Interesting title, yes? When Adam and I decided to expand our small family of 2 and consequently got pregnant with Lauren, all of the typical “what if” questions were asked during our time apart. He was working in Georgia for work and making fun of me for going to bed at 7pm when I was very newly pregnant. We clearly have a loving relationship.
Nearing my due date, we talked about where the baby would actually sleep for the first few months. Don’t laugh at us. We were clearly naive parents who thought their kid would sleep. I said I didn’t want her in our room. Adam was the one who talked me out of that one, since it would be easier to get to her in the middle of the night. Clearly, he was a realist. As dutiful first time parents, we set up the basinette in our room. I vowed only to have her in there until she slept through the night. And that’s basically what happened.
Shortly after settling Lauren into her own room, we were told we were moving to Toronto for 3 months for a work contract for Adam. Ok. 3 months. I can handle that. Lauren was only 8 months old at the time. Adam arrived in Toronto 3 days before we did. Upon his arrival, he called me to tell me we only had one bedroom. Ok. 3 months. No big deal. I was bringing a playpen, so she could sleep there.
Next thing we know, 3 months turns into years (almost 5 now). We got pregnant with Jillian. Shortly before Jillian’s arrival, Lauren started experiencing night terrors. Not just once or twice. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. It was much easier to bring her into bed with us since she didn’t seem to have them as much. This is when things start going downhill.
When Jillian was just over 1, we ended up being placed in a 2 bedroom corporate apartment. FINALLY! Jillian still slept in the playpen, but that was becoming clear it wouldn’t last much longer. Lauren got her own room yet one of us had to stay in there for her to fall asleep. And then she’d usually make her way back into our bed. Sometimes, not even waking us.
Shortly after Jillian’s diagnosis, she began having trouble sleeping. A common thing in kids with cerebral palsy. It seemed as though she was in pain every night. Sleeping totally curled up in a little ball because her legs were sore. Adam and I did the next logical thing (ok. logical to us…) we brought her into bed with us. Before botox, she usually sleeps with her knees bent and falls asleep with them under Adam’s arm or on my hip.
When we finally moved into this house, I joked my room looked like a refuge camp. We could only get a queen sized bed when we bought ours from Ikea (they didn’t stock king size at that store. What the what?!) So, we made a big deal that Lauren would have her own room. That didn’t last long. Shortly after, her mattress was drug over and put on our floor. And for the last 2 years, that’s how we slept. Adam and I, Jillian in the middle and Lauren on a mattress on the floor.
3 nights ago, we made the leap. Adam decorated Lauren’s room like a big girls room and we waited to see what would happen next. Lauren had requested Christmas lights on her wall, a giant sun lamp shade for her ceiling (which her grandparents bought her for Christmas) to go with the star nightlight she has. Jillian, not wanting to be left out, joined Lauren in her room for a sleep over. We’ve had success thus far. The first night they both slept there until 5:30 (and I think the only reason Lauren woke up was because Jillian was crying). Last night, Jillian came in with us at 1:30, but Lauren stayed all night. It’s baby steps and all.
I’ve always known my kids were a little weird. They both slept by themselves for a while before coming into bed with us. Maybe… Just maybe we’re just giant suckers.