When Nati was a baby, I heard and read all kinds of advice that referenced “fussing.” Particularly, I was looking for advice on how in the world do I get this child to sleep before I lose my mind? You see, Nati did not sleep on his own. He needed to be nursed to sleep for each and every nap and bed time, and then frequently throughout the night. And even once he was asleep, any attempts to detach him from my body resulted in waking up and starting the whole process over.
I think it is a part of being human to want an occasional millisecond of time to oneself. So in desperation, I sought advice on sleep training. I researched several methods, each of which had been labeled both Biblical truth and heresy by different groups of zealots. But each and every method involved some level of allowing your child to “fuss.”
What is this fussing you speak of? I tried several of the methods, but during the stage when Nati was supposed to be “fussing,” he was instead screaming hysterically. He did this for a full three hours one time before I couldn’t bear it anymore. Some people might think I didn’t wait long enough, but three hours of my child screaming hysterically was more than enough for me. So I gave up on sleep training, and to this day, Nati needs me to cuddle him each night until he falls asleep.
And then there is Lily. When she falls asleep while nursing, she does this marvelous thing: she unlatches and rolls away from me. It’s kind of like being in jail and having the doors suddenly pop open. Truly exhilarating. (Not that nursing is like jail, but freedom is like freedom.) And on the occasions where she is tired and I don’t pick her up right away, she fusses. Fussing, for those of you who are not familiar, is kind of like crying-lite. Or gentle whining. So this is what all those sleep trainers thought my child would do. She does it for a few minutes, and then she falls asleep. It is nothing short of miraculous. I think when God made her, he was feeling concerned about my ability to maintain my sanity.