Monday, March 12, 2012


... or not to cry. It's a dilemma. As you know, little Luka has been spending the weekend with us, and his visit has been a sheer delight. Last night, though, we were given a stark reminder of that difficult moment: bedtime. He had a fit of crying when it was time for him to go to sleep, and refused all consolation and comfort. He just yelled his little heart out and would not stop for anything or any one of us.

It's an age-old question, of course, which I suppose all parents must find their own particular answer to: whether to put the baby to bed and let him cry his heart out, or keep holding/nursing/comforting him until he finally gets to sleep? There's no good answer. Letting the baby cry himself to sleep induces heartache and guilt, since there's the argument that this could cause trauma later in life. Carting him around while he screams until you drive yourself crazy and reach exhaustion point is not a much better option. I seem to remember, in desperation, putting the baby in the car and driving around for a while. The motion helped. These days, though, with safety regulations, you're not allowed to hold the baby in your arms while driving. There's a whole complex procedure for getting him strapped into his seat and the seat strapped into the car. Back seat. Solo. You can sit beside him, but that's a whole lot different from holding him you arms. Once again, we wonder how we all survived the perilous world of our childhood.

It's hard to be a parent, to know what choices to make that are the best for your baby and the best for you. A piece of metta wisdom applies, I think: first take care of yourself. If you don't, you're really in no position to take care of your baby.

We return to Los Angeles today, for a short week there. Thursday we come back down to the beach for a "One Hour/One Painting" scheduled at the Orange County Museum of Art. It's foolish, at my age, to allow myself to feel under pressure... or so I keep telling myself. But I don't seem to want to listen. And I have that new book on my mind.

Have a great week, friends. Metta to all!



hi Peter,

Did you try:

Letting Luka suck your thumb - maybe it was his gums, first signs of painful growing of first , second, third tooth.

Sobbing your heart out to him . this can cause amazement and concern enough for baby to stop and console you! It can also lead to baby seeing this as a challenge ...who can cry, bawl loudest? But if so don`t give up, baby will soon see you can cry louder than baby. If it looks like getting to a screaming stage, promptly give up and let baby win.
Good luck and love

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the tips, Michael! I'll pass them on to Sarah. Always great to hear from you...