* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Aaron Jr. in his own big boy bed tonight.
After Aaron passed away, I wanted Aaron Jr to sleep in my bed with me... so for the first 10 months or so, he slept in our bed. It became 'our normal'. Then last September, we transformed the crib into a toddler bed... see last year's posting. And I started having Aaron Jr sleep in his own bed. Well, that lasted about a week... maybe even less. He was coming into my room in the middle of the night and I was too tired to take him back to bed. So, it has been a whole year again of him sleeping in my bed. It was nice though. It is hard to sleep alone. It was nice having him there.
Well, last Sunday night, we had a talk and I told him that he was going to sleep in his own bed again. At first he was excited about the idea, but then when bedtime came and reality set in, he was so sad. He was crying and putting up a fight about it. He seriously seemed devastated. So, I did what any good parent does... I bribed him with a Happy Meal at McDonalds the next day if he slept in his own bed that night. Instantly, he stopped crying and he was ready for the challenge. So I read him some books, prayed with him, then sang to him to get him ready for the night. He still fussed a little when I was actually leaving the room, so I sat with him and held his hand and sang to him until he fell asleep. He did great. He slept there all night. So the next day, we went to get him a Happy Meal.
Well, the next night, I was getting him in bed and I read to him, prayed with him, and sang to him and was getting ready to leave him and his face was distorted and quivering and he was literally FIGHTING back his emotions. He was trying so hard not to cry. When I finally asked him what was wrong, the floodgates opened and he begged to sleep in my bed with me. When I told him that he needed to sleep in his own bed, he was so sad. It was breaking my heart. So, I did what any good mother would do and I bribed him with going to the store the next day to get a treat and rent a movie. :) It worked. He slept there all night. Although, I think it was that night that he yelled to me from his room in the middle of the night and asked me if I would 'sing him a song with my mouth'. :) So, I went in there and sang to him and he was asleep really quickly again.
Well, I haven't had to bribe him since then. He has continued to say that he wants to sleep in my bed with me, but when I tell him he needs to sleep in his bed, he never argues about it. In fact, when I tell him he needs to sleep in his bed, he then asks 'will you read me some books and sing to me?' And when I tell him I will, he gets really excited.
It has been just as hard for me as it has been for him. I miss having him right next to me. I worry that he is breathing okay in his own bed and that nothing is covering his mouth or head. But more than anything... I am lonely. The past week, my sleeping habits have been not so good again because I am lonely when I go to bed. Yes, I was lonely missing Aaron even when Aaron Jr was right next to me all this time... but now I am literally ALONE. So, it is lonely. But, it is what is best. Aaron Jr has a nightly routine and he seems happier having that routine at night. He goes right to sleep after reading, praying and singing. It makes me happy to spend that quality time with him where he is calm and his attention is on the task at hand. We laugh together, he jokes with me, I joke with him, and it is more 'quality time' than we get during the day when he is so full of energy and doesn't want to stop long enough to have a conversation. At bedtime, he sits still and we actually get to talk. I am loving our bedtime routine together.
Here's hoping I can stick with it this time. :) I totally plan to. We are at 9 nights and counting...
p.s. is it normal to still go in and check on him about 10 times between him going to sleep and me going to bed? Am I too paranoid? :)
* * *