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Bun Bun vs. Mama

Mama and I have gotten along quite well since I was a fetus. I like to think I’ve been good to her–I’ve slept a great deal and hardly cried at all ever since I was born. Sure, I may have made her nipples bleed, but that was only because I’m such an eager and efficient eater. I’ve never been sick a day in my life, and I’ve given her a delightful crop of hair to entertain herself with, and loads of smiles. What more could a mama want?

And I’ll be fair: she’s been pretty good to me, too. She gives me lots of kisses, and has the tastiest breastmilk. Why, just last night, I got carrot-ginger soup breastmilk with notes of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Delicious! She does her best to entertain me, too, and if I’m bored to death by those three toys she’s always pulling out, well…I try to be polite.

But it seems we’ve hit a bump with this whole self-soothing business. First, let me be clear. I’m perfectly capable of self-soothing. What the hell* does she think I do when I wake up in the middle of the night? I KNOW she hears me sucking on my hands. And then I go back to sleep, don’t I? DON’T I?!? Yes. Yes, I do. SO WHAT if sometimes when she puts me to bed at night I need a little extra help falling asleep? SO WHAT if sometimes I don’t want to go down for a nap? Is it my fault she let me get over-tired? Certainly not.

And I feel a bit bad for saying this, but it’s clear she has NO IDEA what she’s doing. On one occasion she’ll let me wail for ten minutes while standing there looking like a trapped animal, and on another occasion I have only to let out a few shrieks and she’ll scoop me up and snuggle me. What on earth is she thinking?

She keeps telling me she wants me to learn to fall asleep without her, but I DO, some of the time. And she says she wants me to grow up to be a self-actualized, independent person, whatever the hell that is, not a needy, clinging brat, as if I could ever become such a thing.

I mean for fuck’s sake, I am only barely capable of voluntarily rolling myself over into whichever position I feel like being in. And sometimes when I get upset, I forget how. And my fat little legs and arms are constantly getting caught in the bars of this stupid sleeping cage she puts me in–what does she expect!

SO. Could you people PLEASE tell her that all this exploring your limits and experimenting with your ability to self soothe is just unnecessary? When I cry, the correct response is to pick me up and snuggle me, with that swinging back and forth thing that makes her creaky old knees hurt. Not sitting down, standing. Every time.

It’s so obvious, even to me, and I’m only a baby.

*I know such language is shocking in a baby, but like my mama, I believe in the value of a good expletive.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. JB #

    Sweet Bun Bun, let me have a word with your Mommy now. Go play with one of the three toys she tells me you lurve.Oh lord, we went through this. And if memory serves, one day it just….got better. I struggled to be consistent with letting Jackson learn to self-soothe, but some days (and nights) I just couldn't take it. In general, I think it has always required about 2-4 days with each "training" effort to get him to put himself to sleep at night or for naps, and to drop feedings (that were really just lazy nursing/soothing sessions that kept Mommy up). So, a la Dan Savage, it gets better. By ~8 months he became more-or-less a world-class independent sleeper and besides teething and motor skills milestone bumps in the road, that has been the new norm.

    September 22, 2011
  2. Arlo here, and I gotta say that I think expletive-wielding babies are the fucking shit. Also, my mama is one simultaneously mushy and crunchy mutha, and deep in her heart she feels that responding to a baybee's cry in no way molds them into clingy assholes. She seems to think, instead, that doing so actually fosters independence. You know, along the thought that NOT responding to a cry can send a funky message and THAT might instead beget the clinging. But she has no scientific evidence of this, and clearly other babies do just fine with the self-soothing and autonomy and self-agency. Also, it's worth pointing out that I spend the bulk of my naps with her tit in my mouth, so, you know, whatever. I think she might also be a bit lazy in terms of putting the effort and research into self-soothing. Anyway, just tell yer mama that she should just do what feels right to her, what makes her a happy mama. And please, please reassure her that you are going to continue to be juuuust as sweet because you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she loves you to bits and pieces, more than anything.

    September 22, 2011
  3. N #

    Funny! BunBun Tell your mama this…. I have no idea how my now 4 year olds sleeps so well but it happens. Patience.. And what Arlo said too.

    September 22, 2011
  4. Dear Bun Bun,Your Mama is a treasure. She is working hard to do the absolute best for you. BUT here is the thing. Sometimes a baby has needs and sometimes Mamas just don't get it. During these moments I suggest using some very gentle reminders of the extent of your influence over her life. She is a very smart woman. She'll get it. For example, you might reminder her that, while you have been an exemplary baby, you will one day (sooner than she can imagine) be 2. Of course, there are two year-olds and their are TWO YEAR-OLDS. She'll completely understand. But, just in case she doesn't get it, you might remind her nicely that one day (and she is in complete denial on this one) you will be thirteen. Trust me, this point will need absolutely no explanation.

    September 22, 2011
  5. Oh Bun Bun, don't fret. I know all the other babies are saying that you HAVE to train your Mama to let you self-soothe or else you're going to regret it. But she's your Mama, and you'll know when the time is right (if the time is ever right). Trust your instincts.

    September 22, 2011
  6. Bun Bun, my peach, just hang in there. Mama's learning and you're learning, and as long as you are in it together, it will be fine. That sleep thing tends to fuck with mamas' minds, so don't take it personally (I know, how else are you supposed to take it). In terms of self-soothing, I know a bunch of grown ups who still don't know how to do it, so I am VERY PROUD of you, darling girl, for being able to soothe yourself some of the time. sending warm hugs from Canada, to you and mom.

    September 23, 2011
  7. bb, tell firmly that even though breathable bumpers are god's gift to ugly, one would help you keep your dear little limbs inside the cage.also, keep in mind that if you are quietly awake, she will never know. this is your plotting time, my sweet. the bean has posted about that on his MouthPage. you are on mouthpage, right?xoaunt bionic

    September 23, 2011
  8. Dear Bun Bun….Tell your Mama that you need to come over here and teach Bee's mommy how babes your age have it down when it comes to self soothing methods. He bit his hand off trying when his mommy insisted on intervening with a paci for fear he might scream out in pain….or better yet because he misses her at night. You have some mad skills!

    September 23, 2011
  9. OMG, this is one of the funniest things I have read in a while! I have been reading your blog in a while, but, just like with many other blogs, I just don't comment. I know, stupid, but I am here correcting that.Bun Bun, you da rockstar, really.I am George, and let me tell you how I trained my parents. I did the cage thing for oh, roughly four months, and then I just had enough and although it took me a while, I finally trained them to sleep with me. As in I got a larger cage, without bars this time and they can sleep with me, I don't care, as long as there is milk and eyes to poke. And bellies to kick. Other than that I am fine. And you know, now at 13 months, I gave up the rocking thing, it was getting boring, plus, mum just never listened to me and kept on rocking me while sitting, who does that?! Anyways, I am over that, and just an't wait to suck my milk and be laid down and I recap the day and tomorrow's schedule and to do list with mum and then I'm out. She thinks she's cunning by trying to put me back in the cage though. Of course, absurd does not begin to cover this shit, so I have to keep training her. So, just let your mum know that we're all different, alrightie? Self soothing might be the thing now, but in retrospect, it might also not. Just do what you know best and she'll adapt. Kisses, George (the gorge(ous)) PS – I haven't slept more than four hours at a time in a year. Still, I have never been happier. But thank God I stay at home. Otherwise I would have resigned. Best of luck, Mina

    September 23, 2011
  10. Bun Bun, I appreciate your honesty and commend your willingness to put up with your mama's nonsense. I only pray that Muffin will be as patient as you have been. Bunny, you a freakin riot. I laughed so hard that I cried. I sware I have spent the majority of the last 5 weeks looking like a trapped animal so I loved the reference.Self soothing- I am sooooo confused about. I don't even know if Muffin is old enough for that. I'm sure you will figure it out and you and Bun Bun can be fast friends again.

    September 23, 2011
  11. Dear Bun Bun,Well I am most impressed that you clearly take after your mama with your highly developed and creative language skills. I am sure you will make a most excellent cocktail one day, as well. Unfortunately, I can't give your mama any advice, having not produced any interweb cousins for you as yet. However, I am sure that all the previous commenters have lots of good advice and as you both love each other to pieces, I am sure you will work out together.

    September 24, 2011
  12. I am sooooooo right there with you. My Mom is just as wacko. If these are the folks running the world, then we are in big trouble. Text me if it gets really bad and I'll send you Monkey. I squeeze all my anger out on him … he doesn't seem to mind and I bet he'd let you do it too. Later. Ian.

    September 26, 2011
  13. Dear bun bun, First off, I think you are cute and would try to touch your face if you were here.Second, my mom did that cry it out crap,except sometimes she totally couldn't take it and scooped me up so then I realized I just needed to make it sound like I was in real pain and she would come fetch me. And then I can smile, because I have won and gotten out of the cage and am being snuggled. THat said, sometimes I like my alone time and now if I cry a little bit she ignores me, which sounds worse than it is. It's giving me time to learn to stand up in my cage, which is the first step to making a break for it.Good luck with the training — it takes a while before they really learn to do what you want.xo, Ben

    September 27, 2011
  14. Ah, this made me laugh. Bun Bun, you are one smart bunny. And so is your Mom. And creative invective shows character.

    September 29, 2011

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