Experiments with Sleeping arrangements.

Let me put your fears to rest--I am NOT going to blog about either Mark nor my own sleeping arrangements. :-P

But I am going to share the few lessons I've learned from changing Caleb and Noah's sleeping arrangements. You see, Caleb has been having trouble going to sleep in his own room. Starting many months ago and up until last week, Caleb's bedtime had become a negotiating circus. "Mommy, I want to sleep in your bed," or "Daddy, I don't WANT to sleep by myself, " or "I want you to sleep with me, Mommy."

We had tried being firm, but were also concerned about pushing too hard. Caleb was scared of his room, for some reason. Sometimes he talked about monsters, other times it was bad guys. And no matter how much we spoke to him of God watching over him or the fact that there are not Monsters (I even caved and told him his nightlight was a bad guy/monster catcher)...nothing would assuage his fears. Nothing except sleeping in our room.

But then one day a month or two ago, we moved our green recliner chair into Noah's room (his rocker finally bit the dust) and this changed everything. First, it meant that when Caleb wanted to sleep in our room, his only option was our bed! This would not do--Caleb is a kicker in his sleep, and I value good sleep as well as my kidneys and spine. So we started letting him sleep in Noah's room on the green chair, if he was scared.

Eureka! This seemed to be okay with him, sleeping in a room with his baby brother. I don't know how Noah gets those darned monsters to stay away, but I'm certainly not going to tell Caleb that it's unlikely his brother is a monster hunter.

S0--fast forward to a few weeks ago. Mark and I had discussed and debated, hem and hawed about the boys sharing a room. Why should they share a room if we don't end up having more kids? But they almost already do share a room, so why not free up more space? Etcetera, ad nauseum.

So we just did it last week, or was it the week before? Whatever. We moved Caleb's bed into Noah's room because his bed is actually easier to move than the crib. We still need to figure out where dressers and changing tables and the green chair will go, since their room is not big enough for all that. Right now Caleb's dresser is still in his old bedroom, and the rest of it is still squished into their newly deemed "shared" bedroom. But our master bedroom is plenty big for some of that stuff--we just need to organize a bit better and get it all moved.

The point is, Caleb and Noah have now been sharing a room for a week, maybe two weeks. Here is what I have learned from this experience:

1. Do not put a 1 year old and a 4 year old, who have never slept in the same room together before, to sleep at exactly the same time. They do not go to sleep--they jump on their beds/cribs together, chat/babble, and finally collapse into tired lumps at 10pm, if you are lucky.

2. Kids are especially adept at sleeping through sibling noise. I am amazed at how much noise Caleb can make in their room when he's going to bed and Noah sleeps through it all provided he was already sleeping. Caleb has yelled for me to get him water, bumped and banged himself against the wall, and spastically rocked the green chair (it squeaks). Noah sleeps through all of it. I'm also surprised at how much Caleb will sleep through in the morning. Sometimes Noah wakes up before Caleb, and nothing he does will wake Caleb up. Of course, the alarm doesn't always wake Caleb up--he seems to be inheriting the trait of getting up, shutting off the alarm, and going back to sleep. He gets that from Mark. *I* never even hit the snooze before I was married to Mark.

3. The magic wears off. Although I'm still happy Caleb and Noah are sharing a room (for reasons I will share below), the monster-repellent magic of sleeping with a sibling is wearing off. Actually, Caleb hasn't talked about bad guys or monsters lately. But he is again asking to sleep in our room. However, so far we have determinedly refused this offer with little crying or unhappiness. Last Monday morning, Caleb did come in at 3am and got to sleep in our bed. He'd had a bad dream. But when that happens, I just trade places with him and go sleep in his bed. That way, my kidneys and spine are preserved, even if my sleep isn't.

So it's done. I learned something, and I think the family is happier for the transition. I promised to share my reasons why I like Caleb and Noah sharing a room. 1-I think it will be good for Caleb and Noah to share a room (kinda like eating veggies--they might not like it, but their psychology-driven mom knows it will make them closer and more apt to get along when they are adults). 2-I'm not convinced we are done having kids. 3-Until another kid comes along, I get a scrapbooking room where my crafty stuff will be safe from pets, kids, and general catastrophe! HAPPY DANCE OF JOY!

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