I used to think that infancy was the only time when sleep was a problem for parents. I was ready for a few months of getting up every few hours. I wasn't ready for years on end of interrupted slumber because someone has a cold or needs water or needs help going potty or is just not tired even though it's 2 a.m.. I wasn't ready for daylight savings prompting six weeks of transition, with at least one child awake before 6 a.m. every day from early November to late December.
Blogging forces me to construct stories about our lives, not just trudge through them. So in the midst of a weary season, I was thankful to be introduced to Sarah Heim's new blog for parents like me, Sleep Dreams, and I was grateful when she asked if she could reprint something I wrote last spring, Teaching Our Children to Sleep, Again. For those of you who haven't read it already, you will probably appreciate the entire post (I had forgotten most of the details, including Penny as drill sergeant), but I'll just quote the conclusion here:
It's tempting to put William back upstairs in his crib and keep Marilee in the pack n play. Keep the order. Maintain the distance. Because whether we're children or adults, sharing is tough. It's distracting. They wake each other up. They have to accommodate one another. And yet they also enjoy it. They're becoming a little team, learning how to work together as they try to outwit their parents. They play better together now during the day than they ever have before. They are becoming good friends. And if sleepless nights form a part of a foundation for their friendship, then I think I'll say it's worth it. Even though I really hope it's over soon.
It was a nice reminder that there might actually be benefits to this difficult season (and I trust it is a season and not a permanent reality). And yet one more reason to feel grateful for my mother, who will endure who-knows-what with all three of our children tomorrow night when she takes care of them as Peter and I slip away for a night alone together.