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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bed time is a tough time

The most dreaded part of being alone with the two little angels is putting them to sleep. When S was here we shared the task equally: I put Rohan to bed and slept with him, S put Rajiv to bed and slept with him - in a nice big boy bed with a star canopy :).

Rajiv is not ready yet to be in a room all by himself, especially now that he seems to be so easily upset, probably as a consequence of his father's absence. So I decided that for this month the three of us would sleep together in the Big Bed.

At first I was doing my usual goodnight thing with Rohan, while Appu watched some cartoons so that he would stay quiet. Rohan loves our bedtime routine: we read lots of books and he gets to choose which ones, so often we read the same book several times in a row. It is our special time together.

Unfortunately, with this method Rajiv would stay up very late. Sometimes he didn't want to leave the couch at all and one day he had a huge tantrum that resulted in us going to sleep after 1 AM, because I couldn't risk waking up Rohan by taking his screaming brother to bed before he had fully calmed down. Then Rajiv was very tired in the morning and wanted me to stay in bed with him, so I was never out of the house before 10AM.

The new routine, that has been in place for a few days, consists in us going to sleep together. Rohan doesn't like it, because sometimes we read books chosen by Rajiv and he just can't accept it - so he screams or grab the book, but we are working on it. This way it seems to take forever to make them sleep, so I always end up falling asleep too. Which means I don't get time to tidy up the kitchen or do anything else unless I do it before bedtime, which I don't always want or can do.

Of course one also has to account for The Unexpected. This could take the form of both children deciding they are hungry just when I was about to put off the light. The result is that we end up having a picnic with cookies and yogurt on the bed, while singing (not me), jumping around (not me) and reading books (me). Not very good for oral hygiene, because at that point there is no way I can make them brush their teeth again, but fun overall.

The Unexpected though could also take the form of Appu deciding to get up a 3AM and go downstairs to sleep on the couch while mamma puts her body all around him so he is "like in a cage". This is not so much fun. These days Appu is always busy making nests and houses and - since yesterday night - cages to hide into. Fortunately so far I have managed to convince him that the best nest is in our bed, where he gets to arrange his two current favorite blankets and the pillows just in the right way. Otherwise, sleeping with his head on my knees and his feet on my face seems to work too.

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