In Which My Daughter Does a 180 on Having Her Own Room

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Categories From the Mouths of Multiples, Individuality, Loneliness, Overnight, Parenting Twins, School-Age, Sleep, Talking to KidsTags , , , Leave a comment

My daughters are at a turning point. Being together 24/7 at age 7 as they more deeply explore their distinct interests is grating on each other. M loves to sing and J sometimes just wants her to stop humming. J likes to see the bright side or educational opportunity in every challenge, while M just wants to have the freedom to feel and express her frustrations.

I’d sent the girls off to get ready for bed Sunday when J flounced out of the bathroom and threw herself into my lap.

J: M’s annoying me.
Sadia: Have you talked to her about it?
J: Yes! And she won’t stop!
Sadia: Just find somewhere else to be.
J: silence
Sadia: There are moments when I get frustrated. Sometimes the thing I do is go to a different room and do something distracting.
J: I can’t do that. We’re sisters. We’re in the same place. You don’t get it. Being an adult is so easy.
Sadia: hiding a smile Adulthood has its own challenges. You know, we do have an extra room. Do you want your own room?
J: How would you fix the bed back together?
Sadia: I was thinking you could sleep in the bed that’s already in the guest room.
J: Yeah! I’ll do that tonight.
Sadia: Oh! You need to let your sister know what’s going on so she’s not surprised.

I hadn’t anticipated J’s response. I thought that the idea of sleeping alone would horrify her, as it has done every time Daddy has brought up getting separate rooms. He and his sister were 13 months apart and in the same grade. He cherished the sanctity of his own space.

Five minutes later…

M: getting louder and louder But I don’t like sleeping by myself!
J: M! It’s just for a month.
M: Mommy, J says I’m annoying and she won’t sleep with me.
Sadia: I know, honey. It’s like when you told her last night that she couldn’t sleep in your bed because she was annoying you.
M: It’s not the same. I don’t like sleeping by myself. I only sent her to a bed in the same room. Who’ll sleep with me?
Sadia: What if I sleep in your room?
M: I guess. My bed. I need snuggles because I’m without my sister.
J: It’s for a month, M. In one month I’ll try sleeping in your room if you’re not annoying. If you are annoying I’ll go back to my room for one more month.

With little fanfare, J went to bed in the guest room. We read a chapter of Little House on the Prairie together in J’s new bed. The girls said their prayers.

J: … Thank you, God, for giving me a mom who understands my needs…

The new arrangement lasted one night. In the car yesterday evening, J brought up having come to snuggle with us around 2:00 am when she was suffering a snuggle deficit. She reports our having had a conversation. I didn’t remember it at all. I didn’t think of my lack of memory as a big deal, but J interpreted it as “sleep talking”. She has an inexplicable terror of sleep walking. After many tears and endless attempts on her part to get me to remember the discussion and on my part to show that there was nothing wrong, she elected to sleep in M’s bed for comfort.

I wonder where she’ll decide to sleep tonight. At least she’s convinced that I understand her needs. From my perspective, it’s all a big fat mystery.

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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Sleeping arrangements for twins

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Categories Napping, Overnight, Products, SleepTags , , , , , 6 Comments

My apologies for the late posting.  Our lives have been crazy over the last couple of weeks – we’ve just moved. I wrote most of this post just before we moved. I was busy with other things, so I didn’t get a chance to read everyone else posts.  I see that Sarah wrote about managing sleep with newborns. Hopefully this doesn’t overlap too much.

Sleep and related topics have been on my mind quite a bit recently. We’ve just moved to a new house with more bedrooms, lots more bedrooms. Thought it wasn’t the only reason, one of our reasons for looking for a new house was to have enough room for the girls to each have their own bedrooms, at some point, if they want them, or a very large room to share. There will also be enough bedrooms for office space for Mom and Dad, and still there will be rooms to spare.

In the new house, the girls will share a bedroom.  For the first time they will be in separate cribs in the same room.  Now this isn’t the first time they’ll be sleeping apart, nor the first time they will be in cribs, just the first time they will be in separate cribs in the same room.

Since we brought the girls home in January, we’ve tried a wide range of sleeping arrangements.

When they first came home from the hospital…

  • two babies sharing cradle in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing bassinette in the playpen in the living room
  • one baby in the bassinette in the basement TV room for quick naps when we were watching TV.  Usually the other baby was eating.

But they soon outgrew the bassinette, and we needed to find new solutions…

  • two babies sharing crib in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing playpen in dining room

After just a couple of days of lifting two babies in and out of the playpen, we needed a different solution…

  • two babies sharing crib in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing a new (second) crib in dining room

Then we decided they were ready to sleep in their own room

  • two babies sharing crib in my office their bedroom (or “babies’ office” as my son called it)
  • two babies sharing crib in the dining room

But, they didn’t always share the same sleep schedule…

  • one baby in the crib in their bedroom and one in the bassinette in the playpen in our room at night
  • two babies sharing crib in the dining room during the day

Then we decided to put our house up for sale so we had to remove the crib from the dining room and the playpen from our bedroom…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom

Then I took the children to stay with my mom while the house was for sale

  • two babies in two playpens except when they took turns sleep with me

Then we came back home…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom

Until the fan in our son’s room broke, and for a short time…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom and one toddler in the playpen in their bedroom

About  in mid-October, the girls seemed to be waking up more than usual, so we decided to separate them…

  • one baby in the crib in their bedroom
  • one baby in the playpen in their bedroom

Which has meant more sleep for me since one of the girls is usually sleep through the night, and her sister is usually only up once.

Now that we are settled in our new house, the girls are sleeping in two cribs in their new bedroom.  One of our girls still wakes up more than her sister, so her crib is closer to the door.

We certainly didn’t plan to try all these different sleeping arrangement, but as their needs and our needs changed, we adapted. And, I’m certain their be more arrangements to try out as they grow in our new house.

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