Sunday, August 19, 2012

To Sleep, Perchance to Own a Bunk Bed

sleeping beauty

Zinashi is trying to sleep all night in her own bed. It's her third try, maybe her fourth. She wanted to try it last night, but Jarod didn't give me the message, so I just carried her to the big bed as per usual when I was ready to turn in for the night. I'd love it if this new development were due to her sincere desire to gain a new skill, but it's actually because she really wants a bunk bed. In fact, I deliberately misled her to believe that she would have to begin sleeping on the top bunk immediately after purchase, and thus I could not agree to a bunk bed unless she could sleep on her own until morning. It's just too hard to get a sleepy girl down from a top bunk, I told her, omitting the part about how Elvie won't be ready for a big girl bed for years, and she could probably claim the bottom bunk as her own until then.

We have always maintained that Zinashi could sleep in our bed for as long as she needed to. From the time we first brought her home, we put her to bed in her own bed to fall asleep (with us present and until she fell asleep in the beginning), then brought her into the big bed when we were ready to sleep. It was a good system for us, and ensured that the transition to her own bed full time would be smoother once she was ready. Right before we moved, she expressed a desire to sleep the whole night in her room, just like her friend Mona, but we put her off, knowing it wouldn't stick after the upheaval of the cross country move. We were right about that, and she still showed no signs of readiness through the adoption process and bringing Elvie home.

Now, however, with everyone here at home, I began to sense that she might be ready to try it. So when the opportunity arose to offer her motivation via bunk bed obsession, I seized it. I kind of hate bunk beds, but we could really use the space in the big bed for Elvie now, and having Zinashi sleep in her own bed would give that to us. It's not that she won't fit so much as it is that Zinashi is just too unpredictable in her sleeptime movements to ensure the safety of a much smaller baby. We've been using the bassinet stroller parked next to my side of the bed, and it works all right, but it's not what we want for Elvie, or for me as the nighttime feeder, frankly. Lifting her out when I am so sleepy always feels a little precarious. So if Zinashi can figure out how to sleep all night in her own bed, that would be good for all of us.

I will miss her in the big bed, though. I have really enjoyed having her there, snuggling up to me in her sleep without realizing what she's doing, or snaking one hand toward me if she's snuggled up next to Jarod on the other side. I think that it will bolster her confidence to be able to spend the night on her own, and it will make a lot of things simpler in terms of meeting Elvie's attachment needs, but still.  Still. After nearly two years of having her between us while we sleep, it will feel strange not to hear her particular sleep noises or to wake up and be unable to see her beautiful face as it relaxes in sleep. I know that I can always sneak into her room and take a peek, but it won't be the same, especially when I have to climb up to the top bunk to do it.

Time, it marches on. At least Elvie will still be a baby for awhile longer.

3 comments:

  1. We have the same "night-time parenting theory" it sounds like. 1) I'm so glad I'm not the only one- I often feel like I'm crazy for not forcing my almost two-year old to sleep in his own room all night. and 2) I am going to miss him SO MUCH when he moves on. Good luck!! (And good for you for following her lead, so hard to let them grow "away" from you)!

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  2. This is not the place to put this out there, but my computer is flipping out and emailing you isn't an option. I wanted to make sure you were aware of the recent study regarding pain med/morphine dirivatives and ethiopians being rapid metabolizers. There have been at least 3 deaths and a 4th precarious situation lately. I posted it on my fb page earlier this week.I'll see if I can post it to your fb page. we'll see.

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  3. I struggled with moving our littles out of our bed too. Sometimes it felt like the only redeeming moment of our parenting that day was when we all snuggled in together in the bed for the night. Now they're all off in their own beds and I miss that easy opportunity for connecting with them.

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