Tonight was a bit of a milestone at our house, as it was the first night that I put both of my daughters to sleep in the same room.
Ever since I moved Curious J into the crib when she was a few months old, her big sister has been sleeping in the guest room. I had Lyd in the other room because Curious J always woke up at least twice at night, and I wanted Lyd to get a solid night’s sleep. Early in 2009, Curious J finally learned to sleep through the night, and I then considered moving Lyd back into her old room. (The room where Curious J sleeps has both a crib and a twin bed in it; Lyd slept on the double bed in the guest room.) But, there wasn’t any pressing reason to change things around, and the sleeping arrangements were working just fine, so I left well enough alone.
But my parents are arriving this weekend, and they will need to use the guest room. Therefore, it seemed like the time had arrived to move Lyd back into her old bed. I also figured that it would be a good thing for Curious J to have a few extra days to get used to having a roommate before my parents arrived. So, tonight we gave it a try.
As I expected, it took the girls longer than usual to fall asleep. I went into their room about 15 minutes after my first exit to remind Lyd that if she lay quietly and didn’t talk to her sister, then J would learn that even though her big sister was there, it was still time to sleep. I re-settled both girls down and was about to leave, when Lyd asked me to sing a lullaby. “Momma, sing Jesus, Shepherd of the Sheep,” she requested. I am a big believer in singing to my children at bedtime, so I easily agreed. I had to stop the singing a few times to gently remind J to lie down; she would quickly flop down on the bed but would soon sit back up. Eventually she caught on. After I finished that hymn, I thought that a little more singing might help to relax the girls even further, so I sang “Abide with Me,” one of my favorite hymns. J stayed lying down the whole time I sang; I think she was starting to realize that she was sleepy. When I finally left, both girls were calm, quiet, and well on their way to dreamland.
I could tell via the baby monitor that it still took Curious J a while to finally drop off to sleep, but at least she wasn’t playing or bouncing around in her bed. I think the first night of my daughters being rooommates is off to a good start! We’ll see how the rest of the night goes; J has an annoying tendency to often wake around 5:30 and cry for a bit until she finds her pacifier and lies back down. I’m hoping that won’t be a big problem, but I did tell Lyd where an extra pacifier is in case she needs to get up and give it to her sister. Hopefully it will get easier every night.
I still have to work out how to manage a longer bedtime story for Lyd. Curious J isn’t yet a fan of story stories. She likes rhythmic, rhyming stories, like Dr. Seuss and “Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb” and Sandra Boynton books. One possible solution I thought of would be that after we sing prayers and I put J to bed, I would then take Lyd into my room and read her story to her, then bring her back to her bed once it’s done. But, I’d like to read her story to her in her own bed. Hmm. Well, I’m sure these kinks will work themselves out in the weeks and months ahead.
My favorite memory of tonight, besides singing to my girls, was how excited Lyd was to sleep in the same room as her sister tonight! She said, “Oh, I’m so happy! I’ve been waiting and waiting to sleep in the same room as J!” Her enthusiasm made this transition much easier. I hope they will enjoy being roommates, and I hope it helps to foster a close, lifelong friendship between them.