the girls share a bedroom and a bedtime routine. they have always shared a bedroom, but it wasn’t until six months or so ago that we started putting them down at the same time. (until then, one parent would take each girl, or one parent would do one girl followed by the other. ((we would read to finley in our bed and then move her after she fell asleep in our bed or, if edith was already asleep, move her right after reading and cuddle time.))
once edith rounded two and their sleep schedules and habits fell more in line, we blended this process, and it has been really useful for me and pat. it gives one parent a “night off” from bedtime to decompress, go out and do something, finish up some work or writing, etc.
*pat and i usually alternate nights, but we’re flexible based on what else is going on, how i am feeling, etc.*
i had always wanted the girls to share a bedroom from the beginning. i’m not sure what my reasoning is here (we have enough bedrooms for them to each have their own), but it just seemed like the right fit for their dynamic. they are close in age, they share so much, and they are also incredibly attached to one another. (and actually, while in houston last week, they shared a queen sized bed every night and slept more soundly than they had in WEEKS. pat and i could not stop peeking in on them to stare at their little arms and legs splayed out on each other’s faces. it was so good.)
i’m sharing these logistics because i know some moms read this blog, and i am always interested in how other parents are doing meals, sleeping, etc. etc. when you have kids you have to base your decisions on your own family’s personalities and style, but it’s also so curious to hear about how other families are doing things!
but the real story lies here:
last night i did bedtime. pat snuck out right after bath to hit golf balls, and after two books in e’s bed i walked finley over to her bed, tucked her in, and got back next to e. the three of us talked about our day and said a prayer. (finley likes to ask god every night for “no bad dreams.”) then i put on some soft music and laid with edith until she fell asleep. (which took 3 minutes.) i crawled out of edith’s bed and went to kiss finley and lay with her for one minute. she is always quietly awake waiting for me, and she wraps her arms around my neck and whispers, everytime, “mom, how much do you love me?” “finley, i love you more than 100 million trillion jupiters.” “YOU DO?!!?!?”
(finley, y’all. i highly recommend her for all your heart needs.)
i told her to sleep well and left the room, and decided to take a shower while i waited for pat to get home. sometimes finley does come out so i made sure to pill around for a few minutes to make sure i could shower without being so scared by her sneaking in the bathroom that the baby popped out.
it didn’t work. i waited several minutes but she still snuck out of her room as i was two minutes into my shower. (thankfully my guard was up so no being scared shitless took place.)
as i watched her slowly walk down the hall to the bathroom where i was (i had also watched her slowly open the door and peer out), i thought, i’m just gonna let her stay in here with me while i finish my shower. most nights we are strict about immediately walking her back to bed and saying, “it’s bedtime finley, please stay in your room.” but, well, i was all wet.
and so she stayed.
she sat quietly and happily on her stool by the sink, talking to me, watching me, feeling, i think, happy to be with me in a space that she usually isn’t. that feeling of “wow, mom doesn’t usually let me do this and it feels…special. different. random.” she watched me dry off, put on my face lotion, and i let her rub belly oil all over my bump.
i’m not sure how much of their everyday bedtime routines i will remember as they get older. i’m not sure if i will remember that we always read two books, or that they always prayed to not have bad dreams. i’m not sure if i will even remember how pat and i alternated nights and sometimes he left to golf and i stayed to shower. these things are so engrained in our daily lives as parents, they too often float to a place where we can’t retrieve their meaning.
but the moments, the minutes, the nights like last night – the times when she sneaks out and stays with me for a while, when i watch her little face watch mine, and i feel her little hand on my growing belly before i tuck her back in to bed…
those are the memories that won’t so easily float.
and they may just stay with her, too.