Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sleep and Curly Hair

((Insert comments about how busy I've been here))

OK!  Now that we have my excuses over, I'm going to talk about something that I've wanted to talk about, but have been too intimidated to post here on the blog as it is "public".  SLEEP.  Or How We Are Still Co-Sleeping With (and bfing) The Twins.  You should leave now if this topic annoys you or it might bug you.  (For those of you who don't have children or are way past this stage, sleep and how one's family accomplishes it appears to a controversial subject for modern parents)

But for everyone else who wants to know what it's like for a working mother to AP-ish with twins, keep reading.

So, umm, yeah. We are still co-sleeping.  Generally, we are really just co-sleeping with Bridget, because Christopher, THANK OUR LUCKY STARS, sleeps all night long in his crib.  Indeed, he is the ONLY child who regularly sleeps through the night. Conor usually gets up around 1:30 and either climbs in bed with us and he and Dave go sleep in the guest room, should our bed be over-crowded.

Again, if this bothers or annoys you, stop reading now!  This is our family's choice!  Your mileage may vary!

Bridget usually starts off in our bed because it's rare that the twins actually go to sleep at the same time at night and one tends to be rocking and rolling while the other one is nodding off.  We've also found it's easier to land Bridget in our bed than in her crib.  We're lazy parents and we like to do things the easy way, what can I say.

Fortunately, Bridget is the least likely of our sleep bunnies to want to be the middle part of an "H" or an "N" while we sleep. If you co-sleep, you know that I mean they sleep directly across (H) or diagonally across (N) the bed.  Bridget is more of a || sleeper meaning she is right up against either Dave or me.

Really, it's not bad, mostly because she is such a cuddler and I am, too.  (Break in story:  Christopher actually kissed me in his sleep one night!  In the middle of the night, he sat up, grabbed my face, kissed it, and went right back to sleep.  Have to say that was pretty dang special!)  But back to Bridget.  The main problem is when she's not all the way asleep and she shouts out (literally!): I WANT BOOBY!  BOOBY!

This is 1) where we think we should have taught them a different word and 2) where you should leave if your face is turning red.  We've actually made great progress on her not needing so much booby in the middle of the night.  Unfortunately, part of that transition is that she likes to sleep with her hand down my shirt.  Given the choice. . .

Well, let's just say that I sometimes lie in bed with my arms crossed over my chest until she's in a deeper sleep and I can push her over to Dave.  (And Dave would tell you if he had his own blog that she will go fishing down his shirt, too, which is a fine Howdy Doo way to wake up!)

So there.  The story arc for this post is somewhat (completely!) lacking, but that's what you get for reading the blog of a working mother of three.

We plan on bfing and co-sleeping until we stop.  You should take bets on when that will be, because we have no idea.

As for the curly hair, there are two sub topics.  One, I've started following the advice in the Curly Girl Handbook and my hair looks gorgeous, if I do say so myself.  Second, Conor was bullied yesterday on the bus because of his curly hair.  Some older kid made fun of it and told him that he was going to pull it all out so that Conor couldn't have curly hair anymore.

In all of Conor's life, I have never seen him so genuinely upset.  He's sensitive and cries, but this was different. He had real, deep hurt and real, grieving tears.  I had honestly thought the south had gotten past its issues with curly hair and that we had inoculated Conor to curl problems by keeping it long and celebrating it  his whole life.

So he and I took a walk away from everyone else at the bus stop so we could talk about it.  And I told him what I think is true:  this kid is jealous of Conor's curly hair.  Conor first denied that but I don't think he knew what jealous meant.  So then I asked him, "Conor, how many people have told you how beautiful your hair is?"  Conor thought for a moment and realized that he ALWAYS gets compliments on his hair wherever we go.  Strangers stop and stare at his hair and say "Don't ever cut that; it's beautiful!"  Then I said, "How many times do you think anyone has ever stopped this boy and told him how beautiful his hair his?" "Never," Conor said with some confidence.  We talked a bit more and moved on.

Last night, when Dave spoke to Conor about the incident, Conor told him that Mommy told him the boy was just jealous of his hair and it was all ok.

I'm hoping that this all ends up with a pat on my back for handling this situation well and preparing us for bigger issues.  I did email the head of busing for his school, who said he will address the issue.  I actually just responded with a hopefully subtle suggestion to handle this sensitively so that the problem does not escalate.

The problems change when they get older and the problems get more serious.  I have had several mom mentors tell me this about parenting.  I believe it's true.  But it's also true that these parents and their children are sleeping through the night and they don't remember what it's like to be tired all the time, either.

HA!  I did make a link back in the curls story back to the sleep story!  And that's the best I can do in this overly long post.

((Imagine here:  promises about how it's not going to be so long before I post again))

1 comment:

Piratewench said...

Gosh. All 3 of mine still sleep with me and DH sleeps in DS's room because he gets home in the morning anyway. It's all about that kiss you mentioned. I wouldn't trade the snuggles and gazing upon their faces for anything. They sleep more securely and so do I. These days will end. You will not find me rushing them to do so. I refuse to defend my choice to anyone, but I'm very aware of the existing criticism.

About Conor's hair...that just breaks my heart and pisses me off. Max has been teased about having "orange" hair and at the time it was also long, so the boys told him he had girl's hair. Bless my little guys heart, he was only 4 years old, but he swung a bat at them. It took everything I had to refrain from saying "good for you," lol. Not that I think a bat is a way to handle things, but you never want to see your kids hurting. He does have beautiful hair and I've been trying to brush off his requests to cut it lately again. But twice, recently, an adult has called him a girl because of the long hair and so he is getting impatient with me to cut it. I'm so sad. Don't know how much longer I can put his request off.

Hugs to you guys! All of you!!!