Decision ’08

By Megan

I’m hearing nigglings of some major election comin’ up here soon. What’s that all about again? I can’t keep up with current events right now, are you kiddin’ me? I don’t remember what month it is most of the time.

All I know is, I’m writin’ in Martin Sheen.

(Mostly because I think Rizzo makes an excellent First Lady.)

No, around my household we’re duking it out over a bigger, more important issue than who’s gonna run the Free World. We’re tryin’ to figure out how to get the baby to sleep in his bed.

Now there are two major parties campaignin’ in this race:  The Rockocrats and the Crypublicans. The Crypublicans are the conservative party, who believe in less parental involvement; free-market sleepin’, as it were. Let the little guy do what he needs to do; interference only complicates matters and creates a cycle of dependence that’ll never be broken.

The Rockocrats are the bleedin’ heart liberals. They believe the baby should get plenty o’ assistance. They don’t believe in lettin’ anybody suffer. Dependence is just another way of sayin’ “In Mom We Trust.”

I bet you can guess who’s at the helm of each party, can’t you?

The Crypublicans, typically, have built their campaign message on the notion that what’s always worked’ll continue to work, why tamper with a good thing? Their candidate crows about the depth and breadth of his experience – years of babysittin’ countless nieces and nephews and three of his own children. They’ve also got a cute little chick as their candidate for VP who appears to be long on smarts and toughness but some would say is short on related practical experience. “Let ‘im cry Mama! Let’s play Candyland!” she shouts at rallies and public appearances, pumping her pretty fists in the air, and supporters roar back their approval, throwing multi-colored gingerbread men at her feet.

The Rockocrats are clamborin’ for change, led by a sympathetic candidate who’s been around the block, though admittedly only a time or two. What she lacks in experience she’s made up for in education. She’s read her Sears and her Pantley and she’s even crossed party lines to familiarize herself with Ferber’s philosophies and methods. She’s the “modern candidate” in the race, endorsed by youths and attachment-parenters alike.

There’ve been numerous debates between these candidates and each ends with both parties declaring themselves victorious, but the nation at large remains undecided, even confused, and the baby still ain’t sleepin’ much. The strain and exhaustion of life on the campaign trail’s beginnin’ to show on the faces of the candidates. The battle’s becoming bitter, with extremists from each camp demonizing the other, the Crypublicans demanding, “You’ll spoil him rotten!” the Rockocrats worrying, “You’ll damage his lil psyche!”

The truth lies somewhere in the middle maybe, but only one party can win, and come November, spoilin’ or damagin’, a decision’ll have to be made.

And then a household divided will have to join together again and move forward into a new era, hopefully one of peaceful slumber for all, and a return to the glorious familial harmony of bygone days.

Care to cast your ballot?

Megan also blogs at FriedOkra.

25 Responses to Decision ’08
  1. Melissa
    October 27, 2008 | 1:29 am

    I was a Rockocrat for the first 5 months, and then on 5mo-0day, I crossed over to the Crypublican side. And at appoximately 3:39 am on 5mo-1day (ahem) I crossed right back over. :o)
    I feel your pain, dear. Thankfully, I’m the only one seeming to have a say in it, so I’m only able to disagree with (and subsequently disapprove of) myself. There’s no one to blame but me. And after a week of trying, I don’t know if I’m any closer to a comfortable place.
    Maybe you could say that I’m a liberal Crypublican? or a conservative Rockocrat?
    I’m living in the haze between the two.
    Good luck!

  2. edj
    October 27, 2008 | 7:28 am

    Awesome post! You crack me up! And good luck finding that balance that will result in more sleep. I’ve been in both camps at various times with various children, and I’m happy to say that now, years later, all sleep beautifully.

  3. Hat Chick
    October 27, 2008 | 8:27 am

    I was a Crypublican for the first three months, then was wooed to the Rockocrats when I was at my most sleep-deprived state. I can say that by my second election, I was firmly entrinched in the Rockocrat Party and haven’t been sleep-deprived since. All hail Free-market Sleeping!

  4. Sherri E.
    October 27, 2008 | 9:22 am

    Funny post. Lifelong Rockocrat here. Pantley FTW!

  5. Susan
    October 27, 2008 | 10:00 am

    My vote is with the Rockocrats! One day that boy will be fourteen and though he’ll love his momma dearly, she won’t be able to withstand his weight on her lap and he won’t be inclined to sit there anyway. On the few occasions she does get to put her arms around him before he slinks off to his own bed, he’ll smell like dirty socks and sweaty football pads. He has years to sleep on his own. Hold him while you can!

  6. Sara Joy
    October 27, 2008 | 10:46 am

    I am pretty sure I don’t have the answer, but I will say this. Very rarely are there only two sides to a story – perhaps the Sleepertarian party holds the key. If neither approach is working, try something else, a hybrid approach, something outside the “norms”, or just some old wives tale.
    I wish I had a great answer for you, but all I can remember is my poor sister, who with her 4th baby discovered he refused to sleep because he was cold. When they kept him in a hat and extra warm jammies he knocked right out. None of their other kids had this issue. After weeks of frustration they kept trying things until something worked.
    Something will work for your little guy too. Just because you haven’t found it yet, doesn’t mean you won’t. I have faith, that peace and sleep will soon be restored at Okra Manor. 🙂

  7. Courtney
    October 27, 2008 | 10:51 am

    This is hillarious and very politically correct lol. Maybe the real politicians could learn a thing or two from us lol. I am a somewhere in the middle type gal. A little rockign a little crying and it never hurt anybody. I dont think crying it out is a good idea for a infant but we used it with our 1st son one he reached about 9 months old and it work wonders where rocking was becoming a horrible fight.

  8. Someone Being Me
    October 27, 2008 | 10:54 am

    Since neither party is ideal I am a swing voter. If all else failed I would put Bear in the swing until he passed out then transfer him to the bed.

  9. Carrie of Ceaseless Praises
    October 27, 2008 | 11:21 am

    This is such a sensitive issue- people get so defensive about it sometimes! I wrote a post on my blog a couple months ago about letting my child cry, which, for me, is the way to go. We had such a hard time rocking our son to sleep, he would just wake right up as soon as we put him down…but after 2 or 3 nights of the horribleness of letting him cry, he now goes to sleep on his own and sleeps all night. It is SO worth it.

    Also, I agree with the commenter who said to try different things- my son was 7 weeks old when we let him cry to sleep, using the Ferber method, and the first night he cried for about 2 hours. The next night, we put some books under one end of his mattress, to elevate his head, and he cried much less. Turns out- we found out a month later- he had acid reflux. So you never know what’s keeping them from sleeping. 🙂 Hope something works out for you soon!

  10. T with Honey
    October 27, 2008 | 11:26 am

    How are you finding the ability to be this incredibly creative when you are getting so little sleep? Or is that you’re secret bloggy weapon?

    And, just like the other election going on I find my self somewhere in the middle. Maybe the Sleepertarians (love this Sarah Joy!) have the right approach? Foster independence by having him fall asleep in his crib but be nurturing in that you sacrifice your comfort and circulation of blood to your arm by keeping one arm on him till he falls asleep. Then slowly get to a point where you don’t need to keep your arm. Hmmm. It may be worth trying.

  11. Lora Lynn
    October 27, 2008 | 2:16 pm

    Aren’t you a brave lil mama for bringing this up when I’ve no doubt you’re still a bit of a postpartum whirlwind of emotions? I commend you. And I hesitate to offer my opinion. You’re the mama and you live with the daddy. Ya’ll gotta figure this out for yourselves.

    That being said: I’ve always found that my husband was stronger in this than me. So I relied on him for strength when I didn’t have any. I knew all the “right answers,” but there’s nothing to help with the blood pounding in my ears while the little one screams. So my hubby would hold me in his arms and remind me what a good mom I am for building good sleep habits early. how much he appreciates the efforts I’m making to help us ALL achieve rest and peace. And the good news is, the kid won’ remember this down the road. Then he’d offer to “do the listening” for awhile and hand me my iPod. That kind of support will get you through, whenever you decide it’s time to join the crypublicans. In the meantime, swaddle his little self up good and tight. And enjoy your cuddles. Hugs to ya, friend.

  12. Julie`
    October 27, 2008 | 2:36 pm

    My thoughts:

    I believe in rocking them for a little while – only until they are able to help themselves. Once they reach a certain age, they may need to pitch a little fit and learn to help themselves.

  13. Hannah
    October 27, 2008 | 4:03 pm

    Although I’ve questioned myself during some moments of the past nine years, I’d have to say that I’m still firmly a Rockacrat, with no regrets!

  14. SarahHub
    October 27, 2008 | 4:14 pm

    This is totally our house. But in the baby sleeping department, Mama Rockacrat wins. By wins, I mean I got my way. Our almost-two-year old still cuddles with me to fall asleep, and she sneaks into bed with us in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  15. Rachel
    October 27, 2008 | 4:16 pm

    This is hilarious!! Great post. And I understand the issue oh-too-well. And I’M usually torn between parties myself!!

  16. Candace
    October 27, 2008 | 4:29 pm

    I was a rockacrat for a month after my son was born. Then I got tired of no cuddling with my husband and still very little sleep I switched sides. Now I am proud non co-sleeping parent to a wonderful 2 year old who has and still does sleep in his own room and through the night. We learned real quick that he sleeps better when he has his own space and that means his own bed for him. Good luck and I hope it gets better!

  17. Moriah
    October 27, 2008 | 8:20 pm

    Very very clever, Megan!

  18. Leigh
    October 27, 2008 | 11:55 pm

    Oooh, I love this post! I would have to paint myself a Sleepertarian (also very clever!). Sophie generally falls alseep while feeding and I just put her in her bed then. But sometimes (like about 1 hour ago), even though she is very tired, she refuses to go to sleep. And I got fed up walking around with her and put her in bed and let her cry. Less then 5 minutes later, and before my resolve crumbled and I went and picked her up, she was asleep. So basically, I use whatever works.

  19. Megan
    October 28, 2008 | 9:10 am

    I started out my mommy career voting Crypublican and when that proved to be too miserable, I quickly changed my registration to Rockocrat and haven’t ever looked back!

    This is genius, Megan. Great stuff!

  20. Meghan
    October 28, 2008 | 11:55 am

    Brilliant post, Megan! I love it! I like to say I’m a Pedcentrist… but I’m a softie Rockocrat for sure.

  21. Corey~ living and loving
    October 28, 2008 | 2:17 pm

    ONe of the best, and creative post I have read in a really really really long time.

    Probably isn’t a surprise that I am a strongly opinionated rockocrat. LOL

    I do believe in buildling attachment and trust, and this includes night time parenting. I do not believe it spoils a child to meet their needs. I think there are plenty of ways to teach a child to soothe themselves to sleep without letting them cry themselves tired.

    I have strong beliefs, but I am very understanding of those that believe differently. As long as parenting choices are based on decisions that have been purposfully chosen, to reach a goal, and one can articulate why it is the best choice, I say go for it.

    thanks for the smile today, Megan. wonderfully written.

  22. carrien (she laughs at the days)
    October 28, 2008 | 11:31 pm

    You are funny. 🙂

    What Susan said, she took the words right out of my mouth.

  23. Alane Michels
    October 29, 2008 | 9:06 pm

    I must admit I’m a staunch crypublican. I did it with all my kids & they slept through the night within days of starting the campaign. O’course my kids are very close in age & I have twins so it was schedule or the momma’s not gonna survive.

  24. Kelly
    November 2, 2008 | 12:15 am


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