Monday, 16 April 2012

Cold comfort

G&T - 28-and-a-half months M - 6 months

Well, one week down, and I'm just about surviving life without my constant companion. M is all moved in to the twins' room, and our bedroom has been reclaimed as an adult-only oasis. Well, OK, so there is a little toy seepage. All right, toy flood from the girls' room, but we're getting there. Not that the first week of Mission Sleep Train has been entirely successful. I thought I'd be braver this time, you know, less squeamish about leaving my little one to cry. Having been through it all before, I realise a little crying never hurt anyone, and not rushing for every squeak is actually what's required for M to get a decent night's sleep. But I'd forgotten about the monitor anxiety. We were still using a baby monitor to hear the twins, but it pretty much got switched on at bedtime and ignored until our 7am wake up call. The first night I put M in there, I turned on the monitor, brought it downstairs... and my ears ached as I strained to hear every snuffle and snort, poised to leap up and run to her. I told myself it was because I didn't want her waking G and T, but if I'm honest, it's just that I couldn't bear the thought of her missing me. Of her waking up and being scared. Even typing that word - 'scared' - makes me well up, my protective mother instinct twitching, having to contain myself from rushing to her side. If a twin cries, their dad and I sigh and look at each other, willing the sound to go away and, if that fails, willing the other one to drag themselves up to attend. I love them just as fiercely as their baby sister, but they are fully formed little ladies, as a day of being ordered about, laughed at and wrapped round two chubby little fingers proves. If they really need me, they'll let me know. M doesn't have that ability yet, and I just want to wrap her in my arms and never let go. But, of course, I have to, and by day three I was beginning to relax, letting the snuffles go, and trying my best to limit our night-time interactions to only the most basic patting and shooshing. Then we got the visit every parent of toddlers dreads. The snot fairy. Suddenly, no one was sleeping. Our nights were filled with coughs, sneezes and mucous-filled distress from every corner of the room. At one point, I woke up cradling M in my arms in the feeding chair, having been left no option but to pick her up, to find Daddy sleeping between the cots with T snuggled next to him on the floor. Sleep training went out the window as we all just attempted to survive the days and nights in a sleep-deprived, snot-filled haze. But it seems everyone is finally breathing easier again, so now Mission Strong Mummy must begin in earnest. I will resist the urge to run at every sound, and keep night-time snuggling to an absolute minimum. Unless it's with Daddy of course. Though hopefully not on the floor...