Backing up, let me say, that I'm pretty sure that I screwed up his ability to go to sleep by himself completely. He was my first born. My mildly colicky baby boy. I rocked him ALL THE WAY to sleep until he was two. And then at two we began the training of getting him to bed on his own. And he would cry. Oh how it would break my heart while I waited five minutes before going to him, then ten, then fifteen until he was finally lost to slumber, his chubby little cheeks red with pre-sleep fury.
Lucy, on the other hand, was the second child. Oh second (and subsequent) children who's parents are so much calmer, more relaxed, less terrified. And Lucy would nurse and I would plop her in her crib wide awake. And she'd go right to sleep. Even when I tried to hold on to her longer, loving the warmth of her tiny little baby body, she would roll away from me, arms reaching toward her crib as if to say 'put me down. I would like to go to sleep!'.
Lucy still goes straight to bed and we don't hear from her until morning, save the odd bad dream or loud noise in the night. Coen, on the other hand, still wakes and calls to us at three in the morning to be tucked back in after using the bathroom. He still struggles to go to sleep and most nights we still keep up the routine of the five, ten, fifteen minute checks before he's finally sleeping.
So the night of his first healthy bedtime, he was so upset that he couldn't sleep, long after Tad and I had gone to bed. Finally I got up and went upstairs and lay down with him, telling him about nights when I couldn't sleep as a kid after having been sick. And then I went and checked on him in five, ten and fifteen minutes, reading a book on the couch in between. At the last check, he was asleep. 11:30 p.m.
We woke with a start the next morning--7:10 a.m. nearly an hour and a half after our usual wake up time. Tad jumped in the shower while I went up to tell the kids that we were late, they'd need to get dressed and we'd have oatmeal bars in the car on the way to school.
Coen was quick and coming downstairs with his clothes on in five minutes saying to Lucy over his shoulder as he descended the stairs, "You have to get dressed FAST, Lucy."
I went up to check on her and found her flailing on the ground, tights in one hand, shirt in the other winging them around wildly.
"What are you doing?" I asked her.
She stopped and looked at me, tears in her big brown eyes.
"Coen said we have to get dressed FAST!" And started to cry.
I explained about how we woke up late and that she doesn't have to get dressed fast, just get dressed without sitting around.
"Well everyone keeps talking to me and I CAN'T get DRESSED!"
"Okay, I'll go downstairs; you get dressed. It's okay!"
I did not mention that flailing about on the ground isn't going to get her dressed any faster. I didn't think that would go over well.
At any rate, Tad and the kids were minivanning down the alleyway at 7:25 and I was on my way to work.