lame, child rearing content ahead. Tread with caution

About two years ago I wrote in this space about the extinction method, which is actually not as cool of a band name as it you’d think it would be, because it’s not the kick ass Armageddon-y thing that it sounds like, but it’s instead a technique you can use to get a baby to sleep through the night. So, uh, whatever. I guess name your band the “Extinction Method” if you must, but don’t be surprised when a bunch of sleepy, blown out new moms show up at all your shows.

Anyhow, without getting too into something that’s so ragingly uncool, the extinction method is just a totally apocalyptic and kick ass name for letting the baby cry all through the night. Three days of this (if you do it before the baby gets to be six months, that is) and the baby is all fixed. Sounds easy, right? Well, it sucks. It’s completely counter intuitive to your genetic coding and instincts and it wreaks havoc on your mind and body. Fer real.

So, you know when you’re so hungry and you’re sitting there and delicious food smells so awesome (let’s say you’re walking by a White Castle, for example) but you can’t eat it, how it drives you crazy? Or dudes, if you’re all bonered up in the back of your bro’s jeep and you and the old lady are ready to roll but she’s all “nah, fraid not” and pulls her panties back on at the last minute just because you said the wrong thing or accidentally stuck your thumb in her ass or something; you know how much that’s not just something you can shake off, right? It’s a weird unfulfilled demand being made from deep within your body’s matrix and there’s a sort of all encompassing system error that goes on. It’s all you can think of. “I have to eat” or “I am actually NOT getting laid right now!” are the only notions coursing through your veins, maybe not until you bone or eat, but for a while, at least until the smell goes away or some beer comes along.

Well, this is worse. You’re wired to become extremely agitated at the sound of your baby crying. Having to lie there all night (when you should be sleeping) and listen to it is not only exhausting, but it’s aggravating, irritating, emotionally trying, very sad, and an overall bad time. It’s not uncommon for new parents to end up themselves crying over the course of those three days. I did. It sucks. It really, truly sucks the dick right off a dog.

So, these last few days we’ve been doing the extinction method for kid number two. This presents a whole new challenge because now we’ve got a kid who sleeps right in the next room and we don’t want him waking up and hearing the torturous wailing all night, three nights in a row. It’s not something you can really subject a two year old to, you know?

So anyhoo, I took the older one over to my mom’s apartment (she’s out of town) and we stayed there for three days. It was like camping, but instead of woods there were a bunch of dishes that can’t go in the microwave and instead of a tent….well, my kid actually sleeps in a tent, so that part’s pretty accurate.

Yeah, he sleeps in a tent. It zips up and keeps him in one place because he’s the kind of kid that climbs and wanders and knocks on doors and turns doorknobs and he generally can’t be contained short of zipping him up in a pod. It’s cool because he absolutely loves the tent, and it makes it nice for things like this because we literally get to bring his bed so he’s not in a weird place and blah blah blah…

Well, apparently the last three nights over here (at my house, where my wife and the new baby were) were okay: A little crying at three and again at five. That’s to be expected, and it’s not as bad as it was the first time because not only is this second kid just a naturally better sleeper, but both my wife and I have grown accustomed to listening to our children cry and doing nothing about it over the last couple of years. We’re neglectful parents, after all (heyo!). Long story short, it was no “get paid big money to judge a blowjob contest” kind of scenario, but it wasn’t torture either.

Over at my mom’s place though, shit went topsy turvy. The older kid woke up at ten to six the first morning. That’s almost two hours before usual. It sucked, but whatever. I’m pretty used to getting up early. The next two nights, however, he was up in the night. This never happens. He was up twice, screaming “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!! DAAAAAAAAAAAAD!” and THEN he was up at 6:50 for the day! Both days. Well, yesterday he was up at 6:50 and I just got him. Today, I tried to ignore him and you know what finally woke me up at 730?

My mom’s piano. at 730. in a small apartment.

He escaped the tent. That motherfucker zips up and there’s no zippers inside. That’s like when the vampires in I am Legend learn to set elaborate traps or when the raptors start problem solving or when the nerds give Takashi that pill that nullifies the effects of alcohol and so he wins that tricycle race, or in whatever movie that is where the scientist says “oh my god.” Then he pauses for a while and everyone looks at him and he says “they’re thinking.” This is when the nukes just bounce off the force shield in Independence day, man. This is uh…You get the idea. This is the foreshadowing that he’s cogent, scheming and can’t be contained or tamed (just like Miley, y’all!).

I’m doomed.

But on the bright side, his sister sleeps through the night now and we’re home. Anyone want to get lunch today? It’s rainy and I don’t know what to do with these lil’ shits.

Plus, I’m totally fucking exhausted.


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