Thursday, February 09, 2006

Talk to the Experts: Your Questions

So every parent blogger—including me—has done at least one post about Sleep Issues. This is sort of one of those. We’ve been having a rough time as of late, and I’ve been thinking back over the books I’ve read and their differing philosophies on sleep. One thing I’ve noticed is when these authors predict and answer “questions” they think their readers will have, kind of like a book version of a pre-emptive strike. What I’ve found, however, is that these questions are the ones the authors hope their readers will have; they do not represent the actual questions. What follows are the actual questions I’d ask if I met any one of these folks.

Dr. William Sears: The Attachment Parenting Guru, Promoter of Co-sleeping, Sensitively Working Through Sleep Issues With Patience and Longsuffering

Dear Dr. Sears: During the time you were raising your 8 children, when, exactly, did you get to have sex?

How many nights of 4 hours of sleep or less in a row did you suffer through? Were your patients understanding when your lack-of-sleep-induced irritability caused you to snap at their brats and take a perverse pleasure in administering blood tests?

Dr. Marc Weissbluth: Cry-it-Out Aficionado, Guilter of Parents Who Don’t Care Enough to Let Their Children Cry

Dear Dr. Dub-yah: When, during the hours and hours of crying parents must endure under your method, do most parents start attempting to put their heads through solid wood doors?

When a child throws up after crying for 6 ½ hours, do you clean it up or figure, “well, she/he made the choice to throw up, so he/she can figure out how to sleep in it”?

Elizabeth Pantley: Schiller of the “Babies-shouldn’t-cry-but-they-shouldn’t-keep-you-up-all night-either” Bit

Dear Miz Pantley: Is it worth it to try and maintain your baby’s trust if, after the first mind-blowingly tedious hour of standing by the crib “helping” your child fall asleep, you feel a rage so palpable that you believe you might, in fact, never speak to her/him again?

What if, instead of maintaining a calm, relaxed demeanor over sleep issues that have yet to be overcome, I point out unhelpfully the irony that the child could simply GO BACK TO FREAKING SLEEP instead of being awake and whiny at an ungodly early hour? Does it matter that sarcasm is lost on babies and most toddlers?

Parents, are there any you'd like to add? Come on--here's your chance!