Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dr. Ferber Can Suck It

Just because it will be therapeutic to type it again: Dr. Ferber can suck it; he did not solve my child's sleep problems. We Ferberized months ago and although we got rid of Satan’s Tool (aka, the paci), Zoey is STILL not sleeping through the night. The last two nights she has woken up at 3:30 AM for the day. Both De and I are dealing with it and I am down-on-my-knees-thank-ye-Jesus appreciative that I have a partner who helps out. But even so, we both have wildly different approaches. De is more Mr. Sensitivity and I am more of Ms. Rigidity-with-a-pole-stuck-up-her-ass.

When De has the baby monitor he tends to go to her after a while, pick her up, cuddle her, and often brings her back to our bed. Which I hate. Hate. Zoey is deliriously happy any time she makes it into our bed in the middle of the night. At first she coos and cuddles. Then, De will roll over into a deep sleep and suddenly Zoey is pinching and whining, pulling my hair and smacking me in the face. Very restful. If she ever does fall asleep I lie awake worrying that every move or cover adjustment one of us makes will result in Zoey’s instant suffocation.

When I have the monitor I worry and watch and stick to Dr. Ferber’s schedule like the chance for world peace depends on my accurate timing of Zoey’s cries. If De offers to go in and comfort her I have been known to shriek, “No!!!! We still have to wait 1 minute and 37 second!!!!” Other times I whisper ominously, “Go comfort her. But I’ll be watching you …. so DON’T PICK HER UP.” Or suffer my wrath is the implied threat. And he has suffered it, often very patiently.

The monitor is a problem in itself. My ever patient and calm husband can sleep peacefully by it and magically awake when Zoey needs him; he hardly ever uses the video function. Not me. I am constantly watching her. At least I’m no longer commando crawling into her room several times in the night to make sure she is still breathing. And by “no longer” I mean I haven’t done it in about a week. So when I have the monitor I lie there and worry about all the things that could go wrong. And this is when she is sleeping peacefully. Yes, I am worrying while she is sleeping.

Here’s what I often worry about:
Is the collar of her sleep sack too close to her mouth and thus obstructing her breathing?
Is her face angled too close to the mattress and thus obstructing her breathing?
Is her nose too close to one of the wood slats of the crib and thus obstructing her breathing?
If she stands up could she somehow stick her hand through the slats and reach the wire for the video monitor which is a good 2 feet away?
If she suddenly figured out how to catapult herself out of the crib (perhaps from chewing one of the wood bars loose) would she get tangled in the blind cords mid-flight?
If she has arm strength that I am not aware of and she pulls herself up and over the side of the crib will she hit the foot rest from the rocker on the way down?
Could the feet of her pajamas become twisted, cut off circulation, and result in foot amputation?
Will letting her cry cause her to overcompensate with perkiness later in life and put her on the path to being a cheerleader?
Will she be afraid of frogs since there are frogs on her bed sheet and they probably look creepy by the dimness of the nightlight?
How many years of therapy will she have to have to overcome the fears projected on her by her own mother?
Will we have to do family therapy?
Will we have to talk using all “I” statements?
Will Zoey say,, “I hate you but I love my 19 year-old boyfriend who has tattoos on his head and who doesn’t have a high school diploma”?

And I could go on. But it's really all just downhill from the imagined family therapy scenarios.


  1. You might want to look at Dr. Sears. We liked the attachment parenting approach much better... (Oh...and our kids didn't "sleep through the night" until they were about 19 months don't worry too much about it. Each kids has their own time line.)

  2. I just read this post for the first time, and I laughed so hard that I cried... and peed a little bit. Josh did too. BTW, he just said that his fear is that F will somehow get the sheets off the mattress, roll them up into a ball, shove her face into them, and asphyxiate.