The Agony, The Ecstasy, and the Exhaustion

I was browsing on Cup of Jo the other day, where I came upon this entry about the pros and cons of room sharing.  I am a former room-sharer, having bunked with my younger sister until age 12, when we moved house and got adjoining rooms.  My husband shared a room with his brother for about the same amount of time, until Big Bro started high school and needed his own space.  So we had no qualms about having our children share a room, at least for as long as we live in our current apartment (i.e., the foreseeable future).

Okay, I lied a little bit just there.  We had a few qualms.  Enough qualms, in fact, that we broke our own Cardinal Rule and let Babygirl sleep in our room until she was close to six months old (LittleMan got the heave-ho when he was about 12 weeks…Does that explain anything?  Who knows…).

But we’re a solid year into the room-sharing at this point, and I was all ready to write a post about how it really seems to be working for our family, and it’s so sweet to hear them chatter in bed in the morning, and they really seem to derive such comfort from one another, and even if I had another bedroom I would probably just use it for a den or a playroom or something…and then this week happened.

What do you mean, “this week happened”? you are probably thinking.  I mean, it’s only Tuesday.  This week has barely begun, much less happened.  This Jaime, she is one drama queen, she is.

And maybe you do think that, and aren’t you the lucky one to feel like the week is just starting and you still have all this Tuesday energy to burn.  La-dee-da to you.  My husband and I, on the other hand, are delirious, cranky, and ready for Saturday, because as of about 48 hours ago, Babygirl is teething.

I don’t mean a few teeth poking through the front teething, either.  I mean serious, hard-core, molar teething.

It’s not the first time this has happened, and we know that this too shall pass, but for now, in the teething trenches, it’s hurting our psyches a bit.  Because when your kids share a room, and one kid is suffering, the other one will surely, but surely, wake up.  And then you have two children to deal with at 2am.  And even though you want to be a tender, loving, empathetic Mommy, two kids at 2am can make that difficult to manage.  I’m just sayin’:we all need our sleep.

Here’s the thing: LittleMan doesn’t need much encouragement to bound out of bed these days.  I mean, It’s Christmastime!  There is so much to see!  There’s a live tree in our livingroom — with lights on it!  And a Batman ornament!  And a Lightning McQueen ornament with headlights that work!  And in the morning, there is an Advent calendar with a door with a number on it, and guess what?  There are surprises behind that door!  And soon, Santa is coming!!

So Babygirl screams her lungs out, and we go in and rub her back and whisper, and then LittleMan wakes up and says “Is it morning!?!?” And we say “No, Babygirl’s teeth are hurting.  Go back to sleep, love.” And he says (loudly) “I won’t go back to sleep!  I will lie here until my clock turns green!”  Because that’s only four hours from now.  Which is awesome.

We finally get Babygirl calm only to have LittleMan thrashing around impatiently waiting for morning, thumping his legs against the wall and perhaps singing a few bars of “O Tannenbaum” here and there, which wakes Babygirl back up.

She’s writhing in agony, he’s wired with excitement, and meanwhile my husband and I are lying in bed sort of drunk from fatigue, arguing about what we are supposed to do to get everyone to go back to sleep (the obvious answer being, of course, to move to a bigger house).

There are pros and cons to everything, I suppose.  Someday my kids will be teenagers and they will have their own rooms, where they will hole up and listen to music and (I hope) do homework and talk on the phone (or text, or whatever the young folk do to communicate these days).  Someday I will look at their separate spaces and think nostalgically about the early years, when they woke up too early and giggled and clambered into each other’s beds to wrestle and snuggle and play “too many monkeys”.

I probably won’t even remember how Babygirl got a molar right before Christmas and kept us all awake.

Probably I won’t remember.  Probably because I am so tired I can’t remember my name.

So I’ve got that going for me.  Which is nice.


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