Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bigger than sleep!

I am a big softie when it comes to certain issues with my kids. I think of how fast they grow up, and it plays on my emotions and I make some decisions based on those emotions rather than with my brain.

Now this isn't to say I don't discipline or I let them get away with murder, definitely not the case.

But there are certain issues that come along, that I am soft.

Case in point, Vicky has co-slept with us much of her almost 3 years. On the nights she wasn't sleeping upright in her swing, she was in my arms in bed between us. Of course, she nursed, so this did make it extremely easy. I did make many attempts in that first year to get her to stay in her bed all night, but it wasn't easy and we had many bumps in the road. It was Karl who finally convinced me to stop trying so hard, and just let things be.  And from then on, she'd come into our bed whenever she woke up during the night. For the first almost 2 yrs, she slept in our room due to housing situation and only being able to find a 2 bedroom to rent. So really, it was in the best interest of all involved, to keep nighttime disturbances to a minimum and if that meant letting her sleep with us, so be it.

A year ago last month we moved into a three bedroom and we no longer had to share a bedroom. From that point on, Vicky would wake once a night or so, and I'd go get her. I can probably count on one hand how many nights since January that she has slept all night in her room. It's a rare occurrence.

So here she is approaching three years old next month and still coming into our bed. One would think as she gets older, it would get easier having her in here - I mean, she's bigger so it's not like you could even begin to forget she is here, not like when she was an infant and I slept practically with one eye open to make sure she was always safe. But actually, her being bigger is harder. She doesn't sleep well thanks to the tonsils - so she is constantly moving about - thrashing her legs - kicking us in one body part or another - moaning - crying out - tossing and turning - the list goes on and on. Oh and can't forget what I have so affectionately named, "dookie breath" - she has horrific bad breath thanks to those huge tonsils of hers. One whiff of that, has you scanning the room to see who pooped in a corner. It's gag-nasty!

Needless to say we all could use some better sleep.

But the kicker is, she's growing up so fast that part of me hates to have to force her to stay in her room. This is where me being a softie comes into play.

I know co sleeping isn't for everyone and I am not wanting to debate it's merits - to each his own.

But she is my baby - she is the baby that has wanted me - Trevor never wanted to sleep with me - he was much more content to be in his crib in his own room. Even now at 6.5 yrs old, I can't get him to snuggle. So the very fact that Vicky is so cuddly, well, I am weak....I love it!

A month or so ago, we took down the gates in the house  - giving Vicky freedom to go up and down the stairs as she likes. It was a huge step because we've had gates up for about 6 yrs now. Just this week, I threw out her booster seat for the kitchen chair - she's a big enough girl to sit on the chair and eat with us without it. She's going to preschool. She's turning 3 next month.

Truth of the matter is, I am scared.

Scared to stop co sleeping ...scared that every little sign of her being my baby is slipping away from me...scared that we'll never have this again if I let it go now ...scared that if I force her to stop sleeping with us now, she'll never want to cuddle again...scared that if I close my eyes too long, she'll be all grown up and this will all be a fleeting memory in my mind. And I have to ask myself, is it really that big of a deal to let her sleep with us? Or am I being selfish in trying to hang on to any last bit of "babydom" I can?!

I love my children so wholly ...so completely ....but they are growing up way faster than I'd like. Despite my best efforts at willing them to slow down, it has not worked. I just don't have that kind of power. (I suspect if I did, I might try to bottle it and sell it, but that's a blog for another day!) Just recently I was asked where I see us in 10 yrs? I couldn't answer. Truth is, the future scares me. I don't know what the future holds for Trevor. My hope is that he can better manage his Aspergers. But on the flip side, I worry as he gets bigger and older that it will become more apparent to other kids and that he'll be picked on more. In 10 yrs, he'll be approaching 17 yrs old - he'll be so close to be an adult. Wow. I worry about him being taken advantage of...being picked on...struggling to fit in and be "normal". I worry about Vicky and all the sickos out there these days. I don't want either of my children hurt. In 10 yrs, she'll be going on 13 - the teenage years with a daughter - sounds like great fun, huh? :-)

Back to my point, I love them so incredibly much - the years are flying by as it is, is it so wrong to want to hold onto whatever I can.......

(don't answer that....I don't think I am ready to be told I am wrong!)



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