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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sleep Tight

The kids are in their loft beds finishing off one last TV show (as agreed to per our bedtime negotiations).  I've been sitting in my bed in the room next door listening to the drone of the hallway fan while keeping watch for any suspicious activity.  All's well so far, outside of a few potty/"I'm thirsty" endeavors.

It's nothing like it was in the old days when the boys were young (like, last year...).

The boys are twins and I've always had a theory that they built up super human strength while confined to my uterus due to the resistance training they got from fighting each other for space.  There has never been a time that they were not mobile.  People think I exaggerate when I say this, but it is the life-force draining, age-accelerating, god-honest truth.  They never had floppy heads.  They always felt like solid little Italian bouncers.  I became aware that they could role over when, at 3 weeks old, they each rolled off of my sofa while I was sitting right next to them.  NOT one of my prouder mommy moments and, sadly, not my worst either.  By nine months both boys were running and I haven't stopped my heroic efforts to keep them alive since.

Along with their motion came copious amounts of energy and, again, a super human ability to NEVER sleep.  In the early years, I read every 'Get Your Baby To Sleep' book or article available.  I didn't have to look far for outsider's well-meaning counsel on the topic either.  It took an eternity of chasing my crib climbing, night adventurers and hauling them back to bed for me to accept that my boys were just wired differently.  I was going to have to go about the night hours in my own way.

When they were babies we were able to contain them with crib tents - fantastic inventions which attached to the top of the cribs and zipped closed in order to keep cats out.  Those were life savers until the boys figured out how to unzip, and just flat out break, the tents in order to escape.  By two years old they were beyond any restraints known to man.  They broke free from every crib enclosure, car seat, stroller or highchair designed.  A true wonder-twin force to be reckoned with.

That is when the night-watch duty began.  Every night bedtime consisted of all the usuals: bath, jammies, story time...  But then came the guard duty.  Both boys would be put to bed and one of us would have to stand post at their door until they miraculously gave in and fell asleep.  This usually took one to two hours of, "Bailey, lay down," "Noah, close your eyes," "Bailey! GO TO SLEEP!" and, you get the idea.

At last, and almost unbelievably, they would be down.

This is when the panic of, I HAVE to enjoy every second left before I go to sleep because it all starts again tomorrow! set in.  Of course, being a walking zombie got in the way of great productivity so I would inevitably give in to the siren of sleep...  Only to be awakened two or three times throughout the night by wandering toddler feet.  I eventually got wise and laid out make-shift beds beside mine for them to climb into in the wee morning hours.  I believe that action alone saved me from certain death by sleep deprivation.

I could, and possibly will, tell you a book full of twin adventure stories from these first 10 years of their lives.  Like the time my doorbell rang at four in the morning.  In a stupor, I opened the door to find four year old Noah standing there with a strange man.  Apparently, Noah had decided to walk across the street to mail his father's mag light in the community mailboxes (????) when an early morning jogger saw him and kindly guided him back home.  We installed a security system the next day.

I could tell you more, but the angels are sleeping now and so must I.  It does all start again tomorrow...

Thank God.

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