Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You Are Getting Sleepy

Tonight we began the long and arduous task of juggling a bedtime routine for two children. Jax's bedtime routine has been set in stone for a year and a half; we started it when he was twelve weeks old and have never varied it since. Yesterday Em turned twelve weeks old, so we undertook the same mission, to have her go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night. Eventually. Hopefully soon.

Our new routine goes like this: At 6:30 Daddy gives Jax a bath and I get the rooms ready for bed—nightlights on, shades down, pajamas out and overnight diapers on hand. When Jax's bath is finished, I take over and rub him all over with lotion, his “age,” as he calls it, pronounced "ahj," short for massage. Then pjs and books until Daddy comes in and I take over Em, repeating the process. Daddy gets Jax down, then comes in and reads to Em while she has her last meal, then hopefully she nods off and I lay her down for the night. JDubbs goes downstairs and starts dinner while I do the very slow put-baby-in-bed dance during which every movement seems to jostle her awake and start the whole process over again. We started at 6:30. Jax has been asleep for a while, but it’s almost 9:00 and JDubbs and I have been taking turns going up to soothe Em and pray that this is the last time we head up there. We actually got to eat at the same time and watch an episode of Entourage. She’s a good peanut and isn’t adverse to going asleep on her own; this is just a lot earlier than she’s been going to sleep prior to tonight. Oh well, she’s got to start sometime.

I miss giving Jax both of our full attention at bedtime, but unless they share a room in the future I don’t see how that will be possible. At least they both get one of us all to themselves, and perhaps when Em is more comfortable taking a bottle we can alternate kids. For now, I’ll be happy to go in and do my little tuck-in ritual with Jax and listen to JDubbs read to Em like we did for Jax. I can’t believe Em is big enough to be put to bed, not just fall asleep on my shoulder. Is that stage really already over? I am so grateful every night that we can just put Jax in his crib, say goodnight, and walk out of the room because I love having time alone with JDubbs just the two of us to eat and catch up. I want Em to be on a bedtime schedule, too. But I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast; it’s going by so much quicker than it did with Jax and I feel like I’m not even cherishing it enough because I’m barely able to keep my head above water with the two of them. Did I snuggle her little baby self enough? Does she know that her mommy is the best pillow in the world, no matter what time of day or night it is? I want her to sleep well, but I don’t want her to grow up too fast. If those things must go hand in hand, then maybe I’ll take a few nights of poor sleep now and then to get a little extra cuddle from my baby girl.

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