The White Elephant in the Room

I kinda tip toed around the subject of the boy asking to rock. I only did so because it is a new phenomenon. This is something that just started occuring this week. Partly because we don’t have a rocking chair in the hotel so we’ve tried to substitute back rubbing for rocking. It isn’t working very well. However I think it is something that should be addressed. Mainly because I had a bit of a mommy meltdown last night.

The light here is getting to me and playing with my sleep and hormones. I think it is putting me over the edge. I came out of the other room last night in a rage telling the trusty husband that when we got home I was going to make the boy stop rocking. I was convinced I was a terrible mother. I know this isn’t true, but I lost control.

Today I gained a little insight. I had realized that the rocking isn’t all that bad. It truly is just a thing. It is causing my child no harm. At the same time we know the boy can’t go to sleep with out it. We know this because he is asking to rock. Tonight the husband was putting him to bed and rubbing his back and the boy said, “Daddy, bed please.” Just because he wanted to rock.

Last week the boy and I had a talk about rocking. Ok, as much of a conversation you can have with a 2 year old. I told him that he didn’t have to rock. He was sad about that. He laid his head on my shoulder and kinda whimpered. I said that I understood that he felt he needed to rock and that was ok with me. At that point I was ready to let go of my hang up. We seemed to come to an agreement that the rocking was ok.

I think I can let go.

As a side note I did finish that beer. And walked out of the restaurant on my own two feet.

13 Comment

  1. Maggie says: Reply

    I don’t want to tell you about the rocking. I thought the need would fade by now. Maybe letting it go is the best thing, but I do think it’s good that he’s aware of it and aware that you think he doesn’t need to do it. Maybe, in time, with it being a conscious action it will go away. Maybe he’ll just need it to get through these toddler years.

  2. Lea says: Reply

    I can only imagine how hard it must be to watch him rock but it seems that, at this point (meaning he is doing so well otherwise) it is probably not any worse (for him) than something like thumb sucking. One of our sons is a thumb sucker and I know he would never get to sleep without it. I wonder at times when/how he will ever be able to stop. But you don’t see too many 18 year olds walking around sucking their thumbs so I’m not going to worry about it (at least, that’s what I tell myself:).

  3. Dana says: Reply

    Since I don’t have kids yet, I don’t think I’m qualified to talk about raising them. BUT I do think it’s progress that he asks you.

    I do have experience in drinking. Did you really only have one beer? (Even though it was the size of two or three!)

  4. I second the thumb-sucking analogy. All kids have their quirks, and 2 is too young to get overly fussy about it. It just leads to frustration on both sides. I love the approach of “you don’t HAVE to rock” and then not worrying about it. Neither of you needs more things to worry about. 🙂

    And good luck with the light thing. I don’t think I’d sleep much either …

  5. Mom says: Reply

    The rocking issue is truly bothersome to us that know and love Oleg. The question is why? He’s bright, healthy and progressing wonderfully. It’s ingrained Elle and has nothing to do with your parenting skills. It hurts because it’s a VERY sore reminder that you weren’t there for those early years when he needed someone to hold and rock him. So he adapted and learned to do it himself. That makes him a survivor of adversity and that is NOT a bad thing. Worry when you have to because right now he’s doing great!

  6. Wendy says: Reply

    My younger brother, not adopted, always rocked himself to sleep. I can remember going to sleep listening to the rythmic sound of him rocking in the next room. To him it was the same as sucking his thumb or rubbing the satin edge of a blankie. I have no idea why he started it, but he had grown out of it by the time he was about 5 years old. It was just his form of self-soothing, and the ability to self-soothe is a wonderful sign of a healthy, well adaptive child. He is miraculously normal and beautiful. You are a wonderful Mom who is experiencing the overwhelming guilt all Mom’s feel. We all just feel guilty about different things at different times. It’s how we love them!

  7. Cindy says: Reply

    My boy is a rocker, so I know that feeling you get in your gut when he does it. He’s turning three on Sunday and at the end of June he will have been with us a year. In April after a month of what seemed like endless congestion he had a giant bald spot on the back of his head. It was all I could do not to cry everytime I saw it.

    The good news. . . We have made definite progress! It’s been a grueling road, but we are getting there. His hair has grown back and each night before he goes to bed he announces “I not rock!” When he wakes up in the morning, he says. “I no rock . . . I big boy! With a GIANT smile. The fact that your son is talking about it with you is a giant step in the right direction.

    All that said . . . the thumb-sucking analogy is perfect. My pediatrician said (at the tearful visit in April concerning the bald spot) that if he was still doing it at 6 we could worry.

    Still – those who read my blog, I assure you, are tired of hearing about his rocking 🙂

    Hang in there!

  8. judy says: Reply

    I myself was a rocker of sorts…but it was more of moving my feet around in my bed, instead of my whole body. My siblings used to get on me about it all the time, as I shared a room growing up…and my husband has likely noticed it, but his snores keep me up more than my rocking feet…. My sister even mentioned it the other day… It was just a habit I acquired…I know not why, but I guess it would just soothe me when I needed to try to relax at night and go to sleep…this was often not an easy task for me. It has decreased over time…but I still find myself doing it at times…. He may find it comforting too…and it may decrease or stop over time….

  9. judy says: Reply

    And I must say, he is very precious in all of his pictures…!

  10. Jenny2 says: Reply

    Can you think of rocking as one big BINKY?

  11. I too get frustrated when I see my loved ones relying on crutches, habits, etc. that they do over and over again- but are unecessary. It is like a sign of weakness, insecurity or refusal to grow. But I think you are totally right- we have a problem too and that is not letting their issues go and just loving them just where they are. I have to tell you though- if Piney is still sucking her thumb at 4- she is getting the bad tasting polish for thumb suckers. But until then- I will just let it go. Thanks for the post.

  12. Nicole says: Reply

    It could be worse, he could be a tapper. He is so cute elle!

  13. Jenny says: Reply

    Mimi is a rocker. But just her head. She does it in her carseat, at home, in her bed, everywhere when she is tired. it is definitely her thing. She did it mildly when we met her but does it WAY worse now. There is nothing we can do about it. Being 11 months, I mean how can I stop it. I only really started getting worried this week with the hard pack n play on her poor little head.

    I think it is huge progress, that he understands what you said, that he asks, that even though he still does it that he is understanding maybe he doesn’t need it.

    I feel soo helpless. I want to scoop mimi up and hold her and snuggle her and kiss her poor little head but I can’t. She needs to sleep.

    hang in there—Jenny

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