There was no sleep & then there was good news.

by heirtoblair on February 1, 2012

If you’re following me on Twitter, you know the personal hell our family of three has been facing for the last two weeks:

Picture 2 There was no sleep & then there was good news.

It’s called a toddler that decided sleep is for the birds.

Picture 1 There was no sleep & then there was good news.

That was at 4am.  He finally conked out at 4:30am.

He has two nightlights.
It’s not night terrors (those have an entirely different cry).
He has loveys.
He’s not hungry or thirsty.
He really doesn’t need to drop his nap because he’s not napping 50% of the time anyway.

Basically?  He wants to eff with us.  Which might be a strong sentiment except I’ve only had one cup of coffee & four hours of sleep.

(also, the difference between a newborn being awake all hours &  a toddler being awake all hours is the amount of noise. when a newborn is awake, at least one parent can sleep.  when a toddler is awake, even folks in china hear him.)

It started innocently right around the time I lost my job & we feel for the little guy because it’s obvious he feels the stress in the house.  There have been a lot of changes in his wee world over the past few months & my heart goes out to him.  First Daddy was home a bit, then we were both at work, then Momma came home & he’s overjoyed but missing his Auntie & why isn’t anything the same anymore?!  But Momma needs her REM cycle back & more importantly, the kiddo does too.  After nights of rocking & rocking & rocking in the small hours of the day & Doug camping out on a pallet in his room, & purchasing a star turtle & giving him warm milk, we realized yesterday that it was time to pull out the big guns.  All three of us were at each other’s throats constantly from pure exhaustion.  I snapped at Harrison, something I very rarely do.  So Doug & I shook hands & decided that last night was the night.

We dusted off our Ferber book & got the stopwatch on my iPhone working.

We turned Harrison’s lock around so that we could lock him in, thereby taking back control of his ability to leave his room.  (shall I pause here & clarify that we still go to him, but it means homeboy can’t sneak out at 3am?  good.)

We took out his workbench & garbage trucks.

I turned off his light at the fan so that he can’t party all night long under a ceiling light.  (oh buddy, did that piss him off!)

& we hit the sack by 9pm.

I got a pretty awesome workout going back & forth to his room last night, calmly telling him to “Get back in bed, it’s night-night time.”  Tuck him in, give him a pat on the back, & close the door behind me.  I’m hoping that tonight it won’t take 2 1/2 hours for it to sink in that Momma ain’t fooling around.  Also, this is what we woke up to this morning:

photo 1024x764 There was no sleep & then there was good news.

I think it’s fair to say he was pretty ticked that Harrison Rave 2012 was thwarted.


& in good news, the reason that Momma can’t hang at 4am anymore is because I got an offer from Microsoft as a contract for their marketing department.


It’s a contract so I’m still on the hunt for a full-time job with bennies.  The great news is that the contract is on my terms as far as how many hours I work per week & when the contract ends & they fully understand that I am still looking for a job.  So Harry is with his Auntie a few hours per week so I can log in some hours at home & take conference calls & keep interviewing with other companies.  What’s that you say, Charlie?  WINNING.

Photo 3 There was no sleep & then there was good news.

Remember how you didn't want me as an admin? That's cool. Microsoft thinks I'm worth bringing in to their marketing department. So have a seat, please.

{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

Misty @ The Family Math February 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

That’s great news! Congratulations!

Hope the sleep situation follows suit … :)


katie February 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

Congratulations!! Yay for things being on the upswing!

And here’s hoping Harrison got the picture last night and you’ll get some sleep tonight!


KeAnne February 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

Yay! Congrats! I hope the sleep issues are resolved soon. Harrison’s room looks like what my son’s does after he refuses to nap.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Like a bomb went off, right?


Harriet February 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

Congrats!! I’m breathing a sigh of relief for you. :)


Laurie February 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

Hey Congrats! That’s exciting! Hope Harry sleeps for you guys soon!


Heather February 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

Woo woo! Great news! And we’re about to turn little dude’s lock around. Great toddler mama minds think alike…


JennB February 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

That’s great news!

I’ve been following your 2 weeks of un-bliss.

The worst part for me when my little demon (I do love her dearly) is awake… is the loneliness. Crazy, I should totally be concerned of what or why my small child who should be exhausted is NOT sleeping.. but selfishly I feel like the only person who is not sleeping in the entire world. (self – take meds)
ahhh.. but we slept last night, hard!
I really really hope tonight is better for ALL of you.

Absolutely LOVE LOVE your blog and tweets!


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

OMG, yes. The loneliness. I had that horribly when he was an infant & it would send me to tears that 3am was the most quiet, lonely, horrible time of the day. But now that Doug is up with me there’s much less lonely & far more “OH MY GOD, GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP.”


Jenny February 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

Toddler sleep showdown! A job!
F’ing awesome post!


Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife February 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

I never thought about turning the lock around…genius! I will definitely employ that when Sophia is a bit older.

And holla for the Microsoft gig!!


Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Oh yay! Love that you’re winning on the home front and the work front. Cheering you on from the frosty north!


Renee February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

We’ve been going through the toddler sleep refusal in our home recently too…and like you, we’ve had a lot of big changes recently. This weekend I literally just starting yelling into her room (from mine) that it’s night night time & mommy is sleeping so she needs to go back to sleep. And then…well then I let her cry some until she falls back to sleep! She’s only a few weeks younger than Harrison is…must be the age! Here’s to hoping our battles end quickly with us as the victors!!


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I have so been there, hollering from my bed to get back in bed ;)


Christina February 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm



Nicole at Mommy Moxie February 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Oh my hell, what is it with this age and sleeping?!? My little guy sneaks into our room with his toy cars and crashes them into the wall while laying on the dog’s bed to occupy himself in the wee hours of the morning. Last night he was up three times before passing out at 4 am in our room. I just left him there, sleeping on that stinky bed with the dog (I hope she passed her nasty gas right in his face, it would serve him right). Granted, I’m up half the time feeding the newborn, but still! I’m thinking we may have to go the reverse lock route…

CONGRATS on the new Microsoft gig!!! That is so awesome! Good things come to those that deserve it :) Here’s a to a full time gig with bennies coming your way soon {insert sound of wine glasses clinking together here}


Diane February 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Congrats on the job.

Now the sleep thing, we went through this and it was due to the evil 2 year molars! He would wake at 2 am every night as well. We started giving him a pinch of ibuprofen before he went to bed especially on days where he didn’t seem to eat as well or had his hands in his mouth. It helped us a lot. He also just got used to hanging out in the dark because unless something was really wrong (we have a video monitor where we checked out what he was doing) he knew we weren’t coming. Once all the molars came in everything went back to status quo. Occasionally he still wakes up in the middle of the night but when he does he just talks or sings for a while and then goes back to sleep.

Good luck.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I’m wondering if it’s molars except there’s no typical “signs” of teething. Did your kiddo drool or anything? The pediatrician peeked in at 2 years & said there was zero sign of any teeth coming in any time soon & he’s usually right on the money.


Diane February 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

No he didn’t really drool. He would stick his hands in his mouth a little more than usual but didn’t chew on other stuff like when he was younger. Also his eating would go to hell in a handbasket. They took forever to come in though, but now we are back on track. He also just got really good at entertaining himself at night. Also I know they can be pricey but honestly a video monitor is the best investment we ever made.


Shaina February 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

::headdesk:: My kiddo is like 2 weeks younger than Beth Anne’s… but she didn’t get her first tooth until age 1… so I’ve been thinking her 2 year molars would probably show up in several months… but maybe they’re why she’s all ZOMGHYPERCHILDWHONOLONGERLISTENSANDFIGHTSSLEEPLIKEITSDEATH ?
I mean seriously, this week in particular has been a COMPLETE change in her behavior, and yes, I’m 34 weeks pregnant, but nothing else has really changed. She’s not quite to the Harrison Sleep Refusal, but she definitely isn’t sleeping well at all, and fights it at bedtime like she’s a ninja.


Christina February 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Dare I suggest you just lay in bed with him and go to sleep? I mean if you’re THAT sleep deprived that you’re resorting to letting him scream himself to sleep and or locking him in his room, maybe just maybe you should try laying in his bed with him or (gasp) bringing him in yours and just getting some sleep? Or taking him to a pediatrician or having a sleep study done? I dunno. I can’t get into the 88 reasons why I don’t currently agree with your plan of action, but I do agree that you all need some dang sleep.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It doesn’t work – we’ve tried it. If he’s in our room, he’s up & not sleeping at all (we had one night where we were all up at 2am & nobody went back to sleep). If we go in there & lay down, he’s up for 2-3 hours. He’s just not one of those kids that snuggles up & falls asleep – he views it as playtime.


Amanda P February 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

That wouldn’t work for us at all either (bringing him into bed with us). Plus, it’s not really addressing the issue. Bottom line, they need to learn (and remember!) to fall to sleep on their own and that 2am is not the time to play. Ferber method has never failed us. I think you’re doing the right thing. Good luck!


Shannon February 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Well I for one can tell you for a fact that my child would NOT sleep in bed with us. He would be even more…um spirited? It also occurs to me that whilst you obviously don’t agree with BA’s tactics, I am wondering if you thought about the fact that your tactics could be just as controversial…


CourtneyCP February 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Our “solution” to my son’s sleep problems was us just bringing him into our bed and, while he is nice and cuddly, we are now trying to figure out how to stop doing it and get him back in his own bed. (He’s 2.5) I have zero issues w/ CIO, we just couldn’t do it successfully again once he was out of the crib. Bringing Harrison into their bed isn’t going to solve their sleep problems. At best, it might postpone them and they’ll be back in this boat again. If you truly have a child who is a crappy sleeper, you will understand that Ferber is not the devil. And I think removing the trucks and toys is genius. The lock is for their own safety so you don’t have a toddler running rampant around the house at night.
And BA, big congrats on the contract position!


Jess February 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

That’s great! Congratulations!


Christina February 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

well then I vote this as SUCKS. I’m sorry. I don’t really know what to say. We have bouts of wakefullness but they pass, or I am maybe so tired that I hallucinate that time goes faster than it does. It’s never survived past 2 weeks for us…
Benadryl and whiskey for all!


LauraC February 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm



TarheelsInNj February 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This is my worst nightmare, and why I’m determined to keep H in his crib as long as we can!!! He hasn’t realized he can climb out… YET. Lately he’s been totally stalling and asking for all of his friends – “I want Woody. I want Buzz. I want horse. I want baby. I want Bear.” I tell them they’re downstairs, he whines “Get it!” … OMG. But he’s so sad and pitiful, crying for Mommy to comfort him, it’s really hard to resist.


Arnebya @ whatnowandwhy February 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I am giggling b/c Zaid does that: “Where? Where’s the monkey mommy? Get it, mommy, get it.” He is just starting to realize that he can TRY to get out, but the hardwood does not seem appealing since he’s hit it too many times from the bed, a chair, the sofa, a toy.


monica @ the writer chic February 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm


Could have wrote the sleeping hell part of your post. Erin — 20 mos — is obvi in cohorts with Harry. And, OMG, I KNOW it’s because of our cross-country move, and new house, and so-much-colder-weather-so-we-are-inside-ALL DAY LONG, but still….I am up at all hours of the night with her SCREAMING and temper tantrum throwing. And being 6 mos pregnant does not help, no it doesn’t.

That said. Yea, Ferber, and good luck, BA and Doug.

And, yes, brilliant Microsoft, that they recognize the awesomeness that is YOU. So proud of you, girl. You are, indeed, winning. YEA!


sam February 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

pj has been doing this the past 2 nights, we go to her…but this weekend (when we can all take a nap) she gets to cry it out baby…it works everytime. one or two night of CIO and we are gravy for another few weeks when she tries it again, and we have to start the CIO again…but come hell or high water that kid is going to get sleeping figured out, cuz in 4 months when this mama pops out puppy #4 i WILL NOT be up all night with the two year old AND the new born…it aint happenin’ sister.


Beth February 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Sorry to hear about your sleep, we went through that with our first. We did just what you did, switched the locks and kept going in and putting him back in bed until he eventually gave up. The good news is that it really only took a few nights until he was back to sleeping like a little angel! Good luck, and congrats on the job!


grace February 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

yeehaw! & just like that? back in business. xo


Erica February 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Awesome news about microsoft! GO YOU!!!!!!!!! As far as H waking up all night…………..OMG my 4 yr old tells me shes now nocturnal and this kid will fight her sleep all night ………she will stay up till midnight (much to my disliking) then finally conk out …..then wake up again at 2 and at 4 ….just wanting to hang out ….WTH?


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I’m sorry, but I just cracked up at a 4-year-old claiming she is nocturnal. That is the greatest thing EVER.


molly February 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

BOOM on the job. That is awesome but I expected no less for you, my friend.

Also? We are having major sleep troubles with Landon that remain unresolved. Pass the espresso shot.


Erin February 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I’m glad things are looking up! Also, I TOTALLY recognize the destruction…Wesley’s room looks like that after naptime (he plays and then gets mad that he can’t leave his room because of the baby gate and then finally passes out in his bed or on the floor among Thomas and friends, books and various Happy Meal toys). I hope Harry’s sleep situation continues to improve. We deal with night terrors off and on – mostly on nights when someone refuses to nap, but it’s heart-wrenching and uber-frustrating nonetheless.


Arnebya @ whatnowandwhy February 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm

TOTAL FUCKING WINNING (sorry, that slipped out). But seriously, I am so happy for you. I know you will Tim Gunn the hell out of that marketing department and MAKE IT WORK.

The sleeping? Wowsers. Zaid still wakes, but it’s only for juice (we are horrible, horrible, wanting to stick it to ourselves when potty training gets serious parents who still let him drink in the night). And ssssshhhh but he’s still in the full crib (yes, I know he’s 2!). We haven’t converted it to the toddler bed yet (but I’m thinking this weekend is it, otherwise homeboy is gonna say hello to the wood floor with his head any day now). Wishing you speed with Harry figuring out momma ain’t a joke.


Gina February 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

YEA ON THE JOB!!!! That’s awesome! As for the sleep issues, no advice, but I hope things get better soon.


Jessie February 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Does he go to sleep fine at bedtime? You would think he’d fight more when he’s wide awake and not in the 2am grogginess. Of course, I am trying to explain the logic of a 2-year-old.

Good luck with the new job. Keeping gainfully employed is a bitch these days.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

He used to fight sleep until we started letting him go to bed with a Matchbox bus. & I’m all, “Harrison, your bus is very sleepy & wants to go night-night with you. & if you scream & cry, you’ll give your bus a boo-boo, so go to bed like a nice boy.” & he totally buys it.

At 2am, not so much. Crap.


kk @ the mom diggity February 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Congraaaaaaaats on the job!!!! Want me to come over and stay up with him? Because my 5 month old loves to party at night. Her and Harry can play :)


MomEinstein February 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Congrats on the new contract!

Good luck getting him back to sleeping. I was so anti-CIO until Vicki started pulling the 4am party time act. We did it for 2 nights, and then it was all fixed. Hoping it goes well for you.

And FWIW, she used to love sleeping in bed with us and then all of a sudden she won’t do it anymore. Now climbing into our bed just riles her up more. So while it’s a good option to try, it’s not the be-all end-all solution.


LIZ February 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm



Jessica February 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I am so excited for you. Microsoft! How awesome is that?!?! You go BA.

As for the non sleeping toddler….. oh my gosh, good luck. And remind me of this non sense when my child starts actin’ a fool in 2 more years.


tehamy February 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Congrats on the new gig!

As for the sleep issues, well, I think most of us have been there. Just keep being consistent and he’ll get back to a normal sleep pattern. GL!


Laura Kae February 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

We have Noah’s handle turned around too- my parents were freaked out by it (and told me not tell tell people because they would call DSS on us. Um… what?) but he learned the first week of sleeping in a big boy bed that you don’t come out of the room without mom or dad saying it’s ok. Also, DH pointed out that now he can’t lock US out of his room- bonus!
Noah doesn’t so much cry when he wakes at night (which, at 29 month old, is apparently a rite of passage?), but more has a party in his bed- singing Mr. Golden Sun, kicking his feet on the wall and yelling “Mommy-Daddy! (because clearly we are one entity) I’m uuuuuuup!”. It’s fabulous.


Becky @ From Ministry to Motherhood February 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm

X. is going through a sleep challenged phase and we discovered it is his two year molars. No rash, no drool & no screaming made it really hard to figure out (and we felt like its once we saw molar one) but now we know and are handling things a little better. Lots of crunchy snacks, Advil and a later bed time have helped us. We’ve let him stay up for an extra half hour and we run him around like mad. So far we are getting a little more sleep but my coffee consumption is definitely on the rise. I can’t wait until the next three break through and he’s comfortable again!

Congratulations on the job! Awesome.


Jodi February 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Marketing. LIKE A BOSS. :) Sleep well…


Brandy C February 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm

1.) WOOT to Microsoft.
2.) <—likes men but thinks you look like rolled around sex in that picture.
3.) Anthony also went through this no sleeping crap when he was the same age. We did everything you did shy of turning the locks around because he never came out of his room. He would just lay in bed and SCREAM AND SCREAM for HOURS. You couldn't hold him. He didn't want a drink. Didn't want to sleep with us. Nothing. We took him to the emergency room at 4am once because I was sure he was in pain or something. Pulled in the parking lot of the ER, screaming stops, Anthony points and says "OOOOOH! AMBULANCE!" ………… I was not about to pay 1000 dollars in med bills for him to high five a doctor. No. So when he fell asleep on the way back home we pulled in the driveway, stared at each other with an exhausted desperation I'm sure you understand, reclined the seats and got some sleep in the car. Good times. This too, shall pass.


Emily @ Love{&}Bugs February 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Oh buddy, do I feel your pain. We’re dealing with the same thing and using the same tricks (turning the light off at the fan reallly DOES tick them off, doesn’t it?) We’ve tried bribes and threats and sticker reward charts. Nothing is really working other than tiring him out to pure exhaustion during the day. Sigh.
And… CONGRATS on your new job!!


Elizabeth February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I know the feeling-Robert is 3, and has lately been busting into our room EVERY NIGHT like clockwork for the past couple of weeks at 3am. I am beyond tired these days…….and he gets to nap at daycare….
The problem for me is that he wakes up the baby (she is 18 months) and I cannot for the life of me get both back to sleep. **YAWN** My day started at 3am this morning…


Erin February 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I think it’s a phase at this age, we just faced it with Henry for a good six weeks. Waking up like four times a night for no freakin reason, often crying. What worked for us what introducing a sticker chart/reward system and also getting the teach-me-time clock so he’d stay in bed til it was time to get up. Both have worked wonders and he’s sleeping all night again. But those six weeks were BRUTAL and so frustrating. No idea what goes on in their little heads.


jess liv February 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

okay so while i’m not down with the whole harrison never sleeping thing (can you just build him a treehouse in the backyard & lock him in there?!) i am totally down with the microsoft gig, even if it requires you buying a PC (; it’s always nice to be like “boo yah, old job, i got a NEW JOB, SUCK IT!”

paying the bills on time is nice, too, i guess. YAY BA!


Law Momma February 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Ouch on the sleep and HOORAY on the news! J’s room looks like that when he naps… it’s atrocious.

Good luck!


mary d February 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm



Becky February 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Congratulations about the job! And I hope tonight’s sleep goes smoothly!


Margie February 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Totally random question: what crib do you have? It looks an awful lot like ours. Congrats on the contract gig!


amanda February 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm

honeychild, ive been a federal contractor for about 5 years and i would never do anything else. i make tons more money than with a ‘regular’ company, it’s 40 hours a week (no more because of the type of contract), benefits, commuter reimbursement, etc . i have a month or so notice once a contract ends, so i have time to find something else and move on. get that money, girl.


Domesticated Gal February 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

HOLD. THE. PHONE. You can turn the freakin’ lock around?? WHAT??

You may have just changed my life.
And what is up with 2yr olds boycotting sleep???


Stephanie February 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Double YAYS!!

Yay and good luck for sticking to your guns with Harrison.

And Yay on the contract job :)


Stephanie February 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I should probably clarify that I am not saying YAY to HArrison not sleeping. Saying YAY to you guys having a plan. Even if it does end in a little destruction :P We had to do that with our oldest. It took a week but he sleeps fabulously now.


Morgan February 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Congrats on the new gig! The sudden upheaval of your recent new job has me uber curious though…really wondering since it seemed SO awesome and you shared a lot with us readers(I thought you said more info coming on the loss the day you announced to us) and said your boss knew about the blog and then it was just…gone…Was it a “It’s not you, it’s us” thing like the budget failed to cover the new employee or more of a “We’re just not that into you” thing? Or maybe a “Yeeeaahhh you can’t post pictures of our bathroom on the web” kinda thing. (Just kidding on that one!) Whatever it was, their loss – obvs.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Well, that’s what I’m still trying to figure out :)

At the time, it sounded like “we’re just not that into you” with the most ridiculous reasons ever. Then after talking to some folks still at the company, it is looking more like “it’s not you, it’s us” but since I was only there 10 weeks…yeah. So the more info is coming, it’s just not quite the right time to tell the entire story yet considering I’m still getting a little something-something in benefits for a little while longer. Can’t bite the hand that feeds me & all that jazz.


Katie February 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

We had to let my youngest cry-it-out. Granted, he was eight months old, but once we Ferberized his ass, he started sleeping through the night. The first night he cried for an hour. The second night he cried for an hour and a half. The third night, he slept all night, and he still does. My oldest, who’s three, has always been a good sleeper. He’d sleep through a nuclear attack, so it was a big surprise to me when my youngest refused to sleep all night. I was like, “The Hell? You mean they don’t just start sleeping all night all on their own?” Anyway, Ferberizing worked for us. Here’s hoping it works for you just as well. Congrats on the contract job!


Madonna February 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Congrats on the new gig and hoping you find something permanent soon!

When E was waking up for a bit, the 2:00 am cry EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT., we would leave her door open when we left. I think it helped her fall back to sleep knowing we were still there. And we have the ladybug with the stars, not the turtle. That’s her nightlight / entertainment. Good luck!


Rebekah February 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I can’t get past the part where you lock him in his room. Good god, what if there is a fire and you guys pass out from the smoke and he could have opened his door to escape except mama and daddy locked him in? Sorry, but my mind goes there. Kids go through developmental phases where they wake up. Ride it out – we always do and it lasts a handful of nights and passes.


Katie February 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I initially thought that too. We’ve locked Will OUT of OUR room but never locked him into his. Of course, with the closed baby gate at the top of our stairs, Will’d be screwed in a fire either way. Also you could make the argument about what if we’re all asleep and he wakes up and walks out of the house into the wilderness and gets lost or hit by a car. In that case is seems unsafe NOT to lock him in his room. You can’t worry about everything. If it works for them, it works for me. But you aren’t alone in the catastrophic thoughts.


Sharon February 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

As someone who works as a social worker in the child welfare system this is exactly why foster parents are not allowed to have the doors lockable from the outside. If there was ever a fire he would have no chance Mom and Dad passed out.


heirtoblair February 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm

If there’s a fire & both my husband & I sleep through it long enough for smoke inhalation to harm us without the dog or kid or five smoke alarms in our house waking us? I’m pretty sure that means we’re all screwed. I’m not being rude, I’m just waging that we’d wake.

& after he has “snuck out” of his room before (even with a knob cover), I can’t sleep fearing that he’d let himself out of his room, down the steps, & out the front door (where, once again, he can undo the deadbolt & open despite the knob cover). I think THAT is something I’d be more likely to sleep through than a fire.

I’m glad you can “ride it out” but I’m just not made of that sterner stuff, I guess. Two weeks of zombie mode for all three of us is enough to warrant action in our house.

Like I said, I’m not being rude. I just want you (& everyone that has doubts) know that we really have thought it out before turning the knob. Hell, we went sleepless for two weeks before doing it.


Katie February 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I hear you. My kid snuck outside once before too and it scared the crap out of us. That’s why I was trying to indicate that if you’re going to worry about rare disasters like fires, no decision you make is safe, including putting kids in cars on airplanes or letting them play outside. In fact, sleeping at all is dangerous for your kids. If the backwards doorknob works for you, do it. I might have to try it myself some day for all I know. I just had never thought of it. I also don’t think it’s productive to tolerate behavior that’s. It working. Parents need sleep and toddlers do too. If something’s not working for your family, you’ve got to try strategies to fix it. Just wanted to make sure I was clear in expressing where I stand on the door locking issue. I mean, I have lots of paranoid thoughts but you can’t run your life based on fears.


Christina February 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Fire is the third leading cause of fatal incidents in a home. But you know, it’s rare-like a plane crash. :::Shakes head:::


Katie February 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Yeah and the first leading cause is falling. So what are you going to do, not let you kid off the ground? Do you allow your kids to get on slides? Or to swing on swings? Because they COULD fall. Do you carry your babies? Because they COULD fall out of your arms. The fifth leading cause of fatal accidents is suffocation, which is a risk of co-sleeping, which you advocate. I’m not against co-sleeping. I did/do it myself. But the American Academy of Pediatrics cites it as a risk for suffocation. So are you going to stop doing it? I personally wouldn’t if it worked for me.

Bottom line: I don’t know what Beth Anne’s house is like, how often her smoke detectors are checked, etc. But as she said, she made the decision to reverse the door-lock after a lot of consideration. You wouldn’t do it yourself, but that’s really not the point here. I dare say if you have small children that you have a safety gate at the top of your stairs that you close. If there was a fire and you passed out, could your child open the gate and get himself to safety? Because mine couldn’t. Am I going to take the gate down? No, because it does a Hell of a good job of keeping my toddler and my baby from falling down the stairs, which seems much more likely than their being caught in a fire. You cannot protect your kids from everything.

I’m glad that sleeping with your kid has worked for you. (And I’m assuming that you’re the Christina from the earlier comment- if not, my apologies). That’s great. It works for me most of the time too. It’s not working for Beth Anne. Sleep-deprivation isn’t exactly healthy for parents or kids and this is a way she has found to handle an issue that’s disrupting her family’s sleep. Look up the statistics about the hazards of not getting enough sleep and I’m sure you’ll find them as interesting as the common causes of fatal household accidents. I’m glad that you’ve found a strategy that sits well with your conscience and that works for you. It’s fine to share that strategy. But you don’t have to be mean about it. Just sayin’.


Christina February 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

I wasn’t being mean to HER. I was replying (as indicated by the area of which I replied) to YOUR comment about taking NO risks because there’s always a chance of injury or death. Obviously there are unavoidable things, like getting in the car or walking down your stairs, and then there are no brainer things, which i won’t get into because we obviously don’t agree that having a kid locked in his room at age 2 is a scary-not-worth-it-risk.


Katie February 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

If you’re the Christina who couched your bed-sharing suggestion in terms like, “Dare I suggest” and “Maybe, just maybe” adding a “(gasp!) “for emphasis, then yeah, that’s being mean, or if not mean, then certainly condescending. If that’s NOT you, then your response to me with the sarcasm and the “shakes head” is also condescending, and not a very effective way of getting people to listen to you if your goal is to be persuasive.

You don’t agree with the door-locking. I think that’s fine. If you find something to be troublesome, you should express it. However, you can express your opinions and provide alternate suggestions in manners more likely to entice people to listen to you. I may not agree with what you decide to do in your house with your kids, but I accept that it’s your house and your kids. Short of actual physical abuse, I’m not going to gasp at you or shake my head at you. I actually believe that you know best how to parent YOUR child. If you expressed your opinion with more of a spirit of sharing and with less head-shaking and gasping, you might be more persuasive. That’s all I’m saying.


Kayla February 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’m totally with you on this, BA. There was a little 2 1/2 year old girl in our area that got out of the house (Christmas Eve) in the middle of the night and her parents didn’t know, they woke up and found her outside and she wasn’t alive. She had froze to death (I live in Montana & at nights it gets to -10 below). Scares me to death that my 2 year old has now learned to push a chair to the door, unlock our Deadbolt lock that is really high & can still in his power get outside. We lock his room from the outside, because in case of a fire, I KNOW the fire alarms would wake us up (before we could pass out from so much smoke) & I know that if he got outside, there is a good chance we would be able to sleep through it. Plus his room is way more kid-proof than the rest of the house. I mean the kid can get into anything! & knows how to turn on the oven burners.. eek.


Katie February 3, 2012 at 12:23 am

This is horrifying to me. My three-year-old son, his brother, my husband, and I all laid down to take naps one Saturday. The 3-year-old woke up before us and let himself out the dead-bolted front door and walked right into the street. We awoke to a neighbor yelling our names from our open front door. Thank God the neighbor had been out there and had gotten my son back to the house. This scared us tremendously, just thinking about the what ifs. What if he was hit by a car, what if he got lost, etc. Since then we’re SURE to lock the baby gate at the top of the stairs, which again, doesn’t seem any different than locking the door to his room. If one of those parent-killing fires starts, since our room is right next to his, I’d assume he’d need to get down from upstairs, and that’s just not happening with the gate. Anyway, your story sends chills down my spine and seems much more plausible than the fire scenario. I mean, people fear what they fear, and every parent has to do his own form of risk management. I just wish those who disagreed didn’t feel the need to act like the rest of us are ignorant and/or child abusers for taking a different approach than they take.


heirtoblair February 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

oh, Katie. THAT is my worst fear. I know people fear fire, but oh God, your story just made my heart pound in the worst way.

I think the key is that “people fear what they fear” – a buddy of mine & I were discussing this yesterday about how yeah, a fire is one parents worst nightmare & they would NEVER be able to sleep at night if their kid’s room was locked or they had a baby gate at the top of the steps. For me, that’s no big deal but the moment my kid starts rolling around in our natural area, all I can think about is snakes & spiders. Which might sound “funny” except it’s terror for me. We fear what we fear & I think as long as we’re weighing our choices, we’re doing the best we can.

p.s. so glad your kiddo was okay!!!


Katie February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

This was our most terrifying parenting moment to date. It scared the SHIT out of us. My husband cried. Like sobbed. I’ve seen him brush a tear away before, but never outright SOB. Needless to say, we read Will the riot act (that and seeing his daddy cry really shocked him, I think), and while I don’t *think* he’d do it again, I’m not taking any chances. We lock the gate. I don’t *think* we’d ever need to lock him in his room. I *think* he knows that he cannot leave this house without permission, but I’m glad to know that reversing that handle is an option, just in case. Especially if he starts sleep-walking or something. You’re so right that we all have to weigh our choices and decide whether the ends justify the means. And even still, things can happen. You just have to do the best you can and cross your fingers and pray about the rest.


Shannon February 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Totally baffled by this response. I am confused as to why it is unsafe to be able to lock the child in his room but it’s cool if a TWO year old can make up his mind on whether or not he would like to stay in his room all night? Really? Because other than this crazy fire of which I have to imagine is some sort of fire ball in BA and Doug’s room where only Harrison will possibly escape (and that is hoping that a 2 year old has the forsight to smell smoke, and get out of the house. He likes to play with firetrucks…he isn’t a fireman), what huge saftey risk is it turning the lock around? As far as the “ride it out” theory…sorry but that is crap. It has been proven over and over in childhood studies that a child who does not get the right amount of sleep at night is being set up for all sorts of issues developmentally. Either way, just because “riding it out” worked for you (I assume? Have you dealt with this?) It most certainly doesn’t work for everyone. I am a CIO mama, with two happy healthy boys, I also have given them chicken nuggets on occaision…don’t call CPS.


angela February 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Congratulations on the contract position!

And your photo? Trying to erase from my brain as we contemplate taking the side off Dylan’s crib. Dylan who also doesn’t like sleeping lately.


LB February 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Congrats on the job! Thats great.

I am a huge fan of the book Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child…I learned through that that even negative attention is attention. So, we you go back to his room dont make any eye contact and do not say anything, just put him back in bed…and in my own opinion, i would take everything out of his room so he cant play.


Erin February 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

We are currently in sleep hell too. For me it has to do with my body parts being my 2-year-old’s lovies… so over it!!


Kristin February 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Just be careful with the turned-around lock – saw a FB post from a friend the other day asking for help because her toddler had locked BOTH of them into her bedroom, they were the only ones in the house, and she’d left her cell phone outside! LOL


Ashley February 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Seems like you are ready to kick a** and take names today. Get it girl :). I hope Harrison remembers that sleep is awesome soon, and that everything is on an upswing for you!

And in regards to the lady being a total b*tch about the Ferber method? She must have never met my child. Some kids don’t cuddle and go to sleep. Just doesn’t happen. Do what you gotta do BA, you have my support!


Kami February 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

That is fantastic news! My cousin has worked for Microsoft since he graduated college, & he’s 36ish now! They’re an AMAZING company!! I hope it all works out for you!


Jocelyn | ScooterMarie February 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Microsoft??? AWESOME!!! Congrats, BA!


Kelly February 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm

This may sound crazy but have you thought about growing pains? Our 2yo did this at about 18 months and I started to take him to the chiro w me and boom magic. And now when he starts again I take him in for an adjustment and he’s a whole new kiddo. Basically their little bones grow faster than muscle so it can really hurt them. I know things may be tight for you but it’s worth a shot!


Meredith @ La Buena Vida February 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I don’t get the big fuss about turning the lock around–to me, it seems like exactly the same thing as those covers you put over a door knob to keep the kids from being able to open them…which I think every parent I know in real life has on the inside of their toddler’s bedroom door.

Anyway….I hope Ferber goes well for you guys. In retrospect, Lizzy has definitely been getting her two year molars recently, and her sleep went to HELL maybe a month before that? I don’t know if there’s a real correlation or not, but it feels related in my head.

Congrats on the Microsoft gig! So cool!


Pdx Jenn February 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Um yeah. I so get the toddler wakeup thingy. Yesterday I worked on 3 hours sleep. Or shall I say I survived on 3 hours sleep.

Double Woot for the contract gig!!


madorie February 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm



Melissa J February 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

One door closes, another opens! Sounds great!


Daneilia February 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

You are doing a fab job of taking control of your life. Your a Mom who knows what she wants as far as her child and as for her career. Love your persistence doll.


Julie S February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

After our daughter was born, our now 2.5 year old would wake in the middle of the night, but when she wasn’t up. Our pediatrician suggested that be suse of the change in his normal routine and environment, to put him on a small dose of melatonin. This worked like a charm! He was on it for two weeks and his sleep pattern evened out. Some mornings he’s up earlier, some days he sleeps in- but at least I know he’s getting decent rest now. This too shall pass!


Andrea February 2, 2012 at 2:36 am

When do we find out why you were fired?


Nicole February 2, 2012 at 3:29 am

obviously, i’m not a mom, beacuse when i was reading this i thought, why don’t they just give him tylenol cold or something? yes, mother of the year right here…

and ROCK ON about the new contract. that looks freaking awesome – temporary or not. so glad to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


heirtoblair February 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

Does it make you feel better that 75% of my Twitter suggested Benedryl? ;)


Becca February 2, 2012 at 4:27 am

Ummm… I think I’m a crap mom because Jax has always been locked in his room with his fan light off and we never go to him when he wakes up ready to play, we just keep an eye on the video monitor to be sure he’s not in danger, and eventually he falls asleep on the floor!


Becca February 2, 2012 at 4:28 am

(but also I totally can relate to the no sleep. if Jory ain’t sleepin, ain’t NOBODY sleepin. And Jory ain’t sleepin, ever.)


Andrea February 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

First off, congrats on the contract. Get it while you can. I too was let go from a job once for ridic reasons, almost a month later of being told what a good job I was doing. Yeah. Whatevs. It worked out in the end though, God had a bigger better plan.
RE Harry: Ignore people telling you to ride it out. Do what you need to do. You & Doug will be better parents if you can get sleep AND this is probably just a phase in a toddler’s life to help them learn that it is bedtime, not party time (IKEA hack idea: put toys in storage furniture on casters and at bedtime, wheel them out of his room so that he can’t party it up. Maybe he’ll learn that his actions have consequences). I’ll probably do the same for my son instead of risking him scaling the baby gate, possibly falling down the stairs, and/or letting himself out the front door.
And by the way, when I went through my own phase of leaving my bed and climbing into my parents’, they stacked in my doorway baby gates, one ontop of the other, barricaded me in. This is not a new idea akin to turning the lock around. And today, I am fine. As a parent now, I totally sympathize with my mom of why she did it. Mommy with sleep=good mommy with energy to play. And, I know for a fact that she was freaked out of the idea of one of her children falling down the stairs.


Ashley February 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

Congrats on the Contract! <3 Shoot me some of your luck, I have an interview today and one Tuesday BOTH in my field :)

Keeping my fingers crossed on the Harry sleep situation…..How'd last night go?


The Many Thoughts of a Reader February 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

My parents locked my bro in his room too. He was sleep walking and/or roaming at harry’s age and going down the stairs after opening the fridge UPSTAIRS and bringing me a 1/2 gallon of milk in the middle of the night! We lived on a lake. And if he was making it downstairs, that meant he could unlock and open the sliding door that led to the lake. Not safe. I will totally lock my child in her room if the situation calls for it.. But first, I’m going to have to get her a door haha.


Kimberly February 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

Dude and I thought my son waking up before the fucking birds was rough. 2 am? Keep that. Yup. I’ll take the 4 am wake up calls before 2 am ones.
Also, I told Chunky that every time he wakes up before the sun rises, I will kill a bunny. It hasn’t worked yet. Must move on to something more cute.
And yay on the job.


TwicetheSparkle February 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

YAY! Congrats on the contract with Microsoft!


JenR February 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

Curious…any reason why not use a good tall baby gate so you can leave the door open? Not being snarky, just wondering b/c we are about to get a big girl bed for our 2.5 year old and were planning on using a gate until we are sure she understands but we can leave the door open to alleviate any anxiety she might have.


TwicetheSparkle February 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm

So what do you think of being a WAHM? I’ve been working out of my home for just over a year now. It’s a totally crazy, different game than being a full-time working mom (from an office) or being a full-time SAHM. It can be super hard to find a bal(l)ance when your home is your office.


Anthea February 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Who is charlie? Your former boss?


Mandy February 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm

We have an extra-tall baby gate in the door frame of our twins’ room so they can’t get out when we don’t want them to. It. Is. A. Lifesaver.


Alicia February 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

I have just recently discovered your blog, and find it hilarious. Have you seen Samuel L. Jackson read the book “Go the Fuck to Sleep” on YouTube?


ashley October 16, 2012 at 1:04 am

one of my biggest regrets from the newborn stages was not getting a video monitor. And the funny thing is, I wouldn’t have really used it then, but definitely would use it now! My son turns 3 tomorrow, and is still in his crib, though nap time is hit or miss. I’d love to be able to see him during nap time to see if he’s actually sleeping!


ashley October 16, 2012 at 1:06 am

meant to put that on your most recent post!


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: