As I write this, my little son is asleep in his own bed. It is the first time in his whole little life he has ever slept in a bed other than mine.
I wasn’t really ready for this yet, but I suspect he might be – we’ll see how it goes. But DH really was ready. He’s been on me for some time now and last night I finally agreed to give it a go. So today DD and I reassembled our Ikea bunk bed for the umpteenth time (she shares my love of assembling Ikea stuff). The bed has three levels for the bunk, and we moved DD up to the middle one a while back, adding the bottom bunk simply because it was easier than storing it. Now that DS is in there, we moved her to the top setting. It is a bit high, and I haven’t quite figured out how we are going to get her up there after she’s fallen asleep in the living room, but I guess we’ll find a way. We’ve pushed our king size bed right up against the bunk, so that DS won’t roll off in his nighttime search for my breast (the other three sides are barred). The idea is that eventually we’ll put some space between the beds. I had always thought we’d start moving him out of our bed when we moved homes, but I suppose it makes more sense to get him used to his bed now, rather than having to get used to a new bed and a new room and a new floorplan all at once.
If DS shows any signs of being distressed about this, or if the effort I have to make to nightnurse him becomes too much of a pain, I’m happy to surrender the plan for now. Truth is, I am feeling a lot of “second child guilt” in this whole matter, which I think is what held me back the most. DS never got what DD did in terms of my attention and focus. I sometimes feel like his life is just zipping by as an afterthought and I have endless guilt and sorrow over that. Nighttime was the one time when he had me all to himself, and when I could just focus on him. Many nights I’ve stared into his sleeping face, stroked his hair, or maneouvered myself so that some part of me is touching him.
DD slept in our bed until she just came out and asked for her own bed one day when she was just shy of 2.5. I had wanted DS to at least have the same opportunity. ‘Course, he doesn’t even talk yet so it might have been a while. Still, part of me feels like once again he’s been ripped off. The only thing that really allowed me to go ahead with this was the honest belief that HE really doesn’t mind. That it was more about me wanting to keep that stage of our life going on for a while longer. He’s a very laid-back kid, always has been. It was really important to DH, and last night while dining out for his birthday (had an amazing dinner at a very schwanky restaurant) and making up over appetizers (we’ve been bickering for days it seems) I finally decided that it would mean so much to him if I just gave it a whirl. And here we are.
Which isn’t to say that the kids will never be in our bed. DD often comes into our bed in the middle of the night, and always does for a morning snuggle. I love sleeping with her, and would happily continue. She doesn’t snore for one thing, lol. And she’s lovely to snuggle with. But she prefers her own bed and I think DH takes it personally that I’d rather sleep with the kids than him. That isn’t a reflection of how I feel about him, but more a reflection of how much I enjoy a good night’s sleep (he really does snore quite loudly) and a bit of wiggle room. And, I admit, there is nothing that feels more safe and secure to a mama than having her two precious children snuggled next to her at night. I’m already having anxieties over the thought of living in a house and having my kids sleeping in another room, where a prowler could just crawl in the window and take them. Yes, I honestly worry about these things. I don’t actually know how any parents sleep without their children but I guess I’ll be finding out soon!
So a sad but happy day. Sad for what is passing, excited about what lies ahead. I think Motherhood seems to be all about that, doesn’t it. And I have to admit, DS does look very cute in his own bed.