April 9, 2012

When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums

One thing I’ve learned about kids: figure out what works with one child so that you can be quite sure what absolutely will never work with the next one.

Advice books on parenting are baffling.  If there isn’t one sure-fire method to getting two children within the same family to go to sleep/eat their veggies/fucking listen when I’m talking to you, how in the world can someone write a book on how to get all children to go to sleep/eat their veggies/fucking listen when I’m talking to you?

Going to sleep is the biggie, right?  One kid needs momma to read her a story, another needs one of his mothers to scratch his back followed by the other mother singing him a lullaby, and yet another child needs mommy to lie with her while daddy polishes the silver hanging upside down from the ceiling.  There’s just no sure-fire method to get all children to settle down and go to sleep.

Here at Casa Rosenbaum, Lilah brushes her pony’s hair before bed while Zachary reads under the covers with a nightlight until we catch him and tell him to put the damned book away. You may have children like this, or you may have little angels who fall asleep to gentle music or white noise machines.

Benjamin, on the other hand, falls asleep to this song, blared at a volume usually found only at Def Leopard concerts:


I’m wondering why I never saw a chapter on that method in all those sleep-training books.

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  • Reply Melanie April 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Hey whatever works! My son listens to music in his room…. my daughter could care less… I have been fortune enough that my kids don’t fight bedtimes, but its not something I can claim credit for, since my Mom says I was the same way as a child (I seem to need more sleep and know it, so I was the kid telling the baby-sitter that it was past my bedtime)…. HOWEVER my kids do have a relatively late bedtime thanks to a late school start, so maybe all kids are ready for bed at 9pm? I rarely ever have to wake them up (school starts at 9:15 so if they wake up anytime before 8:30 its all good)….. and Allie (soon to be 4) still naps in the afternoon…. at least a couple of hours, so I think she must take after me in that regard. I am super jealous that your son is so into reading though, I love love love to read and I think my daughter is going to take after me, but despite the fact that my 1st grader is an advanced reader at school, its like pulling teeth to get him to do it. I cannot imagine what level he would be at it if he loved it!!

  • Reply WendyElissa April 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I love love love this song! But I would think it would work better as a start-the-day song rather than as a bedtime song:).

  • Reply catherine April 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Yup. From the get-go my parenting philosophy has been “ignore all parenting philosophies.”

  • Reply Heather April 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I love when you swear!

  • Reply Varda (SquashedMom) April 10, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Yup, right there with you! I have twins and ever since they were little they have had opposite sleep needs. Jacob (my ASD guy) has to be LEFT ALONE to fall asleep, as anyone in the room with him – but especially Mommy – is way too exciting and he stays up. Left alone (after kisses & cuddles & a lullaby) he falls asleep in 5 minutes, tops! (Yes, I know how lucky I am, how most kids on the autism spectrum have major sleep issues… counting my blessings, don’t worry.)

    Ethan, on the other hand has ALWAYS needed someone in the room with him to feel safe enough to fall asleep. and at times it’s been in the bed with him too, not just sitting next to it. When they were little before we landed on the brilliant solution of staggering their bedtimes, I would run in and out of the room like a maniac, until they had both succumbed.

    One time when the boys were toddlers, we had a new (and not very bright) babysitter who completely mangled the instructions and when I called home to check in, she informed me Jake was still awake – at 11 PM! – and she couldn’t understand why, as she’d been holding him & rocking him for hours just like I’d “told her to.” Oy!

  • Reply Painted Maypole April 10, 2012 at 4:54 am

    But please, for the love of all that is holy, say that he doesn’t listen to a version that includes Nick Jonas. Shudder.

    • Reply emily April 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Is that Nick Jonas? Huh.

  • Reply Lilian Nattel April 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I have the sheet music for Les Mis. I loved it when it came out and I saw it live in Toronto when good theatre tickets were still priced in a reasonable range! I nearly wore out my tape of it.

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