“Won’t it be fun to share a bedroom with your sister?”
Oh my, were we ever naïve when we first broached the room-sharing topic.
Put two kids in a room, kiss them goodnight, and turn out the lights, right? Sure, there would be a few minutes of shenanigans, but then they would go to sleep, and we would free up some bedroom space for the New Baby in our home. Easy peasy, right?
How far into this parenting thing do I have to go before I wise up?
7:30pm: “Ok, now we’ve had stories and songs. You both lay your heads down and go to sleep.” Close door, sigh of relief.
7:45 pm: Verse 865 of “The Wheels on the Bus” from behind the door.
7:50 pm: Older child to younger child, “PLEASE stop talking to me!!!!!”
8:00 pm: Younger child can be heard bouncing on the bed, sing-shouting. No noise from older child.
8:30 pm: Same
9:30 pm: Same
10:30 pm: Same. Husband retrieves younger child from shared room. Older child never stirs.
10:35 pm: Younger child falls asleep in original bedroom.
7:30 pm: “Ok, now we’ve had stories and songs. You both lay your heads down and go to sleep. Bigger child, why don’t you sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle to your sister to help her go to sleep?” Close door, bargain with Higher Power.
7:40 pm: Round 42 of “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
7:50 pm: Little is singing “Twinkle, Twinkle.” No more noise from big child.
8:50 pm: Little is talking to her sleeping sister. She sings some more. I forgive my mother for drinking while pregnant in the 70s. Maybe she was on to something….
9:30 pm: Silence. Success?
9:40 pm: Success!
2:10 am: “Nanna? NANNA! Wake up! Sing me ‘Twinkle, Twinkle!’ NANNAAAAAAA!!!!”
2:11 am: Husband retrieves younger child from shared room. Older child never stirs.
2:15 am: Younger child falls asleep in original bedroom. I lay awake for another hour and a half, enjoying the sleepless side of pregnancy and parenthood. I consider renting an apartment for the younger child so that the rest of us can enjoy some peace.
6:30 pm: “Ok, little one. You are going to sleep in your sister’s room tonight. Then the new baby can sleep in your room when it comes, and you can be a big girl like your sister!”
Little one narrows her eyes. “No. No. New baby can sweep in my dister’s woom. I stay in my woom.”
6:31 pm: We completely give up.
I was at a loss.
As it is so often in parenthood, the child had me at her mercy in unchartered waters. In these times, I feel totally incompetent and wonder who the heck I thought I was cut out to become a mom in the first place. In my career, there were procedures, protocol, answers. I got to get into my car at the end of the day and left the problem behind. Now I’m responsible for all aspects of maintaining and developing a human life. I get overwhelmed by this, and even the simplest solutions evade and astound me.
So, I turned to other moms on Facebook, the Dr. Spock of the new millennium. A fellow MKE mom gave me the simple and obvious answer: put on my big girl pants and tell her, “Hey girl, this is how it is now. But….you get new stuff!” This was just so crazy, it might work! Good old fashioned bribery for the win.
Little and I went to Target and she got a fuzzy blanket and soft pillow for her new room. She squished her tiny fists under her chin and squealed, “I soooo escited!”
Me too, tiny girl. Me too.