Sleeping Babes


My angels, who normally get along very well during the day, turn into screaming, crying monsters at night. Emma has decided that she would like to add something to their bedtime routine. After the teeth are brushed, prayers are said, stories are read, hugs and kisses are given and the light is off, Emma screams at Lucy until Lucy comes downstairs in tears because “Emma is being mean.” We then send Lucy back upstairs with a kiss and a hug telling her to sing Emma songs, or tell her a story or just be nice even though her little sister is being mean. A few minutes later, we hear Emma screaming again. Apparently, Lucy must come downstairs in tears three times before Emma is ready to settle down and go to sleep. More and more often, we just let Lucy fall asleep in our room and then move her back to her bed after Emma is asleep.

One wonderful side effect of this addition to our routine, is that our kids, having not gotten to sleep until 10 pm, wake with the sun. Matt and I are roused by the wondrous ballad of Emma “MOOOOMMMYYY, DAAAADDDY! A GET OUT! A DOWNSTAIRS!” or simply “AAAAAHHHHHHH!!” Then we hear the pitter patter of Lucy feet and a knock on our door. “Daddy, Emma is yelling at me.” Already sleep deprived from being awoke during the night by either a full bladder or a very painful contraction, I, without success, try to ignore them. Matt does this as well. Finally one of us groggily says “Lucy, go get Emma a bagel (or apple, or anything to eat that won’t cause too much of a mess).” Lucy, the ever helpful sister, runs downstairs to fetch something with which Emma can fill her mouth so that no sound escape. Lucy then climbs into bed with us as we treasure the three minutes before Emma starts to serenade us again.

We have had this wonderful routine for at least a month and all four of us could use a bit more sleep. Matt has been suggesting that we put them in separate rooms but I have issues with that. So I came up with a brilliant plan. We would put Emma to bed before Lucy. That way, Emma would already be asleep when Lucy goes to bed and Lucy can go to sleep in peace. Tonight we put Emma to bed just after 7 pm. It was a little later than I would have liked, but FHE took longer than I thought it would. It is now after 9 pm and Lucy is going to sleep in our room so that Emma won’t keep her up with her screams.

Now, anyone who knows what a sleep nazi I am knows that this is just not acceptable. A sleep deprived family is not a happy family in my book and short of locking Emma in the basement with the dog at night, I am at a loss as to what to do. Mom suggested that Emma might be voicing frustration at being contained and is ready for a big girl bed. Needless to say, the idea of having that monster be on the loose at night is not quite what I had in mind. Well, Mom is coming in just a few days, and she doesn’t know this yet, but one of her jobs while she is here will be to get up with the girls πŸ™‚

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