21 December 2007


Of all of the good gifts God has given me, I might be most thankful for the Gift of Babies Who Sleep. That deserves all capitals, Brittani would tell you. Bridget still swears that I drug my kids. They have what I like to refer to as a "Strong Sleep Ethic." I've been known to put Addison down to bed at 6 p.m., and she'll still be asleep at 8 the next morning. Once she slept a whopping 15 hours before I woke her up. I promise I don't drug them. But any mom of little kids can tell you that children who sleep well are more valuable than diamonds. If I had to choose, I'd pick that over a 3 carat diamond. And I really love diamonds.

But--and this is a really big "but"--something happens to my kids once they graduate to the big kid bed. I remember Caiden getting in trouble more during one naptime than the previous two years combined, all because he wouldn't stay in his bed. For more than a year, I'd have to push the door open every single night to move his sleeping body away from it, pick him up, and put him back in his bed. That kid went to bed each night in his own bed, later migrated to wedge himself against his door, and had to be put back to bed. Every night for over a year. I'd like to say that has changed, but he just switched it up a little: now he appears in our bedroom sometime in the wee hours of the morning, curls up on the floor by the bed in a blanket, and sleeps until Chris wakes up. I can't tell you how many times I've almost stepped on him.

Grayson has been no different. He was an angel--until he got a real bed. Now he takes forever to fall asleep, crying for a nightlight, the door left cracked open, and snuggles, until I threaten all sorts of violence and consequences and whatnot. He finally falls asleep, only to sneak out of his bed in the middle of the night, crawl onto Caiden's bed, and then migrate with him to our bedroom later on. It's a scary thing to wake up and realize the three-year old has been awake and roaming the house. Bad things happen when preschoolers are unattended.

I have dreams of the days to come when the kids sleep in later than I do. That sounds like Having Arrived to me, you know? Thankfully, we have a split floorplan, which means all the bedrooms are on the same floor, but the secondary bedrooms are far, far away from the master. I love that. I ditched the baby monitor long ago, and sometimes we lock our bedroom door, just to keep the boys out at 5 a.m. Where they curl up then, I have no idea. But I sleep in perfect peace. I figure if somebody's having a crisis, I'll eventually hear it. Over the fan. And the ceiling fan. And through the door. It would have to be a crisis worth getting up over, come to think of it.

Last night I went in to check on Caiden and found him curled into a "C" on top of his covers. At his knees was Grayson, also curled into a "C." Together, they made an "O." Both were sound asleep, unknowingly snuggled next to the other's best friend. I hesitated before lugging Grayson back to his own room. Sometimes I pass by the bunk beds at furniture stores and wonder if I should get a set. But that makes me wonder, will Grayson still steal into Caiden's bed, if they room together? Probably not. And as much as I hate hearing the pitter-patter of little feet at 5 a.m., I love knowing that they're best friends, and that they'll both give up warm covers and some sleep to spend just a little more time together. As much as I value a good night's sleep, brothers who are friends is even better.

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