It’s time for a huddle.
Last night, Husband, aka The Underminer, unraveled the plan.
Truly, it is SO hard to find good help these days, isn’t it?
On the mend from his stomach virus, Husband eagerly volunteered to get back on board with the night feedings. I briefed him on our agenda:
1) Dream-feed somewhere between 10-11 PM
2) Pacifier anytime after that before 5 AM
3) Pray for the best
4) DO NOT BREAK. (Never mind that I broke the night before. Any parenting couple knows that Mommy gets away with anything because she is Mommy, and let’s face it, she’s the final authority, but if Daddy does the exact same thing that Mommy herself would have done—but was mad at herself for doing? Murder and mayhem ensue. Nothing like a parenting double-standard to keep you on your toes!)
I thought we were both on board with the plan. As you may notice, this plan is not complex. It requires emotional and psychological stamina, but the methodology is not so fancy.
However. (Imagine me seething, nostrils flaring like an angered bull as I write this.)
Rather than “dream feeding” Eliana the six ounce bottle of “Baby Ambien” (read: formula) somewhere between 10-11 PM as the plan clearly outlined, Daddy decided he’d just feed her the first time she woke up.
Presumably, the men reading this may (incorrectly) think there is nothing wrong with Daddy’s plan. You may think he was thinking rationally.
Ladies, please. You know the truth.
And hell hath no fury like a sleep training mommy whose agenda has been scorned.
As any sleep-deprived mommy can tell you, Daddy’s undermining, off-the-reservation plan negates the whole purpose of our sleep-training program. Because with Daddy popping in for a jovial drink and cuddle when Eliana wants it, she is still getting what she wants when she wakes up. She will not be able to distinguish between why she gets up the first time and someone feeds her, whereas all subsequent times, she does not get fed.
He fed her at 1:28 AM last night (“or did I finish at 1:30?” Seriously, Daddy? CAN YOU NOT LOOK AT A CLOCK AND TAKE NOTE!?). Husband reported, “It was the first time she ever had powdered formula instead of the liquid stuff. She loved it.”
The next time Eliana woke up was at 5:01 AM. That little genius knew that I wouldn’t go in there until past five…so she just held out for the clock. I don’t know whether to hate her or sign her up for an infant gifted program.
Today, after Lila and Eliana were in bed, and Husband and I sat down for dinner tonight, I tried calmly to state my case and enumerate the flaws in his plan without sounding like a judgmental bitch. I was going for “easy, approachable gal who works with Husband as co-parents” demeanor, even though we all know that no matter how awesome your husband is (and yeah, mine is really awesome), co-parenting is a myth made up by guilt-ridden men because really, this whole parenting thing just doesn’t break down 50-50 ever. 60-40…still dreaming. 65-35? Closer, at best.
Me: So….let’s talk about what happened last night.
Husband (innocently): Huh?
Me: Yeah, with the sleep training.
Husband: I fed her at 1:30ish. Or maybe I finished at 1:30ish? I don’t know. She ate six ounces pretty fast. Maybe tonight I should give her eight ounces.
Me (quietly seething): Remember how we talked about dream-feeding her?
Husband: I just figured I’d wait until she woke up.
Me (losing my cool): Right…but that was not on plan!
Husband: I think you and I are approaching this in different ways.
Me (thinking: “Mine is the right way”): What do you mean?
Husband: You want to eliminate all night feedings.
Me (trying very hard not to sound patronizing): Yes.
Husband: But you can’t just cut out all night feedings at once.
Me: Yes, you can.
Husband: That’s like trying to lose 100 pounds at once. How about we go for 2 pounds? Eliminate the TWO night feedings…let’s just get her down to one.
Me (thinking about this, as it does actually make sense): Yeah, I guess that makes sense. (Filling with self-doubt) But then what have I been doing these past 3 nights?
Husband: Sleep training?
Question mark, indeed.
About twenty minutes later, after I explained the concept of dream-feeding (for the record, AGAIN), Husband said, “Oh! So that’s what a dream feed is. I didn’t really get what you were talking about. Now I get it.”
“So are you on board? Feed her at 10 or 11? No more feeding until 5 AM? Pacify in between?”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure.”
So here we are: night #3.
Maybe it’s the English teacher in me, but I can’t help but think of Lady Macbeth all these nights. And while she speaks to figments of her imagination, tonight, when Husband does that dream-feed (now that we know what dream feeds are), I will think of Lady Macbeth’s final words: “come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!”
So here we go, Eliana. Take three: “To bed, to bed, to bed!”
Postscript: Husband has read this blog post and claims, “I don’t think we ever talked about dream feeding at night. I don’t think we ever had that conversation.”