Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sleeping Arrangements

If the robins outside had not abandoned their nest already, they certainly would have this week. Apparently it was construction week here; besides Monday’s adventures in file cabinet assembly, a crew of construction workers have been stripping and replacing the siding on our apartment building. Hayden must have exclaimed, “Mang mang mang!” a hundred times as we listened to the sounds of hammers all day. The commotion prevented the children from napping for a few days, but on the plus side, it also kept them occupied; the day the workers were right outside our window, Donny and Hayden glued themselves to the glass to watch the crew in action. They even practiced hanging pretend siding with a toy hammer, converted their toy eating utensils to tools (the forks now have bent prongs as a result of being used as screwdrivers), and donned their yellow Bob the Builder-style construction hat. Speaking of which, one of Hayden’s favorite songs lately is the Bob the Builder theme: “Baa-woo! Yay yay yay!” sung perfectly to the tune of “Bob the Builder, yes we can!” Despite his limited vocabulary, I am amazed at his ability to carry a tune!

Today Daddy’s tool box made another appearance, this time to disassemble. We decided to take the front rail off of Hayden’s crib to convert it into a toddler bed. After Daddy and his crew had finished the task of removing the rail and lowering the mattress, we pushed Donny’s twin mattress up against it so that they now have an L-shaped sleeping area, though so far they have used it more as a playground. In fact, Donny dubbed it “the jump,” referring to how they jump (or in Hayden’s case, tumble) from the crib to the larger mattress. I tried to take pictures, but most of them came out blurry because the boys were moving around so much.

I’m curious to know where the children will end up sleeping now. Although we have provided him with a comfortable pillow top mattress of his own, Donny prefers to nap on the floor beside his bed, and lately he has been starting off the night in Hayden’s crib, which means that poor Hayden gets placed in the corner while Donny stretches out in the middle of the mattress – the crib mattress that was obviously meant for one very small person. Then at some point during the night, he wakes up and runs into our room, trailing his sheet behind him. In fact, Don and I couldn’t stop laughing one night when Donny had put the sheet over his head, and we watched a little green ghost dash across the living room and bump right into the wall.

Hayden usually stays in his crib once he falls asleep, but the past few nights he too has woken up and pointed to our bedroom, crying, “Dada!” I’m not sure why he has suddenly decided that our bed is the place to be, but letting him join the slumber party means waking up to feet in my face or little hands pulling my hair – and that’s only after he stops rolling around and finally goes to sleep. Plus, as you can imagine, it’s not entirely comfortable for four people to sleep on a queen size mattress, though this is not the first time we have tried it. When Hayden was first born, we were living with family and the four of us shared one bedroom, so both children often slept in our bed. It was so crowded that I vividly remember thinking that I would be blissfully happy if I could just sleep on my stomach, instead of being stuck on my side thanks to limited space and an easily awakened newborn. These recent nights of co-sleeping (or co-waking-up-every-few-hours) have brought back those memories, and with them the thankfulness that even if we fail to use them to their full potential, it is nice to have two bedrooms. Someday, maybe we will even have three. In the meantime, we are thinking of saving up for a king-size mattress...or getting rid of the bed altogether and giving everyone a sleeping bag on the floor.

The advantage to the bedroom invasion is the opportunity to spend more time bonding with our little ones. No matter how loud and chaotic the day may be, or how restless the night, or what challenges the next day will bring, I am always filled with warm affection at the sight of my children sleeping. I love seeing them curled up with a peaceful look of innocence on their face. For me, it the most poignant reminder of what precious blessings they are, and what a great responsibility it is to raise them up for God. And on the rare mornings when I manage to sneak out of bed before anyone else is awake in the morning, it melts my heart to see my three men snuggled together in blissful slumber. I am truly blessed!

We have this verse hanging above the children’s beds, and Donny memorized the comforting words when he was just two years old:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8

I am thankful for the construction that made our home a safer place to live, but so much more so, I am thankful that He alone makes us dwell in safety, and allows us to sleep in peace.

Donny, two years ago

1 comment:

  1. So true, thanks for the encouragement!!

    And I highly recommend getting a king size mattress... best investment we have made... if you have an ikea nearby they have inexpensive mattresses, that are also non-toxic!