I mentioned before that we bought a “fritidshuset” (literally translated as “free time house”) in Sweden that we live in when we are back from Hong Kong. This has been working out really nicely for us, and we really enjoy it here. In fact just today I went on a beautiful walk and reflected how beautiful it is and how much I like it here.
I have written recently about the sleep training I am doing with the little guy right now. We are making progress this week, and now I have narrowed it to just 1 nap today, and a decent bedtime that did not take over an hour (30 minutes!). Before I celebrate we will have to wait for a while and deal with these middle-of-the-night wake ups, but at least now the daytime routine is on track.
What makes things more difficult in is whole process is that our fritidshuset was built in 1909. As with all these old houses, there are a series of add-ons, with the kitchen and adjoining room being the oldest. Coincidentally the kitchen is right next to our son’s room, and his room is the aforementioned adjoining room. And you know what 107 year-old houses have in their old rooms? Squeaky hardwood floors.
Last night on multiple occasions, when I was trying to leave the room, I stepped on a squeaky area, thus waking up the almost asleep little guy. This was at his 4:00 am wakeup which lasted until 5:30 am, so I was not too thrilled about the situation as it was, but to then be that close (literally a meter away) and have to start the whole process over again, it was brutal and heart-wrenching.
I should mention there are basically 2 major schools of thought on the sleep training. One is where you put the little one to bed drowsy but not sleeping and you are visible to them, and step by step (night by night, visit by visit, etc.) you find yourself further away until they don’t really see you anymore – eventually making it so they do not rely visually on you. The other is where you let them cry it out and get bored and fall asleep, and/or you visit them consistently with longer gaps in-between when you go in to soothe them (wait 1 minute, then 2, then 3, and so on) – being careful not to pick them up, but instead to leave them in the bed. We are opting for the first one, with a strong backup of using the second one if it has gone on for too long with us sitting in his room (can’t sit there all night). The whole thing coincides with our hybrid style of everything with him (we give him routines, but not so rigid they take away your flexibility, and so on).
So as I was sitting there in the darkness waiting for the little guy to fall asleep, I mapped out how I planned to sneak out of the room tonight. I planned where I could step based on my memories of the squeaky spots from last night and today. I took one step by the edge of his IKEA play rug, one step on the roundabout on that play rug, turned towards the door and put my hand on the daybed to lighten my next step, and then stepped lightly a little left of center of the door. Then only 2 steps and I’m out, don’t screw it up! One step further, and then one right by the door jam. And out! I made it! It was a mixture of Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment, that guy from Oceans 12, with a sense that the next step is becoming Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. It’s times like this that I wish I was a little lighter on my feet 😉