Forever, Ever?

Sleep

In an effort to lovingly kick our tenacious three-year-old toddler out of our bed, we agreed to let her sleep in her 1-year-old brother’s room. Now, I have to give you a little background.

My daughter has NEVER liked to sleep by herself. She will take mommy, daddy, or the dog; anything she can feel breathing as a partner. She will boss you around as she tries to find her perfect comfy spot for the night. She tells you which way to lay, what arm to prop up her head, no pillows, no covers, and the list goes on and on. When she finally drifts off to sleep and we tiptoe out of her room, we are guaranteed about four solid hours before we hear her two little feet finding their way to our bed. If we lock the door, she will knock and patiently camp out in front of her our room until sunrise. I have even caught her sleeping in the dog bed in the hallway hoping we open the door.

Now Baby G is her polar opposite. He doesn’t want anyone to cuddle with him. He likes his own space and his own room. He is very regimented and sleeps through the night. So, our first thought when she asked to sleep in his room was no. We feared messing up his routine. But she begged. “Mommy, please let me sleep in BaBa’s room. I won’t wake him up. I promise. Just let me try it.” So the compromise was, she had to bring in her toddler mattress and sleep beside his crib. She also absolutely, positively cannot wake him up if she has to go potty in the middle of the night. If he wakes up, the deal is off and she goes back to her room by herself.

I am knocking on a wooden Elmo table so hard right now, because after seven nights in a row, bedtime routine is easier and our bedroom is shy a toddler. So it came as no surprise when during bath time a few nights ago Morgan announced “I have decided I am moving into BaBa’s room.” I laugh and ask her what she is talking about. “I am sleeping there forever,” she says.

“Well Morgan, I think its great that you love sleeping in your brother’s room but you can’t just move in with people without asking them. You have to talk to brother about this first. She turns and looks at him and asks, “Baby G, can I move into your room, FOREVER?” And he looks her dead in her eyes and leans his head all the way to the right until it touches his shoulders and mumbles inaudibly. My training in nonverbal communication tells me, he is not 100% on board with this request, but his smile says he will think about it.

We are quickly approaching two weeks of this arrangement and despite trying to figure out how to make this out of place toddler mattress in the middle of the floor not look so out of place, it seems to work. After baths, snacks and prayer we give Baby G a cup of milk and Morgan lies on her mattress tucks herself in, rolls over and is out like a light within five minutes. We put him in his crib say goodnight and love you and walk out until about 7 a.m. the next morning.

Tonight, after she rolls over she says, “Mommy BaBa really loves me and is so happy I am in his room.” And I ask how she knows, “Because at night when we are sleeping he looks at me and smiles,” she says. “He even smiles in his sleep.” For all I know, she could be right. One thing is for certain; I’m smiling too, especially in my sleep.

 

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9 thoughts on “Forever, Ever?

  1. Such a sweet, sweet post! I know because I have a daughter who had the same sleeping habit. It didn’t seem so sweet at the time, but now I miss it! Good luck!

      • No, because that is how I broke my 3YO’s habit; I put her in the room with her sister. She’s 5 now and sleeps in her own bed. But I do miss the days when her favorite way to sleep was nose-to-nose with her mom!

  2. It is funny the difference between girls and boys.. My son was the same way. He didnt want to sleep with us. However, my daughter was a different story. At least Morgan came up with another alternative. My daughter still tries to sleep in the bed every now and then and she is 11..smh…lol..

  3. Diane,

    I can’t lie, I do find some comfort in knowing that there are others out there that are going through some of the pain I did with the bed situation lol……because I had a C section with both children, them NOT sleeping in the bed with me once we got home was not an option, I just learned to handle it different with them…with aaron it was: my bed, his room/bed, his bed at the foot of my bed, him on a pallet beside our bed, him sleeping IN our doorway, and then finally in his room (before he started school) lol….with Moo it was different, I weaned him way earlier because of all the problems we had with aaron…and Moo is the one that still tries to get in the bed with us….crazy huh? As always, thank you for sharing your life, it is a blessing….

  4. One of the things I am most proud of as a mother is that my nearly 4 year old has never slept a night alone. And, every night, she goes to sleep with either mommy or papi or both of us by her side. The last thing I want is for her to go to sleep feeling lonely, cold and sad. I have zero problems singing to her, talking and discussing our day, or simply just laying with her until she falls asleep. The greatest gift I can give my child is the feeling of security.

    Not to mention, everything I am doing now will be the things she remembers as she grows old. As she regressed back into childhood in her elderly years, the feelings of today will be what she remembers. I love the thought that I am giving my child two beautiful lifetimes. As she exits this world, long after I am gone, she will exit this world hearing me sing in the dark, hold her hand, sleep by her side and keep her close.

    Only when she is ready, only when she wants to voluntarily, will she go to her own bed in her own room. For now, she is in our bed. So will our newborn when the times comes. When my child wants her own bed, it will first be in our room with us.

    I don’t know what life will throw at my child(ren), but while I am in it, cold, lonely, dark and cry it out, neglect, and cages and cribs will not be any of them. (unless the crib is being used as a cosleeper for those uncomfortable to bedshare)

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