Yesterday morning at the crack of dawn I sleepily checked my Twitter feed while simultaneously feeding the Butterball. That’s when I noticed a link to the Scary Mommy Blog. The link was for a guest post and it was about crying it out.
AKA CIO to those less experienced Mom’s like me. Seems silly that something like getting a kid to sleep would have a military like abbreviation but hey, I’m new here.
In the post Kim, mother of 4 children discussed why she will not allow her children to cry themselves to sleep. (She blogs at Prairie Mama)
We don’t allow Mac to cry himself to sleep either. Ever. And it’s not because we are super parents. It’s because I just can’t stand the noise. It’s loud. Oh yeah, and I’m supposed to say it’s disturbing, an affront to my maternal instincts. . .
The post also referenced a study. I haven’t checked the merits of the study but this post alleges that even 5 minutes of unattended crying can lead to a break down of trust for the infant and perhaps even psychologically damage him or her.
That seems a little alarmist and excessive. But I’ve mentioned before we are pretty cautious individuals so why risk it? Plus it’s loud and obnoxious. Which leads me to why I’m so hot and bothered over the whole thing. . .
About this time last week I was in the throes of preparation for my sister’s wedding. I had errands to run, cupcakes to bake, dresses to alter, and crafts to assemble. That meant Mac and I were going to need help. My in-laws live relatively close and are always (understandably) chomping at the bit to get their hands on the adorable little chunk so I called in back up.
Granted it’s unpaid back up. But when someone agrees to watch my child, I expect that they handle the child in nearly the same manner as I would. I might be fucking up child rearing royally but at least I’m doing it consistently and in my mind, that counts for something. So the last thing I want is to entrust my child to someone who fails to adhere to my parenting techniques or philosophy, right or wrong, paid or unpaid, family or not.
I ran errands for about three hours. Procuring mounds of supplies including one pair of foundation garments that burst open while my fat ass was dancing to Footloose at the reception thus ensuring I spent the rest of the night tugging uncomfortably at my sagging maternity knickers. Burn all remaining maternity panties.
When I returned from my errands, I got the typical glowing report about Mac’s sweet disposition and good manners. All sounded perfect until I heard they put him in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep.
And while he was crying? They timed it. 5 minutes.
I’m surprised my head didn’t turn completely around. I felt my cheeks flush. You let me child cry himself to sleep in a crib he practically refused to get in for the past 2 weeks?! Why would you do that? You always say you want more time with him but you’ll allow him to cry alone in his crib?!
So. Much. Seething.
If I wanted my child to cry alone I could have done that myself while I was working on all the wedding stuff. I wouldn’t have needed to take the extra steps to clean the house before the in-laws arrived.
After a week of stewing cooler heads have prevailed. I’m sure my in-laws did not realize how strongly we feel about the whole situation. Surely if they did, would not have admitted to doing it. We will have to discuss it before they take care of Mac again BECAUSE if that study is correct, the only one who should have the pleasure of irreparably psychologically damaging my kid is ME!