Posted by: Wendy | January 12, 2009

The Stop Button for Kids

Open wide and say "Aaaaaaagh!"

Open wide and say "Aaaaaaagh!"

 Since the day we brought Tripp home from the hospital, he has been a great sleeper.  He naps twice a day and he goes to bed at 7:45 every night.  Of course, I’ve had a little trouble getting him to sleep sometimes, even to the point of having to physically hold him down until he gave up and closed his eyes.  But the point is he always goes to sleep within thirty minutes.

Last night, though, I tried to put down some baby who was not my child at all.  He kicked and screamed, bit and pinched, hit me in the face and tried to push my arm away from him.  I tried to give him his bottle and he threw it.  I tried to give him his pacifier and it flew off the bed. 

I stuck it out for forty-five minutes and then decided to walk away.  I left him on the bed and I went to the living room.  Thomas could hear Tripp screaming still, so he asked me what I was doing.  I told him that on nights like this I leave him in the alone while I have a cigarette.  By the time I go back in there, he’s much more willing to go to sleep.  (Just so you know, I feel bad about doing that.  I worry that he’s scared.  But at some point he’s going to have to start going to sleep on his own anyway, so he might as well get used to it.)  So I had a cigarette and took a few deep breaths and went back into the bedroom.


Tripp was crying at the bedroom door by that point, and when I picked him up he stopped.  I gave myself a mental high five and carried him to the bed to lie down with him again.  As soon as his head touched the bed he started screaming again.  After several minutes of it, I decided he must not have been tired.  Even though he missed his second nap for the day.  Or possibly he was too tired.  So we both got up and came into the living room. 

He was glad to get a break from me and went straight to the play room while Thomas and I started a movie.  He played quietly and sat on the old couch and looked at some toys.  By 10:00, he came back into the living room fussing and rubbing his eyes.  This time, I knew he was sleepy, so I happily scooped him up and went back to the bedroom with him.  I was sure it would only take a few minutes because he was surely so tired by then he wouldn’t be able to fight sleep.  I was thinking about cuddling up next to Thomas on the couch to finish watching the movie as I laid him down on the bed.  And my pretty little daydream was shattered by his shrill screaming.

We didn't know he had become so attached to it!

We didn't know he had become so attached to it!

Thomas came into the room and I told him to lie down with the baby, too.  Maybe the problem was that he wanted his daddy.  Thomas got into bed and stroked and cuddled and cooed.  In return he was bitten, scratched, and punched.  He tried to give him his bottle, but that only elicited louder screaming.  Same thing with the pacifier.

Then I remembered that Thomas had put Tripp’s blanket in the dirty clothes.  I had given him a different one, but he wasn’t interested in it.  So I fetched the blanket and brought it back to bed.  I shook it out and fluffed it up in the air over Tripp.  As soon as it touched him, Tripp grabbed it and stopped screaming.  And by the time it had settled completely, he was fast asleep and snoring softly.



  1. I feel for you. I have had nights like this. To make matters worse, we just lost Wise Guy’s blanket. Luckily, he adapted to another one, but I was peeing myself for awhile there.

  2. Oh I totally relate to your wee one! I cannot, CANNOT sleep without snorgling with a blanky. Poor mama, I’m sure you would have gotten it with the quickness if you had known.

    And happy De-lurking Day!

  3. It is amazing and frustrating when they become attached to something and they are non-verbal the extent they will go to to get their point across. I remember once lala was hot at the zoo and cried and fussed and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and resigned that I was just going to have to take her home. I got her to the car and took off her pants and she was happy as a lark. Of course I looked like white trash toting my kid around at the zoo in a diaper and a shirt, but she was happy.

  4. It figures doesn’t it. He is adorable! Well now you know for next time.

  5. Welcome to my world. Except there wasn’t ever a blanket or paci or bottle that just did the trick. My oldest fought sleeping until he was about two years old. It was awful! I’m glad you figured out the whole blanket thing though!

  6. God you’re smarter than me, it takes me DAYS to figure out things like that. By which point I’m beyond all reasoning and will give the boy just about anything. Paci, burpee, beer…

  7. All 3 of mine have had lovies that I made for them. My son still wants his to sleep with and he’s almost 4 1/2!

  8. Oh my gawd, i was just going to write about this and you know the great thing. I STILL AM! haha.

    Yes, this is hard for sure. Sometimes you just want to cuddle on the couch or go to bed early or eat in peace…agh, if we could only be that lucky!

    Love the new site!!!!!!!!

  9. Oh man. At least you figured it out. There are many nights I would love to go out for a smoke to cool off… and many nights that I have. Don’t blame you one bit. That’s exactly what you are supposed to do when you’ve had it (well, maybe not the smoking part, but the going away and chilling out part).

  10. awe, poor lil guy! too cute.. my oldest had an insane attachment to his blankie too. 😉

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