Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Rails Are Off, Continued ...

So it's been about 3 weeks since we took a side off Thing 1's crib. His nocturnal wanderings haven't entirely gone away: we can count on him appearing in our bedroom every third or fourth night, sometime in the middle of the night, saying he's lost his binky. One time he said so even though it was still in his mouth.

But he IS going down at bedtime and staying in bed to fall asleep, and that's major progress. There is much rejoicing chez Late Blooming Mom.

On the other hand, the anything-goes spirit of New Year's Eve that marked the first couple of weeks of no side rail at bedtime has been replaced by early morning hijinks. This morning, Thing 1 got into Thing 2's crib (Thing 2's side rail has been off since Thanksgiving), and began to bounce. Whereupon Thing 2 switched to Thing 1's crib, and SHE began to bounce. I walked in on them and saw the "we know we're not supposed to do this but we're really having fun" look on their faces. But it was barely seven a.m., and official wake-up time in Late Blooming Mom's house is not until seven-thirty, a far more civilized time.

I knew the minute I left the room the crib-swapping hijinks would continue unabated, so I firmly announced I would be laying down on the futon we've got on the floor between the cribs (we put it there to guard against any middle-of-the-night falls from bed) to keep them contained until official wake-up time. Theoretically this would ensure they'd both stay in their cribs, resting if not exactly sleeping, until I was ready to face the day with them.

Of course this isn't what happened. Two minutes after I lay down, Thing 2 gave me a plaintive, "mommy, could I cuddle with you?" This was soon followed by the same request from Thing 1. So three minutes into my attempt to get a little more shut-eye while keeping them contained, I was crowded onto the futon with both of them.

Four minutes in, I was perched precariously over the edge of the futon, practically on the floor, while snuggling with both kids. They began to play with my hands, the blanket, the pillows, each other. They managed to stay relatively horizontal for another ten minutes or so, and then it was time to bounce again.

My tired self is wondering just how long the morning hijinks are going to go on, and hoping they'll go the way of the bedtime shenanagins.

I should probably go to bed the same time the kids do, just to catch up on sleep. But of course, it's the only time of the day I have to myself -- or to spend with my husband -- so I wind up staying up too late. By the time I crawl between the sheets I find myself thinking, "great, they've been asleep for two hours; they have a two-hour sleeping head-start on me. I'll never catch up." I don't remember my own parents ever being this tired. Of course, they weren't late bloomers at parenting. Maybe they had the right idea, doing it so young.

But I've got no choice at this point. I just hope the Gods of Sleep -- and my kids -- take pity on me.

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