I've created a monster. Well, two monsters to be exact. Here at our place, we have some bed time bad times. I wish I could say that our only bed time problems were normal....like 100 rounds of "Can I have a glass of water?" or "I have to go to the bathroom again." But no, they're a bit more severe.
So...I call myself an attachment parent-er (I don't think that's a real word), but really, I lack commitment. I LOVE the feel of a tiny newborn snuggled up to me in our bed, nursing peacefully to sleep. And (for the record) I have felt myself called to this kind of mothering.
We ALL sleep really well this way for the first ten months or so. Then the honeymoon wears off. All the sudden, that sweet little newborn turns into a prowling lion, pouncing on his prey and exploring the savannah of our bed in the middle of the night. Seriously. Plus, they take up A LOT more room than they used too. And then I start to think I was CRAZY for letting them sleep there in the first place.
So now, I have two recovering attachment sleepers trying to encounter the world of sleeping alone. Not successfully, as a matter of fact. They sleep in their own beds, but bedtime is a looooooonnnnnnngggggg process. I used to lay with them to go to sleep. An hour and a half would pass and John Paul would finally drift off and Joey would finally sing himself to sleep. An hour and a half!?! These kids are supposed to be tired! Not so. I'm gradually getting myself out of the room...first at the foot of the bed, now on the floor. John Paul is nearly four years old for goodness sake!
Ever so stealthily, I'll work my way to the door. But Joey has a set of lungs that just won't quit and if he even has a hunch that I'm headed out, he'll let us and every neighbor within a three mile radius that his needs aren't being met. So tonight, I'll sit by the closet and meet those beautiful little needs, praying that I don't scar his little soul by saying "So help me, if you utter one more word, I will call your Daddy in here and he will mail you to China! TO CHINA, DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?!"
Hopefully Our Lady will sit next to me, reminding me that although these nights seem long, too soon they'll pass and I won't be able to keep these kids from sleeping! And then, I'll go to my own bed, and snuggle my little newborn Maria in next to me, because some lessons are hard to learn. :)