I haven’t posted about this yet because I don’t want to jinx it, but Choo-choo has been sleeping through the night. YAY!!! I mean, this is seriously awesome.
He hadn’t slept all night through in I literally cannot remember how long. I thought it would never happen. There was one little blip earlier this year, but that ended rather quickly. I had completely given up hope. I even stopped mentioning it to him.
Then some horribly awful nights happened, nights when Choo-choo wailed and screamed and I screamed back. I broke his heart and my own by yelling at him, I’m sure. I finally decided to follow everyone’s advice and not give into Choo-choo’s nighttime pleas. After lots of hugs and kisses, I just walked away, prepared to hear some really loud crying for the next half hour or so until he fell asleep.
And honestly, I was doing this for him, yes, but in the moment I was doing this for my sanity. I hate the way it feels to yell at my kid. It’s so very stomach-churning, heart breaking, soul crushing. For me and for him. And even for Diesel when he witnesses it and tells me I need to chill out but also knows I don’t really mean to yell. I just don’t always know what to do.
So anyway, the first night of just walking away, calling out to him with “I love you” and “Goodnight” in happy tones instead of angry ones, resulted in about thirty minutes of crying before he nodded off, as I had expected. The next time, it was less than five minutes. Then it lasted only until my feet reached the top of the stairs, when he would call out to me, “Sweet dreams, Mommy. I love you!”
Talk about making my heart melt! We have done this every day since then, about 10 days straight. That might not seem like much to some, but to us, it’s everything right now. There were only two nights that Choo-choo woke up well before dawn, both times to go potty, so it averages out to still be quite a bit of time he has slept straight until morning.
We had one really bad moment the other day, and I am ashamed to admit I screamed yet again. Not at him, but he was right there. It was a primal scream at the frustration of the evening and me just being completely fed up. Choo-choo woke up a lot that night.
This got me thinking yet again that my outbursts affect his sleep, either by scaring him or by worrying him. Whatever the reason, since he only couldn’t sleep well on that night and not any other, I know this is what has kept him calling for me night after night.
I had broken the habit of yelling, and I despise having slipped up. But now I know for sure what those slip-ups can do to him. Now, I’m not an idiot, before you start questioning me. I have known all along how terrible it is to yell at my child. But like I said, the moment takes over, my anxiety/depression/whatever takes over, and I let myself lose control.
Well, not any more. I love, love, love how happy and peaceful we both feel when I don’t yell. I love that we can both sleep through the night and wake up refreshed, not groggy or grumpy. And I love knowing that I am no longer pushing fear on my son. He doesn’t deserve to worry about how Mommy will react or when Mommy might scream next. He never has. NO child deserves that.
I am going to stick with my plan now. No more yelling. It’s the best for all of us.