Thursday, April 10, 2008

Operation SoloNight

It is much harder than I thought it would be. On me, not her.

I really thought I wanted a toddler-free bedroom. No more tiptoeing around in the dark getting ready for bed, no more muffling coughs, sneezes, and curses, no more reading in bed by the woefully inadequate night light...I had thought I would be dying to get her into her own room.

Not so much, as it turns out.

I embarked on Operation SoloNight with much enthusiasm. The 2-week school break seemed like the perfect time to start - in the event of a few bad nights, neither she nor I needed to be up on time to be ready for school.

We tried to prepare Moppet by making the whole thing a fun adventure. I bought some nice, brightly coloured sheets for her bed which caused much excitement. "New-new bed!" She squealed, bouncing up and down on it. We moved the music system into her room, which brought on further paroxysms of delight ("Iss Moppet music!") and burned a CD with all her favourite songs on it to play in the evening before bed time.

We showed her how the new two-way baby monitor worked, and how I could talk to her from another room. She liked that too, and dashed between our room and hers, yelling out to me from her room, "Mama, hullo-hullo?"

The first night in her room, bedtime was one big circus. Both her Papa and I danced with her to her music, and did a little song and dance number with Barney and a few other stuffed toys - a complicated routine which involved hanging them upside down and singing 'LOOK OUT! here comes the PI-der-MAAAN', then throwing them off the bed. Anyway, by the time things wound down to lights off, it was already long past her regular bedtime, and all the excitement and jumping around of the evening had tired her out. I stayed with her until she fell asleep and then slipped out.

My newly toddler-free bedroom had lights blazing, and a grinning husband sprawled on the bed, trying to read 3 books at one go, so happy was he that he would finally get to read himself to sleep again, a lifelong habit that he'd had to give up cold turkey when the extremely light-sleeping Moppet took possession of our bedroom. I grinned back at him, opened and shut a few cupboard doors simply because I could, brushed my teeth with the bathroom door open and more light streaming into the bedroom, hummed loudly as I arranged my pillows, and finally stretched out contentedly on the bed.

It was late, and I was tired, but I found myself lying in bed staring at the little green light on the baby monitor. What was that sound I heard? Were all the settings on the monitor in Moppet's room correct? Was the temperature in her room ok? She would already have kicked her blanket off; she might be feeling cold. Maybe I should go check?

Over the next 3 hours I tossed and turned, convinced myself that the monitor was not working, and made 2 trips to her room, standing with an ear pressed to her door, listening for any sound that would give me an excuse to go in. So it was a perverse relief when she did wake up and her call came loud and clear over the monitor. I rushed into her room, and patted her back to sleep. It barely took a minute or two, but I knew I couldn't go back to my room.

And so it was that at 2 in morning, carrying my pillow and duvet, I tiptoed into her room, and spent the rest of night on the other twin bed there, muffling my sneezes and coughs and feeling my way to the bathroom in the pitch dark.

I slept like a baby, as did my baby.

Moppet has now spent 3 nights in her own room, and seems to be doing well. She still gets up a couple of times in the night, and I usually end up sleeping on the twin bed next to hers for a few hours every night, but she does seem to be sleeping better overall. For one, she no longer gets up at the crack of dawn, but at the far more manageable time of 7.30 am. We have quite a way to go yet, but for 3 days, I think the progress is satisfactory. Mine, I mean.

*Anti-jinx sign courtesy Dotmom


Mona said...

how cuuute that you end up sleeping in her room.
good going, mm, i hope you get over the transition quick enough!

dipali said...

Poor darling Mom.
You'll get used to it.
And Munch will be there soon enough,
Moppet's bed looks delightful.
Sweet Dreams, the both of you.

Swati said...

How cute ...Congrats to Moppet ..yet another milestone !!

Poppins said...

Oh wow ! That is a HUGE milestone. Way to go! I've always maintained that babies sleep best and for longer when they are on their own in their own room. Our nocturnal noises disturb them as much as it does us.

So do tell are you going to be buying a bassinet for Munch? What are you girls planning to do about the new baby in my room but older baby in another room guilt?

Just Like That said...

Sigh! I so get it.
Sonny boy still sleeps with us.Whenever the Ammamma comes, she gets him to sleep with her and he insists that I sleep with him, which I do. But its such a tug, pulling myself out in the wee hrs of the morning,from under his legs and arms all over me at times, to go join the husband snoring in our bedroom.
So I understand what a BIG step this is for you and for her, but then, with li'l Munch on his way, you have to do it, I guess.
I don't believe Moppet's papa is grinning only for the books, but then, i'll take your word for it. ;-)
pliss- to read my latest post and comment.

Suki said...

Wow.. what a huge step.

You're both doing fine, congratulations and all the best :)

I just don't know how to express how this post made me feel, all the more so because I'm listening to this wonderfully magical song by MIDIval Punditz called "Night". Try it, do!

Kodi's Mom said...

sweet and a milestone indeed!
and I can so, so relate to you wanting her presence more than she wanting you!

does she still need you to hold her to go to sleep or you've weaned her off that too?

DotMom said...

how, how awsome. I was in the EXACT same position. Chip slept in hos own room but I was twisting and turning sooo much that at 2:00 am I brought him to sleep in our bed and that's where he still is. I need to nuster courage and give it a go again. Thanks for reminding me :)

Shobana said...

Cool Moppet and mamma! is hard to not have that tiny, warm body next you yours at night.

choxbox said...

LOL! sweet dreams!

how are we all so similar?!

B o o said...

Atta girl, Moppet! At home, Ashu gets up at 2 or 3 am and either walks to our bedroom or we bring her. Im sure once the baby arrives, Im going to end up nursing Ashu instead of Pinocchio in my sleepy state! ;)

Candyfloss said...

Mona: I know, usually it's the kids wanting to get into their parents rooms, and here I am, sneaking into my 2 year old's room! LOL!

Dipali: Thanks, I have 10 weeks to get used to it before the bedroom is taken over again :-) Although this time the husband is determined that Munch shall be 'trained' to be insensitive to light and sounds while sleeping....

Swati: Thanks.

Poppins: We've actually bought a crib for Munch (we gave away Moppet's crib to a friend when we moved here). I thought he could do with some protection from Moppet that a bassinet wouldn't provide.

And I don't think I'll feel guilty about having Moppet in another room. She will certainly not be able to sleep in the initial few weeks if she's in the same room as Munch, so it's better this way.

Also, I have a feeling Munch will get moved out of our bedroom much earlier than she did - probably when he's a year old and hopefully sleeping through the night. with us in our room than she did. So I think it will all even out.

JLT: Babe, I'm 7.5 months pregnant! It's the books, believe me! :-D

Suki: Thanks, dear. I'll see if I can get the husband to download the track.

Kodi's Mom: Oh I still need to lie with her and hold her till she's fallen asleep. Luckily, her bed is a full-size twin mattress so there's still room for me to do that. I don't think I want to wean her off that yet - I need that as much as she does! :-)

Dotmom: Yeah, I know if Munch hadn't been on the way, I would've continued to put it off for as long as I could.... My husband was actually getting a bit worried - will she still be in our room when she's 10? - he'd ask sometimes :-D

Shobana: You know, she didn't actually sleep on our bed - just on her mattress beside our bed. But I could hear her in our room, and I could turn over and pat her or cover her up without getting up from bed. I miss that....

Choxbox: It's funny, isn't it? I'm glad though - I was feeling a little silly and overly needy - it's not like she's going off to college or anything! But I'm glad to know that there are others out there who can relate...

Boo: LOL! That's quite a picture! But Ashu's so mature, I think you'll actually get a lot of help from her with Baby P...

Orchid said...

:)..i am like dot mom on this..moved li'l a out at 2 but bought him back at 4 :) i need him more than he needs me
good going moppets mom!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

I think the timing is perfect!
We have been trying to move Cantaloupe to her room for almost a month and half now ... which means disturbed sleep for us ... either because of her waking up or because of us wanting to check on her. Its so hard:(

SUR NOTES said...

oh thats a big milestone achieved for both mom and little girl.

in my head i decided that one and a half was the time to make it happen- one year later i havent even attempted it. i think we are both addicted to this little being all over us at night. i thought i would try it this vacation...

advice needed- did you get her to sleep by herself after she was night toilet trained? i dont know which to begin first- i am late on both fronts!!!

Candyfloss said...

Orchid: The husband is confident that in a year or so, both kids will be able to share a room, but I have a feeling the room they'll both be sharing will be ours! :-)

CA: A month and a half? Oh, I was thinking that these 2 weeks should be enough.... :-)

Sur: Moppet is not even properly day toilet trained yet! I'm not even thinking about night training so far... given what a light sleeper she is, it was important that she move out of our bedroom before Munch moves in. That was really the only driver for the move, otherwise I'd have been happy for her to spend another year with us :-)

Tharini said...

LOl. :) Sweet indeed and the thought of you opening and shutting cupbaords just so you could. The novelty worn off yet?

Such a sweet post *touchwood*

Rohini said...

Congratulations.... I think ;)

Nisha said...

Thats a great milestone for the little girl! I guess she should have gotten used by now. So now I guess it is time for you to get used to it. LOL!

Aryan said...

That was a good milestone indeed...YOu also get used to it without her at night..

noon said...

Just read this Mags! :)
Cool - congratulations on the milestone - that you have reached! :)
I think I will wait 8 more years to reach this milestone for myself - being able to sleep through the night in my room if KB and KG are in a different room! :)) But who knows - the way last night went - I may be ready for it tonight if it repeats!

karmickids said...

Thats lovely. I wonder when I will ever have the brat out of my bed at this rate.

*sulking* because I just begged and pleaded and forced the husband to buy a bigger home and BIL comes along to occupy what I hoped would be brats room. *Big big sulk*

bird's eye view said...

hee hee sounds like me. I just blogged about this - still can't get used to their absence two years down!