It’s night three of Operation Two Kids + One Room, and things have gone south. Night one was a smashing success, but Max was so tired that he fell asleep almost before I left the room, and Rosie was passed out pretty quickly after that. Night two had a few hiccups, but ultimately everyone fell asleep without too much ruckus. Then tonight it’s like Rosie and Max secret handshook and made a pact to kick things up a notch as the Tag Team (No) Dream Team. Rosie calls out to us, it wakes Max, he cries, we wait it out, he falls back into a fitful sleep, Rosie calls out for us again, waking Max, who cries, and then we wait it out until he is quiet again … and then Rosie calls out, etc., etc., etc. until finally one of us (L) goes in and holds/rubs the back of/cajoles/rocks someone into silence.
This bedtime bonanza tonight is making me realize, though, that we have not been to this place in a long time. Bedtime, for the most part, has been a fairly uneventful event since Max was born, and maybe even some time before that. He’s a great sleeper, in part because he’s been taking naps in a room full of babies and childcare workers since he was 4 months old. He is the first kid we’ve ever been able to lay down awake and have fall asleep on his own. What is this voodoo? We asked ourselves when we were told of other babies who could do this. Who are these magical self-put-to-sleep children? Max. Max is these children. This is why I say: it is dangerous that he is our third. It makes me think we could have seven. Or 37.
But I digress. It has been so long that sleep issues have been an issue that I am eyeing that time in the not-so-distant future when our kids will be up late, but it won’t be because we are wrestling them back into their beds for hours on end. It will be because they are hard at work on their American History paper, or at the movies with their friends, or on the phone with someone saying (god forbid) “No you hang up first!” and then giggling as the dollar signs on our cellphone bill march ever upward. Out late on dates, at the big game, up until the wee hours listening to their favorite band on repeat while journaling teen angst … you know. All the things you do when you’re a night owling, day sleeping tween/teen.
And in case you think that the next thing I’m going to say is something about how I’ll look back on these moments wistfully when all that teenage staying up stuff is going on, NOPE. I want everyone to go to sleep now, please. And I thank you.
But still … I’m not quite ready to give up the feeling of a chubby-fingered hand finding the crook of my arm in the night just to know that I’m right there, or being able to hold the whole of a sleeping kid on my hip, the crown of their head fitting perfectly into the curve of my neck. I need those things a little longer, I think. Even if it means a little insanity in my evenings. Even if it means I’m typing these keys a little bit harder than necessary to drown out the noise in my ear holes. Even if it means GET BACK IN YOUR BED RIGHT NOW YES I KNOW YOUR TOENAILS ARE REALLY LONG.