from what i can surmise, having been a mother for almost a WHOLE YEAR now, sleep is one of the biggest issues while raising a child. i used to get "parenting" magazine and every issue had an article on how to get your kid to sleep; for sure, there are a bazillion books out there on the subject along with a bazillion experts; my friend nate says in his wife's medical practice the sleep doctor is the best paid out of them all - so it would seem that sleep is the topic of the hour.
apparently, according to sleep books, sleep articles and the world, i continue to commit the cardinal child-rearing sin: i still rock ella to sleep. supposedly, i should be breezing into her room at night, laying her down in her crib as she gently and quietly falls to sleep on her own. currently, if i lay her in her crib without rocking her it's screamfest '06. this is where the sleep experts will tell me to let her "cry it out". from what i've read, if i don't teach her to fall asleep on her own, she'll never be able to fall asleep without me. EVER. even when she's 35 i'll have to rock her to sleep. the "cry it out" method literally drove dooce insane and i have no doubt it would do the same to me. so, i'm a failure in the sleep department right now.
now, when i do finally get ella to sleep. when i've finally nudged her into her crib, so begins the ninja mama's journey out of the room because ella's still in that light sleep stage where one little noise could wake her. it's a hard journey, one only a master ninja mama can succeed at. there's the s-l-o-w motion of backing up - my eyes deftly sweeping the floor back and forth for an errant toy that might trip me up. the whole time i'm making my away across the 10 feet between the crib and the door i'm cursing under my breath - i curse my creaking, aging ankles; i curse my crappily made house with the floors the pop in certain places; i curse the shooshy pants i have on and the pregnancy pounds i haven't lost that's making the pants extra shooshy (ninja tip: a soft knit yoga pant is the best for ninja-ing out of a room); i curse the dogs down the street that have started barking and i'm thinking of ways to kill them without really killing them. when i finally get to the door, i have the squeaky doorknob to contend with, the door that tends to stick to the door frame - it all gets cursed. as i get the door open, i curse thomas edison for the light that is now shining into ella's room! i curse the dog breathing too loudly across the room! i curse myself for having to breath! and now i just have to shut the door oh. so. carefully. sometimes i get a reprieve and the heat or air will come on and fill the house with sweet sweet white noise and when that happens, i can practically fred astaire my way out of the room. for some reason, craig doesn't need to ninja his way out of the room - he says he just strolls on outta there. so when i did my ninja impression for him the other day - lots of arm sweeping and toe pointing and slo-mo matrix moves - he was baffled and humored. anyway, once i'm out of the room, home free, i collapse into a heap on the couch because being a ninja mama is hard work.