Every morning for the last 18 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, Hazeline has woken up screaming. But who’s counting? Oh wait – Me. Okay, there have been a handful of mornings where she’s woken up and quietly played in her crib, but I can count those occurrences on one hand. So not kidding.
When she was a newborn, I expected the screaming and crying. In fact, I would have considered it odd (and outrageously lucky) if she woke up happy and cooing all the time. But by the time she hit 6-9 months I thought it would stop. By then babies are sleeping more regularly, eating solids, and can play alone for short periods of time. Around 8 months old, Greenleigh would wake up and spend 15-20 minutes in her crib, happily playing with her toys before I went in to get her in the mornings. It was blissful.
I’ve waited and waited with Hazeline, but that blissful moment hasn’t happened. Morning after morning, she wakes up in a state of absolute panic, screaming and crying. And make no mistake, by “screaming and crying”, I mean losing her ever-loving mind. Each and every single morning. In the old house we were all on the same floor, so I’d run to her room on the other end of our townhouse, grab Hazeline from her crib, and bring her back to our room to (hopefully) get some more sleep. In our new house, the sprint to get Hazeline includes running up a flight of stairs and leaping over obstacles that Greenleigh has put in the way on her late night jaunts through the house now that she can leave her room (thanks, toddler bed) – humidifier water tanks, stuffed animals, books, and occasionally Greenleigh, herself. All to get Hazeline before she screams so loud that she wakes Greenleigh up.
I’ve tried tons of things to stop the screaming – putting her favorite toys in her crib, taking everything out of her crib, getting her a sippy first thing in the morning, and even waiting a bit before going to get her to see if the crying would die down. I can assure you that the last one does not work. In fact, nothing has worked. Nothing.
But this morning as Hazeline started crying I was downstairs drying my hair and I didn’t hear the monitor. Greenleigh came running into my bathroom telling me that Baby Sister was up. She then asked if she could go into Hazeline’s room and see her. My hair was only halfway dried (and it tends to frizz if I leave it wet for too long) so it sounded like a fine idea. Over the next 15 or so minutes, I watched and listened to the girls play and laugh through the monitor. Hazeline was in the crib, but Greenleigh brought her toys and books for them to play with. There were also lots of knock knock jokes – Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. They had an absolute ball together. When I finally got up there, Hazeline in her crib reading a book and Greenleigh on the floor beside her crib, singing and playing with some dolls. I reached to grab Hazeline out of the crib, only for her to look at me like I was disturbing her. She was clearly having fun (and surrounded by a crap-ton of stuffed animals).
And then I had a thought – What if the girls were in the same room? What if they had the company of the other? Would Greenleigh feel compelled to leave the room if her baby sister was in there with her? And would Hazeline wake up screaming if she wasn’t in a room alone? What if they could play in the mornings together while I get ready for work? Greenleigh’s room is plenty big enough for Hazeline’s crib. And Greenleigh seemed pretty excited about the idea when I asked what she thought about Baby Sister sleeping in her room.
If you had asked me last week if the girls were going to share a room, I would have responded with “eventually”. But now I’m seriously thinking about moving up that time frame.
Lots of my friends have (older) kids that share rooms, but it’s normally an issue of space. That’s not our problem. We have the space for each of them to have their own room. And yet, this might be the only time when they might appreciate sharing a room. My sister and I shared a room from the time I was 7 until I turned 14, and trust me, sharing a room was not welcome at that point in my life. We constantly drew lines with masking tape down the center of the room dividing who got what. Unfortunately, one of us always ended up without access to the bathroom so that never stuck. But maybe this is an okay time for them to share a room, even if it’s based on preference and not necessity.
Do you have or have you had two young kids sharing a room? How did it work out? Did you do it because you had to (due to space) or because you wanted your kids to share a room?