Suckadelic: The state in which something is so tremendously awful that it splinters into thousands of bright, equally awful pieces, leaving one with the sense that life has been turned upside down. Often accompanied by music (see: crying) and liberal doses of drugs (see: Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck).
Day 16 - The view from the trenches: While I wouldn't say that Cry It Out has been a complete failure, it certainly hasn't been the three day boom everybody promised. Two weeks now and it's still nearly as bad as it was on day 1. He still cries anywhere from five minutes (a Christmas miracle) to 45 minutes (the usual; definitely puts a damper on date night). He still wakes up at 4 am and will not (or cannot, we can't decide) go back in the crib. I've tried everything: nursing until totally asleep then easing him into the crib, nursing him until drowsy then easing him into the crib, nursing then rocking, you name it. So far we've been leaving him to cry hoping he'll self-soothe, but instead the poor guy works himself into an absolute lather. I know we're supposed to let him cry but after 2 hours (you read that right) of nightly hysteria we all hit the point of no return. For the past few nights we've ended up pulling him back into bed which goes against everything we're trying to teach, but at some point we have to get some sleep. (Plus, our poor neighbors!) When I peek through the slats in his crib I can see him trying to self-soothe (sucking his fingers, rubbing his face on his blankie) but it just doesn't seem to work. We're caught in a cycle of damned if we do, damned if we don't: if we pull him into bed we're thwarting his self-soothing, but he's crying for TWO HOURS A NIGHT! For weeks! Even our $350 sleep "expert" admitted defeat. ("Maybe the timing is off.") People keep telling me that it's because we started him too early (Ferber, the man who pioneered Cry It Out, doesn't recommend it until the baby is 6 months) or maybe it's Will's ridiculous early teething or maybe we've totally F-ed this kid up, I don't know. I mean the reason people endure the hell of CIO is that it never fails! At what point do you admit defeat? Yesterday when we started the nightly routine he immediately started panicking - sobbing, reaching up for me crying "uh-MA!" (the beta version of "mama"). And I won't even go into what happened when we experimented with crying at naptime today. It took him almost an hour to calm down, even while being held in our arms. This is starting to feel less like teaching and more like borderline abuse. And I say this as someone who has no trouble letting kids cry. (Er, that sounds bad coming from a former nanny.)
So here I am, in bed by 9 pm, still holding Will for his three daily naps (total time: 6 1/2 hours). We aren't supposed to work on naps until his nights are completely sorted so I figure I've got at least a few more weeks, if not months, before we move to those. Seriously, I don't know people who practice attachment parenting do it. I love my child to bits but I'm starting to lose my shit. On the plus side, I started watching The Office which is a piece of comedy genius. I can watch an entire season in 4 naps! (Another bit of genius? Iron Man. Jon Favreau's come a long way from Elf. Although I'm a little uncertain about Robert Downey Jr.'s facial hair...)