16 November 2009

Return of the Riot Part Three: In which our heroine finds religion.


Sutter Creek, California. 2009


Okay, not really. But when you're as tired as I was, solutions feel an awful lot like miracles.

Continuing on from Part Two...

With our collective bubble burst, we packed our things and headed back for home. But not before the Mister was kind enough to babysit whilst I made a visit to the best lil' thrift store in El Dorado County, where, Eureka! I struck gold in the form of a black Gap down jacket, midnight blue patent leather Ecco flats, and 12 Williams Sonoma napkins - each of one of the 12 days of Christmas. As the thrifting high faded to fumes in my system, we departed. Let me just say, I wasn't exactly looking forward to the long journey, the long sleepless night, or the very long days ahead of us without a full extended family as support.

At a gas station off the 5 we stopped for coffee and spied a couple with a babe about Bunni's age. Leery of the imminent tantrum putting her back in her car seat was sure to provoke, we walked over to introduce the babies.

The other couple and ourselves engaged in one of those new parent conversations that inevitably led to the topic of sleep. The attractive, well-groomed mother stated matter of factly, "our baby sleeps 12 hours a night. And takes two 2 hours naps every day".

How very nice for you.

I was too filled with roiling envy and hatred to hear anything else she said, but Mr. S paid better attention to the rest - something to do with a book about sleep training. Ha! Sleep training! How barbaric! How uncivilized! What an atrocious thing to subject one's offspring to. Children are not dogs, one does not train them.

Back in the car, Ms. BunBun bagan to cry, setting off air raid sirens of panic shrieking in my head. Sensing my anxiety, the Mister delcared that if she was still crying in an hour's time we would pull over. She'd never cry that long! I thought to myself.

Somewhere up on his lightening-flash-lit cloud throne, God sniggered.

Sixty minutes later, my nerves frayed to wisps, my jaw clenched tighter than a pit bull's and my hands asleep from sitting on them to keep from peeling the face off my skull, she was still crying. She's never cried this long in her entire life! Surely we're inflicting ireperable harm on the poor defenseless child. We're horrible parents and she'll never trust us again. Because of us she'll probably become a prescription drug addict and a tax evader and one of those people that bumps their grocery cart into yours without even looking up let alone say "Sorry", and it's all our fault.

"That's it. Enough. Pull over," I demanded.

I scrambled out of my seat and into the back to unleash her from her tortuous bonds. The moment Bunni was freed from her car seat straps, the most beatific smile spread across her face. As if nothing in the entire world was wrong, was ever wrong, or could ever be wrong. She was fine.

And I had learned that crying is not the end of the world.

As we started back up again and her crying commenced (mercifully dying down after she fell asleep a few minutes later) I downloaded the sleep training book in question and whisper-read it to Mr. S the whole way home.

Two nights later, to my utter shock and glee, without warning or discussion, my husband (my hero!) began the training. He was now officially in charge of waking up at night to get her back to sleep. Euphoria washed over me as I lay in bed knowing I would not be getting out of bed every hour that night.

And you know what foks? It worked. By golly, it actually worked.

So you could call the couple at the gas station messengers from God, or Allah, the Universe, or whatever you want to call the Powers That Be. Trust me folks, I never intended this to be a pulpit or a blog about faith. But two weeks of consistent 7 hour nights of sleep has me almost converted. In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, thank you, nameless couple on the 5. And thank you Whomever is in Charge for hearing my prayers.

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