The Illustrated Guide to Getting Kids to Sleep

When people told me my kid would someday sleep through the night, I assumed that would mean I too would be sleeping a solid eight hours snuggled up in my cozy bed. “Just get through the first three six twelve months,” we told ourselves, “ and then it will be easy-street from then on out.” As far as I am concerned, anyone who thinks getting kids to sleep will be this simple is likely to receive a straight-up bitch-slap to their ego and sleep-schedule for the next…ever.

And a HUGE HIGH FIVE to Jacoba S-A (who writes a hilarious parenting blog) for the illustrations (and for making me look so skinny). Check her out right after you finish reading this.

(credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

(illustration credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

Phase one. Twenty-five pounds of dead weight crushing your sternum at 3 AM. Note the hand and leg strategically placed on the floor to comfortably support all 1XX lbs of you. Joints weren’t made to endure this level of stress for a prolonged period of time, people. And don’t forget that five million jigawatt street-lamp melting your eyeballs night after night. I am 100% sure its wattage grows even brighter proportional to the volume of your child’s scream. This, my friends, is the parenthood of which we dreamt. Except not.

(credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

(illustration credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

Phase two. Oooooh, look! We made it from the living room to the toddler bed. Kudos, mom/dad. Not so fast. Now you must hold one sweaty toddler hand while rubbing his back in figure eights with your still numb "free" arm. The minute you stop, his eyes fly open and he demands, “RUB BACK MAMA!”

Your spawn has stolen all of your blankets, thus forcing you to lay on a cheap rug dotted with only crusty months-old infant spit-up and your hot tears to keep you warm.  Good thing you moved his bed so your head is now directly next to the AC vent. So cozy.

(credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

(credit: Jacoba - A Yankee Mom in Texas

Phase three. Hours pass? Days pass? You wake up to a semi-round (remember that whole plagiocephaly crisis) head burrowed in your collarbone. Do you move? Do you really need to be able to turn your head to the left during the day? Nah. So you decide to just sweat it out. Literally. That noggin is hot and strangely moist. His sour milk-breath mists your face - natural moisturizer, no doubt. We are making memories here.

Then your husband calls you later that morning to tell you, “he [your toddler] looked so happy sleeping next to you.” How he could even see the tiny terrorist’s face when it was buried deep in your stubbly armpit?

And at that second, you realize that someday very soon, you will yearn for that hot milk-breath blowing straight-up your nostrils and head lodged into your armpit.  Perhaps this is indeed the parenthood of which you dreamt and it’s so unbelievable that it's awesome.
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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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