Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Bird in the Nest is Worth...

Not exactly sure what that saying is or how it goes...but as you read along you'll get my point. 

In recent months, the sleep habits of our girls has been, shall we say, less than desirable. 
BOTH fight bed time. 
BOTH want a story.
BOTH insist on having the lights on.
BOTH insist that I stay with them until they fall asleep.

This is the worst. Our house is old and therefore it creaks. A LOT. With every step. With every breath!
Charlotte has super sonic hearing because I'd have to literally sneak out of her room, holding my breath, and she'd still hear me, wake up in a panic, cry and then we'd have to start the whole thing over again. 
I've been wanting to tear my hair out for months!!

And if that wasn't bad enough, at about 11:23, little Charlotte Katherine (as she prefers to be called) wakes up out of the blue, walks downstairs directly to my side of the bed, says hi mom and crawls into our bed.

The first few times she did this, we thought it was cute and endearing. We aren't co-sleepers and don't believe in it. But there was something sweet about waking up and hearing Charlotte's heavy breathing or feeling her snuggle up in the middle of the night.
Throw in the fact that we've all been off and on sick over the last couple of months or traveling, we were willing to do whatever it took to get some uninterrupted sleep.

And there lies our first (millionth?) mistake. 
We didn't make the effort to correct it then and there. 
Therefore, we created a monster.
A sweet, charming, darling monster.

But a monster nonetheless.
Her innocent breathing became snores.
Her precious snuggles became kicks and slaps.

We decided enough was enough and we were going to take a stand.

We were going to get our bed back!

When she came down at 11:23 like a moth to flame, I took her right back up to her room.
She cried. She got right back up.
Over and over and over again.
Finally, I stayed with her until she fell asleep.
The floor creaked as I left her room.
Curse that creaky floor!!
Of course, she woke up.

Eventually, I ended up in her bed with her until she fell deeply asleep.
Then I left. I'm not going to even tell you how long that took nor am I going to share how many times we repeated this process in the middle of the night.
I'm just going to say that by 6 am the next morning, both girls were in our bed and I clocked in less sleep than if I'd had a newborn.


(This might have thrown me into I-don't-think-I-can-have-another-baby column...I think I'm officially too old for sleepless nights...let alone a year of them!!)

So when out of the blue the other night, Grace wanted to make a nest of blankets on her floor and sleep in it like a bird, we were a bit hesitant at first. Do we need her making sleep problems for herself? Don't we have enough? Should we correct this before it even starts?

We decided to roll the dice.

In the middle of the night, as I am in the middle of night two of retraining Charlotte to sleep in her own bed, it dawned on me!

Why not put Charlotte in Grace's bed?!

When I posed the option to Charlotte, she couldn't run fast enough to Grace's bedroom. She climbed in, snuggled up and was asleep in five seconds!

It was a small miracle!

A few weeks ago we dragged Charlotte's mattress from upstairs into Grace's room so that they could sleep together. It didn't work.
Something about the nest was magic!

Grace in her self-made nest. 

Snug as a bug bird.

And this one? Out cold.
All. Night. Long.

And while I should feel bad that one of my children is sleeping on the floor, 
I am 'sleeping' on it. (pun intended! ha!) 
Because a bird in the nest is worth one in the hay? In the bush? 
Seriously, what is that saying?!?!

Regardless, we are running with this as long as it works. 
Now that I've posted this, I am sure the nest's magical powers will disappear. 
Until then....


Megan @Me and Wee said...

A nightmare!!! Ack! I love the nest...a respite! Paige started sleeping better when we gave her one of those Twilight Turtle goes on and she can look at the stars and such on the ceiling/walls. She loves it. She plays with her toys in bed until she falls asleep (she can see with the aid of the turtle). We also have a white noise machine in her room turned all the way up so that those little noises around the house can't be heard. Now that she's comes out of her room on her own in the morning, I'm gonna have to get one of those little nightlights that glows green when they are "allowed" to wake up in the morning (you set the time in advance). Hopefully with some practice she will learn to sleep a bit longer/stay in her room later. This stuff is crazy. Noah is now waking up every half hour all night so it's like starting all over again. Dammit.

Home Sweet Home Place said...

We have a turtle toy but no avail. I think the issue is Charlotte sleeps upstairs and the rest of us sleep downstairs. I think she feels a bit scared/lonely. But the nest is still going I am rolling with it!

I honestly can't imagine starting over. I toy every day with the thought of a third and I swear sleep and college tuition stop me dead in my tracks! ha

T.C.M.+ C said...

love this post.