Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The ruckus which is night time sleep with 2 young kids

When my in-laws came to us when Jiya was about to be born, Vansh was very happy to have company in the room even at night time. That was also the time when he used to move from one room to the other making sure everyone was asleep, including Jiya, once she was born, before he laid down himself for his repose, the cliched "यह सबको सुलाके सोता है."

Once they left, Ashwini started sleeping with him to help him recover from the sadness that overwhelmed him and to assist him adjust to life with a sibling. However the futon in his room is okay for a few days but starts aching your back if slept on everyday. So when Ashwini started facing that problem, we thought that we would wait for Vansh to fall asleep and then Ash would come back to sleep on the bed in our room. That worked fine until 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 am, depending on what time Vansh woke up from his deep sleep. He would then come to our room, push me and Ashwini a bit to the sides and take his position between us, fidget lots, try to sleep sideways, forward, backward, his feet our head and vice versa, ask me to go and make something in the kitchen so he could have one side of the bed to himself and finally settle for a preferred position. And even then he would kick so much in his sleep, more often than not, the victim being me, that I would wake up feeling I had hardly gotten any sleep not because of the new baby who was being an angel at night but because of the 2 year old's night time fancies of having half a bed to himself. After a few days, I started going to his room to sleep on the futon while he slept on the bed. On some days, Vansh would then come and sleep with me on the futon! Why!?? Didn't he just ask me to vacate the bed he wanted to sleep on!!?? Kids!!??

But the kicking got better or may be I got more used to it and Vansh started sleeping on his own in his room to begin with (coming to us at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 am continues to date) and nights became smoother. And finally all of us, except Vansh, stopped moving back and forth between rooms, trying to get our share of the 'oh so wonderful sleep'! The little angel was still the angel, well on most nights, if not all.

Digression

Sleeping alone, on the first hand, hadn't really been a thought about decision. But right from the beginning he had been such a light sleeper that if he slept at about 9:30 and we went in at about 11:00, pressing our feet to the floor hard so as not to make the slightest sound, he would stand up in his crib and look at us as if to say "Wow! So is it playtime now?" What began as an experiment day to sleep in the other room and was met with success, then became the ritual.

end of digression

In the meantime, the little angel was growing up and getting smarter by the day, learning all those principles of cause and effect you know. Angel cries, mom shows up. Angel smiles, mom picks her up. Nighttime practice of the principles is double the fun. Moreover, smooth nights with 2 young kids, now thats against Mother Nature!! Isn't it! So if the elder one is getting better, the younger one has the added responsibility on her tender shoulders to make sure the ruckus continues! And so the scene the past week has been something like this :

9:00 pm - Jiya sleeps in crib
9:30 pm - Vansh in his BR
10:30 - 11:00 pm - We in ours
11:15 pm - Jiya cries, at times mom's sight is enough to pacify her; at others she could do with a quick feed
11:30 pm - peace again
1:00 am - Jiya cries in full frenzy; mom paces the floor with her (no night time feedings, Vansh taught mom the VERY HARD way)
1:15 am - still crying, mother trying sip of water, rocking on rocking chair, OKAY a little feed would save everyone's sanity and SLEEP
1:20 am - peace again
3:00 am - Jiya wakes again, cries a lot, dad goes to Vansh's room, mom paces the floor
3:30 am- Vansh comes to sleep with mom armed with a flurry of questions "Jiya is crying? Does she want milk? Does she want to play? Is she 'buddhu ram'??
4:00 am - some degree of peace restored
4:10 am - Vansh realises he has too much space to sleep; Oh where's dad? In his room - why did I come here then?
Oh and before I forget, he has this habit of shutting doors, and not quite gently at that (equivalent to banging in the silence of the night), when he moves in and out of rooms. Enough to wake Jiya again. Exhausted mom gets her with herself to sleep and finally thats the end of it all at about 4:30 am, two hours away from waking up!!

Is sleep ever the same again after you have kids??

No comments: