I was so thrilled when my kids finally seemed to notice each other when they were about six months old. The first time they laughed at each other was a shining moment, for sure. Now that they almost play with each other (OK, so they grab each other’s toys and ears, but it’s a start), I just love it. The two of them giggling and babbling at each other is one of the best parts about having twins so far.
Sometimes, though, it’s a little too much fun. Like at nap time. Oh my lord. For two babies who used to not even notice each other, now they can’t be stopped. Their cribs are lined up end-to-end in the little room they share, and now that they can both crawl around and stand up, it’s party time. Sometimes, when I hear them shrieking at each other over the monitor, it’s hilariously cute. 45 minutes later, when Rebecca has finally fallen asleep and Daniel is standing at the edge of his crib, glaring down at her, and screaming… not as much. And he has been fighting the afternoon nap tooth and nail for the last week (they’re only 11 months, and definitely not ready to drop a nap). Once or twice he has skipped it entirely, other times he takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to finally go to sleep. The resulting nap (if there is one) isn’t great, so it makes for a rough rest of the day.
It gets me wondering, as I occasionally do, exactly why I have them sharing a room and how long I want to continue doing it. Back in the days when they were still waking up at night a lot and taking bottles two or three times, I really preferred having them in the same place. We went through a phase when M freaked out that they were waking each other up, so we separated them, and it drove me nuts. Because they’d still wake up at the same time, so now I had to be two different places to soothe or feed them. No thanks, back in the same room they went. We kept them right next to each other when we Ferberized, and that really did help them learn to sleep through each other’s noises. And I really do like the idea of these two little kids sharing their room. I like that they entertain each other, that they make each other laugh.
Except, you know, when I want them to shut up and GO TO SLEEP!
So that’s when I wonder. Why, truly, do I have them in the same room? Is it better for them? Better for me? Or does it just seem cute but is entirely impractical for the sake of sleep? The main problem is really naps. At night, they go down pretty well. But sometimes those naps… ooh, man. And maybe separating them wouldn’t help, and it would turn out that Daniel’s just in the midst of a nap strike regardless of who else is in the room. Hopefully it’ll pass, but I know this is something I’m going to come back to over and over again in the next few years…
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Cross-posted at How Do You Do It?