Friday, May 25, 2012

Super Nanny

Where is she when I need her?

My girls are twins. Surely you knew that, right?

They're 5 and OK closer to 6. They are opposites in almost every way. Except one.

Night time.

Yes the dreaded nighttime routine.

Oh the joys of motherhood. This has been my nightmare since they stopped sleeping in the same space (crib/isolette) at 19 months of age.

When we brought them home at 3 pounds and change they fit sideways in a crib together. They stayed swaddled, together when they slept for their first year of life. This is a side effect of that bonding. One that could have never been told. One that I ALMOST wish we could have seen coming. But, one that I wouldn't have gotten a single stretch of uninterrupted sleep at night without when they were those teeny tiny infants.

For a reminder here they are at nearly six months of age. Still not even the size of  most newborns. *sigh*
I have now been trying to break this cycle of falling asleep for 4 years. FOUR YEARS Y'ALL!!!

Have we had this conversation before? Well. Sit back relax and grab yourself a glass of ice tea because it's time for a refresher course.

This is my recurring nightmare. Only for me it's real. Our bedtime routine involves the typical things. We brush teeth, sometimes we floss (OK well, once or twice a week I remember that part but their teeth don't even touch LOL!) then we head to the potty and strip on the way out of the bathroom. Once the girls are in their bedroom (usually after a side trip here or there and a little cajoling by me to GET IN THERE... RIGHT NOW!!!) they get into their night clothes and we read a bible story. This part normally goes well, I'll say normally. There is an occasional child running in the opposite direction as one institutes the wonderful art of distraction - running nude to my bed or grabbing me and hanging on koala bear style pretending to be all lovey dovey. It's all for not though. This Momma bear is on to them. The girls hop into bed, get a kiss and hug, an "I love you" and of course a reminder to sleep nicely and to be quiet. The lights go out... and promptly 2 minutes later the talking and bouncing and giggling and throwing of things (pillows, blankets, clothes) begins. If I do not intercede it gets louder and they end up either standing/kneeling/jumping or out of bed entirely.


If I separate them completely? Oh that is fun. WAILING. And I don't mean the cry it out method will work type of stuff. I mean these are twins with some serious separation issues at night. During the day they can and will be separated, but at night it's like their souls are back in the womb and being in a different room is torterous. Even so, it's not against my rules to use this against them, and I do. When they are entirely too out of hand I will take one of them out of the room and place them on a cot in the hall way. It is however at a great expense. I have to quite literally punish myself to do this. If I leave them this way it means that for hours (no exaggeration on my part) I will hear screaming and crying from them both as if their hearts are torn out. And the one that is in the hallway will be in some serious trouble because it is almost impossible that they will stay in the cot and not leave. At times it is worse this way and causes behavior issues. Really. ? I wouldn't believe it either it's completely ridiculous. Incredulous even.

There is no reward system great enough and no punishment punishing enough to get these two sweet little girls to go to bed nicely. We've tried bunk beds, side by side, different rooms, stickers, me in the room, out of the room, ignoring, spanking even ... and there has never been ANYTHING that works. Each and every system that we try we STICK TO IT for weeks. So none of the systems are run into and out of tossed aside and the children figure we'll go back to our old ways. Not the case.

Tired of the subject yet? After four years how do you think I feel? I've managed to rock myself to sleep crying more than once from the stress of it. That's simply not healthy.  It's the one thing about parenting twins I just don't get.

Let me rephrase that. It's the one thing about parenting THESE twins I just don't get.

Super Nanny - Where are you!? I need you. My sanity needs you!

'Till next time!



  1. I remember feeling the way you do. But now, I'm looking back through many years and those times seem like the best and most important times to our family. Bedtime never went well for us either. We had 3 children under 5 at one time. By the way, your girls are so, so adorable! What worked for us was for me to just keep on reading until they were asleep. I mostly read them E.B. White, but they also loved the old Winnie the Pooh stories. I bet I could still recite those stories. It took an hour to an hour and a half of reading every night. Those stories were fun for me too, and even though it was so hard to keep on going like this at the end of the day, it worked out pretty good for us.

  2. Wow, hang in there Barbie. We've had sleep-time issues here too. Two of our daughters are adopted. One came home with serious sleep issues. It took years to get her straightened out, but she's fine now at 11 years old! We even had to install a doorbell on her door to know when she was sneaking out of her room in the middle of the night... There's hope! I think by the time she was 8, things began to improve. Stay consistent, even if it seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r...... I'll pray for you!

  3. Thanks Mary and Kate. I know that SOME DAY they will out grow this. That knowledge keeps me going. Some times I have to walk away for my own sanity - and some times I have to complain and let it all out. I flet better for days after getting it all out here. :-)