I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Slightly Sad Slightly Elated

I never in a month of a million Sundays expected anything to come of it. I never in a month of Sundays believed they were ready.  I never thought it would happen so fast.

My. Girls. Are. In. Another. Room. In. ANOTHER BED. Alone, without me. Without me being able to touch them in the middle of the night. Without me being able to hear them breathing and moving and snorting and grunting and farting and talking in their sleep...talking in their sleep for heavens sake....its the best thing to hear, and now I can't.

The playroom has always been the playroom, its never had a bed in it and whenever I called it a bedroom the girls would instantly correct me 'its the playroom mum'.  Last week we finally bought the bunk beds that we have been talking about for months, well ever since Ellie started watching Peppa Pig (Preppy Pigshite as I used to call it) so that's probably nearer a year.  Up until our proper concerted efforts to find bunk beds, I didn't believe anything would come of them.  Given the fact that Maia still wakes for milk early morning and goes back to sleep, snuggled between Barry and myself and Ellie still gets upset if I ask her to sleep in the side bed, which is attached to the main bed, I wasn't convinced they would even entertain the notion of sleeping in them. Alone.  

They went with Barry to go and buy the bed and on the way they played a game 'We are going to get something exciting, can you guess what it is?'.  I will tell you if its bigger or smaller than your guess (who says kids don't learn at home).  Here are her guesses:

Fairy Lighting, Crown, toy Church(???), swing, horse, car, cloud, toy bush, toilet, floor

So Barry said "It's been taken apart and so we need to put it back together again" (crap clue if you ask me).  Ellie's final guess was 'toy elephant'.

We had already decided we were not going to put any meaning onto the bunk beds other than the fact that they are fun.  We made no mention of the fact that they HAD to sleep in them, that they were even for them or that we didn't want them in the bed.  Although in all honesty, lately, with my back seizing issues and needing more space in bed, I have definitely been vocal about that need.  I was very clear though, to tell Ellie it was nothing to do with her, I still loved her even though she was beside me in the side bed instead of beside me in the main bed.  There really is literally my arms length between us (and the small gap down the middle of the two beds).

The bunk beds were assembled that same afternoon, Ellie was beside herself with excitement and  although I'm not sure she is ready for this, Maia was spending the whole time letting me know the beds were for her and Ellie and NOT for mummy and daddy.

We have always felt night time parenting was just as important as the day stuff. So that meant co-sleeping and staying with them till they fell asleep, breastfeeding, stories, songs, discussing the day and being there when they woke up.

So, come bed time I figured, OK this is actually going to happen, so lets see where it goes. It went till after 11pm is where it went.  I think the girls we too excited to settle & kept finding toys to bring in with them, share with each other, pass down, dangle down, throw up, throw off.  They got out of bed, into each others, out to the toilet, into the main bed...back and forwards for two hours.   I am afraid to say my patience was shot by the end of it, there was some shouting and I even considered just closing the door and leaving them to it.  Eventually after much craziness, including Maia chucking me out of her bed and then the whole room.  Ellie wanting us in her bed but nothing on her bed.  Maia wanting me back in her bed and then out again but stay on the chair, they fell asleep.  Barry, all 6ft4 of him with Ellie on top bunk and me sitting on floor beside Maia on bottom bunk.

I figured that Ellie would probably wake in the morning, as usual and would either shriek in fright and upset because I wasn't there and Maia would wake and plod through quietly.  Well I was wrong!

Ellie came in quietly, making her way from the top bunk no problems about 6amish and went straight to sleep on the bed beside me.  Maia woke up 7amish, cried, refused to come through, refused to allow daddy to pick her up 'cried' only for me and had a miss because she wouldn't move.  I brought her to the main bed where she had milk and fell asleep in her usual spot between Barry & me.

I recognise it has only been three days so it may not last.  We were both shocked they were so keen in the first place!

The jury is still out for how I feel, slightly sad and slightly elated. Nothing has really changed for me since they both still wake me in the morning, except now, as I said, they are not in arms or ears reach any more and they are not beside each other.  For that I am very sad.

Meltdowns - in a bunk bed
Losing the Plot - in a bunk bed
Breastfeeding - am I in the minority that can say 'in a bunk bed!'

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