When the girls were first born, I adhered to the sage advice from several “multiples” resources, “When one baby wakes up, WAKE UP THE OTHER BABY!” I was determined to get – and keep! – the girls on the same schedule.
The girls started sleeping through the night at three months old, and at that point, I started allowing a small amount of flexibility in their schedules, particularly during the time in which they were taking three naps a day.
I always put them down for naps at the same time, but if one baby woke up early (and in those days, waking up meant crying!), I would pick her up but allow her sister to continue to sleep for up to 30 minutes. I reasoned that those 30 minutes wouldn’t damage the synchronicity of the girls’ schedules too much…and I used those 30 minutes for some valuable one-on-one time.
Over the past year, these occasions have happened very rarely. The girls are content to talk to themselves or play quietly in their cribs if they wake up a little early. And with only one nap, I am not usually anxious to admit that someone is awake before they “should” be.
My sweet Baby A came down with the flu on Monday morning. She’s fighting like a champ, only slowing down when her ibuprofen begins to wear off and her fever begins to creep back up…but she has slept like a rock at naptime and at night.
I laid both girls down at their usual naptime yesterday. After about 2 ½ hours – what I consider a very successful nap – I began to hear chatter. I went into the girls’ room to find Baby B awake, but Baby A was still sacked out. I put my finger to my lips to ask B to be quiet. I tiptoed to her crib and whisked her out of the room to allow her sister to sleep a while longer.
I took advantage of A’s extended snooze to spend some one-on-one time with B, reminding me of the “staggering” I used to do when the girls were tiny.
I brought B downstairs, and we snuggled together in the living room (a big treat, as that room is off-limits for the girls). She sat beside me in the armchair and we perused a cookbook. She pointed out all the different meats and veggies, and we ooh’ed and ahh’ed over the yummy desserts.
And then I decided to see if B would be willing to help me with some laundry. I haven’t folded laundry with the girls since they were tiny…before they were very mobile so as to mess up my meticulously organized stacked of towels!
B giggled at the huge mound of towels I dumped in front of her on the bed. I sorted the washcloths from the hand towels from the bath towels. And then I asked her to hand me one washcloth at a time. She did an amazing job! She was so patient…the perfect helper!
Baby A did get some one-on-one time when I took her to the pediatrician, although it was nothing like the thrill of folding laundry. But I guess we’ll take what we can get…and look for opportunities where they arise.
One-on-one time is always special, no matter the task at hand.