Sleep Training is a Nightmare

Sofia Martimianakis


Wolves have encircled our car. Two are off eating, in the shadows. Jamie opens his door and steps outside. I look back at Zoe, but her car seat’s empty. She’s crying. The wolves, they’re eating…

Jamie’s voice wakes me. “It’s okay, I’ll go,” he says.

Sleep training has been a nightmare, Zoe crying for what feels like hours at a time.

Jamie is humming a lullaby to her now. I can hear them through the baby monitor. You can’t pick infants up during sleep training. Only offer reassurance through your voice or by holding their hand or rubbing their tummy.

When Mindy, the sleep consultant, stayed with us last week, something felt off. She insisted we stay downstairs while she worked. I worried Zoe would think her parents had forsaken her, but we had no choice. I was pulling my hair out. Zoe had me waking up every two hours.

A single knock at my door. Probably Jamie with a question. Last night, it was whether he should give her a pacifier. Looking at the baby monitor, the crib is empty and the sound has been muted. Great, he undid all of our progress.

Stepping out of the covers sends shivers up my spine. I open the door and find Jamie on the ground. The back of his head is caved in, skull crushed. A river of blood. His attacker emerges from the nursery, wearing my nightgown and cradling a quiet Zoe.

“She won’t bother you anymore,” Mindy says.



Sofia Martimianakis completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto and her MA at the University of Waterloo. Her recent publications include Fiction in Cloudbank, nonfiction in the Rappahannock Review, Uncomfortable Revolution, and Cleaning Up Glitter Magazine and poetry and photography in Toho Journal, Chaleur Magazine and the Tiny Seed Literary Journal.