Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WIP ~ The Great Sleepytime Shuffle

My baby slept all alone last night. In his own room. It seems convenient, with the new baby on the way and all, but it was all quite by accident.

His room normally gets used as a sort of dumping ground since he doesn't sleep there. Odds and ends waiting to get stowed or taken off the boat get tossed on the bed. And then there are the boy's collections. Oh the collections. Not very ideal for a weight conscious catamaran (cats can not be overloaded or it impacts their sailing performance) he has managed to hide rocks in every nook and crannie of the boat.  And then there are the coins. And the "jewels". And then just the "treasures" (bits of shell, sticks, dead bugs, broken watches, you name it). So I bought a bead organizer and some small containers and told him, "You can stuff whatever you want that will fit in these. Everything else has to go."
No complaints. He thought the whole exercise was loads of fun. We talked about what to put where, how to categorize them, what to keep, and so on.
Then I off loaded the junk I was storing in his room (clothes to give away, clothes to try on, craft supplies). And before we knew it, the boy had a clean-ish and clear-ish room. And the boy realized he had a radio at the foot of his bed and a case of audio books.
 The momentum of novelty took over and he cuddled in with a good story streaming from the speakers and his blankies at his side and before we knew it, it got really quiet... and he was asleep. So we left him.
So what?-- some might say. Well for a family that has shared a bed since birth and never really tried to sleep train or coax the child out of the family bed, it was a big hairy deal. And weird. And normally my hormones would have kicked in (like they did the one other weird night this happened, a couple of years ago), but I would be lying if I didn't admit how much my ever-widening body LOVED the extra bed space. Oh to stretch out!

It all comes on the heels of The Great Bed Dilemma that arose about 30 seconds after I realized I was pregnant. The conversations went something like this. "Honey, I am pregnant." D- "Wow, (insert happy yet shocked husband comments here). So how are we going to all fit in the bed?" And then when we decided to tell Zach... "Zach, mommy has a baby in her tummy. You're going to be a big brother." Z- "A Baby! Hooray, I always wanted a little brother or sister (insert more happiness). So mama, how are we going to fit the baby in the bed?" It was the first thing we all asked.

The thing is, we weren't looking for an excuse to kick him out. We were all quite snug and happy. And we certainly don't want to force the issue with the baby as the catalyst. So we've been in Palastine-Israel level negotiations for several months trying to create a solution. Friends I know who also do family beds simply buy or build bigger beds. Not an option on board the boat. So we've talked about him sleeping on the floor or our room, him sleeping at the foot of the bed, him having some fold out cot/ bed thing that we could build... something??

And then this. Snoring happily just about all night long in his own room. Completely out of the blue.

He unceremoniously climbed back in with us around 5am. When we woke up in the morning I chatted with him about how it went. He said it was "ok". "But mama, I NEED to feel someones skin next to me when I sleep." *Sigh* Can you blame him? This is why adults couple off if possible and don't sleep in separate beds a la Mike & Carol Brady. Humans need other humans. We need that touch. If we as grown ups are not willing to sleep alone, why should kids if they don't want to? But maybe he wants to?

So we'll see... and we'll shuffle.... and we'll find something, somehow that works for everyone. It's truly a work in progress. So we'll keep that room tidy... just in case.

18 comments:

Kelly said...

Hi,

I started following your blog a little while ago and I absolutely love your photos. Your colors are so vibrant and they really seem to pop. I was wondering if there was anything specific you did to make the colors appear that way. Do you use any kind of filter on your camera or do any kind of post processing?

Thanks!

boatbaby said...

Hi Kelly,
Thank you for stopping by and the kind words. Three things that help with photos (1) never use a flash
(2) the blog is set against a black background, which makes everything pop (3) sometimes I like to play with photos in picnik.com if I have time. Just hitting "auto-fix" often does the trick to color correct. And sometimes I like to play with the "Lomo" effect which really makes colors pop. Picnik is free and just a small fee for a year if you want to use the expanded options. Tons of fun!

Joy said...

Awww...good luck figuring out your bedtime solution. I know you will. How nice to have a night to stretch out though. :)

Amber Lee D. said...

Hi there, I really enjoy reading your blog. Your post today made me think of my three babies and how they chose to do things before I was ready. All three weaned themselves without my permission. My last was the earliest at the young age of 1 year. I found myself crying at the lactation nurse's office because I couldn't stop my baby from biting me. She just looked at me with very kind eyes and said "honey he is ready to wean". It was like someone had slapped me in the face...I always imagined and wanted to nurse till my children were two, but none of them did it. I went with the flow and gradually over a couple of weeks my "baby" weaned himself on his own terms. I was sad at the time but looking back I feel the same as you. I am glad he made the decision rather than me making it for him because of an imaginary time line I had in my head.

boatbaby said...

Amber,
Thank you for sharing your experiences. I remember when Z went through the biting stage of nursing, it's very normal especially as new teeth popping through cause discomfort. I found that as much as I disliked the biting, I knew that nursing gave him some teething relief. Here is a fabulous resource to check out if you want: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html
It's great that you are thinking these things through :)

Cassandra said...

My girls both started out in our bed. When we moved the little one out of her crib, we asked them if they wanted trundle beds or if they'd like to share a bed. So for now, they cuddle up together in a bed. It's lovely to have someone you love to snuggle up with!

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

It totally takes you by surprise, doesn't it?! We wanted Kaulini to move to her own bed for over a year and didn't really push her to it but had it all ready for her then *BOOM* she suddenly decideds shes ready and hasn't looked back since. I am loving the extra space but I do miss her!!!! <3 <3

Farmgirl Susan said...

Putting all those wonderful treasures in the bead organizer and little jars is such a perfect, tidy solution. The organizer is nice and portable, and the jars look so pretty all lined up. :)

I just found your blog via GardenMama's Wash Wednesday. Looking forward to reading more about your life afloat!

mare said...

not to mention all of the other animals that choose to sleep in a pack and snuggle. they don't force their babies outside of 'the nest' to fend for themselves all night long. my own son is 20 months old and we have shared sleep since birth. its all he knows. yes, to each his own but i do cringe when i heard my friends speak of their own babies (many in cribs) and how it is time to 'sleep train' them...

ps. hope you are feeling better! :-)

Erin J said...

We have been cosleepers on and off (happen to be off right now) but I like snuggling with my little people!

My friend did what an earlier commenter did and had the kids share a bed. Mine love to do that on trips too!

Earth Mama said...

So sweet. We shuffle as well. Most nights my husband sleeps with the almost four year old, me in my room with the littest. The two older, girls, share a room with bunk beds. A lot of nights someone ends up back in bed with me, but like you said, we shuffle. It's whatever someone needs in that moment we need to remember, and then it all works out someway or another.

:)Lisa

erin said...

What a sweet little comment. I don't blame him at all. My daughter is definitely at the shuffling stage and pretty much whenever my husband has duty or is underway she needs the comfort of sleeping with me too. Good luck with figuring it out. You little boy is so sweet!

angie said...

hehe, we Have a four year old and an almost 2 year old, and we play musical-beds nightly. We find having a couple adult-sized beds does help, so everyone can have a cuddle-buddy, and a quiet place to go, in case things get outta hand in the big bed! Party in mom's bed at three in the morning! Everyone is invited!!!

River Sanctuary: Marykaye said...

How lovely to allow kids to feel safe and just move when they are ready. We check in with our 6 year old once in awhile to see if he'd like to start moving into his own room but I figure he'll eventually want that on his own and then it'll be the right time. I know I'll miss him then, too! ;)

Seven C's said...

We often do the musical bed thing here also. Of course, the oldest of the kids want their own beds, but our three youngest play musical beds nightly. They all seem to take turns in bed with us or with each other or just finding which bed will be empty for the night. They do love to be able to sleep in the same bed with each other or with us. When we are on the boat there will be three or four of them sleeping together in the v-berth.
Reminiscent of "The Biggest Bed in the World" (Thanks for telling us about that book - it is great!)

Beth said...

I love your boy's collection box and its amazing contents! love, Beth

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Hi -- I found you via "this moment" and this post caught my eye...

My son (who is six) is a collector, too! I've given him a special box, but I think he needs things that has dividers like that.

And yes to the ever-evolving cosleeping experience! :)

Cat said...

I sooo agree! My little guy sleeps in his own bed, by his own choice, but when he comes in and snuggles in the morning, it is so nice.

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