16 August 2011

The New Normal

Long story short, the girls are now sleeping in the same room.  They requested to do this so I flipped the rooms around and now there is one for just sleeping and one for dressing/reading/playing/auxiliary guest room if needed. This is great in many ways.  They sleep better, they sleep longer, Charlotte is getting over her night-time anxieties (we can close the door and not have every light upstairs blazing) and they are so very cute together.  The downside is that bed-time requires me to be the super police.  I am now a week deep in a long process to slowly get them going to bed calmly and quietly.  It is working, but holy crap, it is time consuming.  The first handful of nights were sheer hell with much fit throwing, screaming and general hatred.  However, the past few days it has really clicked.

It has been so nice.  After we read stories they jump in their matching twin beds with matching IKEA Vitaminer duvet sets (often in matching PJs...it is an illness, I know),cuddle up with Twilight Turtle (Charlotte) and Twilight Ladybug (Elizabeth) and blow each other kisses.  I then hang out and cuddle with them until they fall asleep.  It is cool and quiet in their curtained room with the A/C going.   In a rare feat for me, I just lie there with them and rest.  Charlotte plays with my hair while I tickle her back and Elizabeth loves to take turns kissing each other's cheeks and rubbing noses.  The day melts away.  Eventually the two of them are snoring up a storm (ENT consult for Liz on Thursday TYVM) and I head off to enjoy an hour or two of reading/knitting/trashy TV.

This is new territory for me since my kids were "sleep trained" and therefore spent most nights going to sleep on their own.  Yes we had lovely night-time routines with lots of books and snuggles, but nights where I hung out until they were fully asleep were the exception not the rule.   For Charlotte this was necessity since it has only been in the past year or so that she would even dream of going to sleep if anyone else was/is around.  She had to be left alone or no one would sleep.  Ever.  Elizabeth slept alone from day one due to her preference to sleep unfettered.  Even an a wee peanut she would only do the cuddling thing for so long before she would fuss and try to stretch out longing for her bassinet and space.   The idea that we can all hang out and doze off together with the understanding that we are keeping each other company for funsies is quite new and very refreshing.  While they were not ready for this routine in the past, they are now and that is amazing since it means so much more than good sleep.

This means my kids are kids, not babies.  I am half-way to the point where they will both be in school full-time.  While I simultaneously long for that day and dread it from the bottom of my very soul, in this respect, my babies growing up is wonderful.