The past few days Andrew and I have been conducting an experiment of sorts. For about 5 nights we have allowed Ella to sleep on the floor (on cushions) of Grace and Mia's room. They have all three had been asking for weeks if they could sleep together so finally we said OK...we'll try it. Of course, Andrew and I kept thinking back to when we first moved to Caen and how we had tried to have all three of them sleep in the same room. Within weeks it proved to be a bad idea, as they just wouldn't go to sleep. So we ultimately split them up and gave big sister Ella her own room. And as you probably recall, we have had several sleeping variations since. It seems that Andrew and I are trying to find the "perfect" sleep computation.
Today, after 5 nights of successful sleeping, we finally moved Ella's bed into Grace and Mia's room. Poor thing had earned her right to sleep on an actual mattress after sleeping on the floor for almost a week! Andrew moved the bed and then I took care of moving all the toys and stuff back into the other room, which is now the play room. The only difference with this configuration than the original is that all three beds are now in Grace and Mia's room instead of all in Ella's room. You might be thinking, why all the fuss about this bed business?
We have had several conversations with the girls for a few days. We ask them why they like sleeping together so much instead of having their own space. Ella says, "Mom, we are SISTERS! We like each other!" Grace says, "Because when we have nightmares, we can help each other!" Mia says, "It's fun!" I mean, we have the space to spread them out, so Andrew and I don't want to cram them all in the same room if it is not absolutely required. But we do see their points - we have noticed that the past 5 nights, the girls have woken up much less in the middle of the night. They get out of their beds much less right after we tuck them in at bedtime. They wake up quicker in the morning for school. It seems that after months of sleeping apart, they are now finding comfort in each other's presence. I guess they feel braver in their posse of three, ready to conquer any bad dream, noise or knock in the night that they might hear. I get it. I, too, feel the same way. My safety partner is Andrew - when he is sleeping with me in bed I feel safer than when he is out of town and apart from me.
It's funny to me, as I think back to my childhood. There were 4 of us children and sometimes we had to share rooms. My brother being the only boy, he always got his own room. And though I remember having my own room and being excited, I remember most being happy to share a room with my sister Kim. Six years my elder, she stayed up very late, talking on the phone, studying, reading, lights on full blast, but still I felt safer and happier than when I slept by myself. On the nights that should wouldn't come home because of slumber parties or on the nights she worked late, I had a hard time falling asleep. So as I think back on those days, I get why they want to sleep together even more.
It has also occurred to me lately just how close the girls are in age. I know, duh! But it is easy to forget and to be perfectly honest, on most days it doesn't even occur to me that we have twins! All three if them are so unique and different and that is how they are treated in return. But today, as I was arranging their playroom, I was thinking back over the past few weeks and remembering how well they have been playing together. Their imaginations have gone WILD but they will play together for hours. And the older they get, they closer they seem to get, the more compatible they seem to get. And the more relieved I get in the process.
My relief comes from seeing what a gift it is that they have each other. What a gift, that as they encounter so many new people, cultures and surroundings, they they have each other with which to encounter them. What a gift that Grace and Mia can see Ella embracing the French language and life. Grace has done the same in the past month or so and Mia, just in the past week, has finally decided to follow suit. What a gift that when they can't find a friend to play with during recess or at lunch, they can find each other and instantly feel comfortable. What a gift!
There are definitely downfalls about having three children so close in age. So it is times like this, when dealing with this business of beds, that I am so thankful for remembering what a blessing the closeness in age can be, too.
Tomorrow, I will fill you in on some recent adventures we have taken to Utah Beach, St. Mere Eglish and Saint Malo! Take care!