About 6 weeks ago, Drew asked me to lay down with him as I laid him down for night-night and I happily obliged as watching Drew sleep is one of my favorite moments with Drew. And, not because he’s finally quiet and relaxed (though it is a fringe benefit that I enjoy) but because he looks so sweet and I try to imagine what adventures he’s enjoying in his dreams. Well, that was the beginning of his new nightly ritual. It was hardly an inconvenience as he fell asleep quickly and was an important bonding moment for us and Drew.
All was going well. Until about 4 nights ago. Drew woke in the middle of the night hysterically screaming for “mama!” Not a lonely cry or even a cranky cry, but a “scared-out-of-my-mind” blood-curdling cry. I’m not one to let Drew cry in such fear or pain for even a second so I quickly retrieved him and he slept in the bed with me for the rest of the night. Well, you might have guessed that this has become his even newer nightly ritual waking me up and coming into bed with me.
While I enjoy getting to hold him close and listen to his sweet snore and enjoy even more his gentle breath blowing on my nose, I do think that it’s not a habit that can continue forever. Not to mention the other day that Drew actually fell out of my bed, a pretty high one at that and need I mention that we have hard-wood floors? However, the big boy he is, he looked anxiously up at me without so much of a whimper as he lay belly down on the floor and after I scooped him up for a quick examination for broken bones or busted lip/missing teeth/split eyebrows, Drew snickered and asked to do it again!
I can already anticipate that many of you are going to say, “Let him cry it out. He’ll be OK and go back to sleep.” This is probably what every parenting book will tell you, but I can tell you that will probably never happen. If he were crying just to be crying then I could fight the urge to go comfort him, but he’s hysterical as if he’s in sheer terror and he beats and kicks his door as if he wants to escape. I supposed I’m a being a bit difficult as wanting to solve a problem but not willing to stick with the solution, but I would get even less sleep imagining how hurt Drew would be if he gave up after realizing that I don’t care enough to come save him from his “monsters.” Ugh! The heartache!
So, folks, short of letting him cry it out, any suggestions?
By the way, yes, I’ve tried returning to his room and sleeping with him as he went back to sleep, however when I try to escape back to my soft pillow, Drew is acutely aware of my presence, even in heavy sleep, and immediately objects. This time Drew pleads, “Mama! Please! I need you!” So sweet and frustrating at the same time!
In other news, we are anticipating his ear surgery on Friday and will keep you updated.