Sunday, January 18, 2015

The end of an era

For more than two weeks now, each person in our household has slept in his/her assigned bed.  There have been a few two a.m. hugs - those are allowed - but no bed switching.  This didn't happen in the natural course of life.  Rich and I had to step in with a family meeting after several restless nights for me over the Christmas break.  Admittedly, I'm not the greatest sleeper.  I'm a light sleeper who will awaken at the softest noise or the slightest shift, when someone down the hall moves.  The only time I seem to sleep hours on end without waking is when I'm exhausted but then come morning, I'm still tired.  Unless I can sleep for four more hours and in my world, that's a rarity.

Rich was away one night overnight and I spent two hours moving between all the beds in the house and stressing myself out because I couldn't fall asleep and I knew what the next day would be like with a tired head.  Anna, who normally never gets out of her bed at night, decided to join into the mix.  I eventually slept in Emily's bed alone with she and Allie slept in my bed.  (ha ha)  So we laid down the law and that's that.  After a few nights, Emily asked how long she was going to have to keep it up, thinking that it was temporary. (ha ha)  Four or five nights in, when they were beginning to waiver, I pulled a muscle in my back and was stuck in bed for the day.  I told the girls that I absolutely could not get out of bed that night.  And that was that.

Instead of bursting with triumph, I feel a bit down, which isn't completely a reaction to this.  I've been having one of those mid-life crisis weeks, which is most likely a spin-off of two busy weeks at work.  You know the old have I made the right decisions in life because it feels like everything I do is off.   One of those weeks.

Parenting triplets is complicated.  It's so complicated that you can never really know its depth unless you have triplets yourself.  I am constantly reminding them that love isn't a competition but they've had to share my love from the beginning and so to them, in a way, it is.  



There was one chilly winter's morning when the girls were babies, about nine months old.  Three months earlier, after many failed attempts, I was able to schedule their daily routine.  Eat, activity, sleep.  Repeat.  Repeat.  That was our day.  That one chilly winter's morning, two of them fell asleep as I cuddled with them on the couch.  Grammy offered to help me move them upstairs to their cribs and I waved her off.  It wasn't very often that I was able to relax with a sleeping baby, or in this case, two.  And so I stayed on the couch, mostly reclined, with two babies wedged in on either side of me and watched tv on mute as they napped.  I can still remember the warmth radiating from their little bodies.  Their weight, so light and compact, against me  I knew that they would grow up.  All parents know this but we continue to take the present for granted.


Katie said...

When I weaned my son at 19 months he finally started sleeping through the night. Many health problems I was experiencing went away and I realized that they were likely due to a year and a half of no sleep. And, yet, I still sometimes mourn the loss of those middle of the night snuggles even though we are in a much better place now.

Spring said...

How old are your girls now?
Our boys, 3.5yo are now playing musical beds at night. It started with just one who wanted to go to bed in our room, we though no big deal, he just wants his own space & at the time we were living in an apartment & had no choice but to have all 3 in one room. When we moved into our house he continued to want to go to bed in the spare room & we just thought that was fine, if it continued we would just convert that to his room & give the other 2 the option to continue sharing or each have their own room too but falling asleep in his own room transformed into climbing into our bed in the middle of the night. That was also ok at the time... Until all 3 boys started wandering into our room & we had to vacate our own bed to find decent sleep. I'm not sure in this is an insecurity thing, an age appropriate phase or something we should attempt to nix all together right now??? They each have twin beds but they are side by side (& wall to wall) in one room, we've been thinking that maybe it was just a personal space thing & are considering getting bunk beds.

Courtney said...

I can't imagine how complicated parenting triplets is, but I totally understand how complicated/conflicted one can be as a working mother. I feel the day is rare that I don't think "Have I made the right decision" with working full time (although it isn't a choice as much as necessary). I often wonder if thee are working moms who don't ask themselves this daily and don't feel the guilt and frustration. Sorry to sound so negativ- just trying to say how much I sympathize.

Anonymous said...

This post makes me smile.

I have 2 kids. A 6 yr old girl, who is the sweetest thing, but not a cuddler. And a 4 year old boy who is a clown, and a spitfire, and the best snuggler in the world. As soon as he could scale the walls of his crib, he was out of there nightly and into my bed. For months, I would spend at least an hour a night trying to get him back into his own bed. It finally worked, and I had a month or two without him.

The Hurricane Sandy came and we were without power for a week. For that week, we had him sleep in our bed, and our daughter sleep on the sofa in our room. This restarted his nocturnal visits, and our nightly fight to get him back into his own room. Then the events at Newtown, CT happened, and I asked myself why I was fighting so hard. Now, in our case, it was just one tiny kid, and not three big girls. And therefore, I had the luxury to allow his night time visits to continue, provided that he came in after midnight, got into the bed quietly, and went back to sleep. We weren't doing midnight entertainment.

After about a year he sort of stopped.

And the missing started. Oh, how I miss him.

Sometimes I try to be a little noisy when I go to bed, hopeing to rouse him a little so maybe he comes to visit. And, uh, I may have actually gone to get him once when I had really bad insomnia, and I knew the hubs wouldn't appreciate a 2am snuggle. That light, warm, weight snuggled against you. There is nothing like it in the whole world.

robin said...

Aw this post made me tear up a little.

I only have twins but I feel like with multiples you miss out on having the babies sleep on you. I was so jealous of singleton moms who could have their babies sleep on them (of course that is a different issue, many of those babies did not want to sleep in the crib etc). I would cherish the occasional nap on me, it was so nice, their little warm bodies and quiet breathing. Now I sometimes will get a sleep snuggle when they are sick and fall asleep on me, or sometimes on the airplane, though my girl doesn't do this as much as my boy (he's always been the snuggler).

Julia said...

Oh, I know the feeling of frustration/mild regret when we actually achieve a long awaited milestone. Felt the same when I moved the twins from my bedroom, and when they weaned. Even when they stopped needing help in the toilet or washing their hair. Those moments of neediness are tiresome and repetitive while we are there, but they are what makes our kids, kids, and each milestone is one step away from needing us.