1.26.2011

This mom gives the "cry it out" method 19 thumbs down

It's official.

Whoever invented the "cry-it-out" method of baby sleep is a flipping moron. (That or they had an incredibly weak-willed child).

Now that Pearyn is just a few weeks shy of turning nine months old, I decided it would be a good time to help her build her independence. That, and I'm getting really tired of rocking her to sleep for 45 minutes every night (and by rocking I mean sitting in a rocking chair and putting my child in what closely resembles some sort of awful wrestling move, just so she can't slap me in the face or twist her head around 360 degrees to see what incredibly dull event she is missing out on in our living room).

So now I just rock her a little, get her kind of tired and then lay her in her crib, deciding I'll let her work it out on her own.

My daughter has no desire whatsoever to work anything out on her own. Instead, she just spends the next hour dancing between a "what the hell are you doing out there don't you hear me crying mommy" yell and squeals of utter joy. That's right. My child doesn't "cry it out," she just sits up and plays until I get aggravated enough to come in and rock her to sleep. So instead of using up 45 minutes rocking just rocking her to sleep myself, it takes nearly two hours to put her down the "responsible, raise-an-independent-awesome-child" way, and usually by then it's time for her to eat or change her diaper.

Seriously?

I'll just have a spoiled, dependent little brat then.

And I realize most of you might not see the harm in just letting her "play it out," but if my daughter's nap schedule even goes slightly off trek, well, there's just no hope for the rest of the day. Pearyn has this amazing ability to just stay awake forever, which would be fine, if she were a halfway pleasant child to be around during those times. But she's not ... not even in the slightest. She's kind of what you imagine a bear would be like if you woke it up during it's hibernation -- really pissed off and really dangerous. And trust me, Pearyn might only be armed with tiny fists and two dagger-like teeth, but those puppies can do some real damage.

Unfortunately, my week has been filled with a lot of "missed naps" and a lot of unsolicited crying. There's not much I can do to escape my short-tempered baby, so I've spent the last few days baking, baking and baking some more. Now that I've finally figured out what sin I was committing to make my cupcakes fall flat and gummy (I wasn't whipping them with the beater like you're supposed to, damn my inability to follow recipes), there have been oodles of cupcakes, muffins and pies filling our kitchen.



So after I'm done stress-eating over my daughter's lack of sleep, I can stress out and lose sleep over the 15 pounds I've gained from all this baking.

It's a seriously good thing I'm vegan, because if I weren't, I'd probably just eat everything in sight. The vegan diet is pretty restrictive in a lot of ways (ways like limiting most of your grocery shopping to the produce aisle and most of you restaurant options from the salad menu), but it can be incredibly mind opening as well. Before going vegan I'd rarely eaten anything outside my continental, meat loaf and mashed potato bubble. I may have lost a lot of foods after choosing a cruelty-free lifestyle, but I've gained just as many if not more, including entire cuisines I wouldn't have even thought of trying (Indian, Thai).

Some days, I worry about alienating my child due to the lack of "convenience" foods in the vegan diet. I battle with making Pearyn an outcast because she won't be eating a McDonald's Happy Meal. But then I think about the way most parents raise their children nowadays (with menus completely devoid of foods from around the world -- hummus, quinoa and curries) and start to worry a little less.

The way I see it, I might be closing Pearyn's diet to meat and dairy, but I'm opening it up to a whole lot more.

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