the only way to do it is to ditch the gigi. I really feel terrible about it, and so sad for her, since she’s been sleeping with it since she was only a couple months old. I know this is very hard for her and that’s she lonely and extremely out of sorts without it. I’m trying to be as patient and compassionate as I can, and, besides the lying, I think I’ve done well so far. After another night or two we should be in the clear, right? RIGHT?
Saturday morning update: She was up at 11:45 pm, crying a bit, but not for too long. Then she slept till 8!