In Her Bed
The twins have shared so much: toys, books, crayons, friends, attention, a womb, a crib, a bedroom. Since they moved to separate cribs and then separate beds, the bunk bed is really the only space to which either one can truly lay complete claim. The number of times that one of the twins has called foul on the other for invading his or her bunk has been countless. Typically, he wants to climb into her bed, she denies entry, he barges in, and Cory yells, “No, Fisher! Daddy! Papa! I don’t want Fisher in my bed, and he just…!”
Something is now up.
Four out of five nights over the past six weeks, Cory has cried out and won’t fall back asleep without someone coming to lie with her in her bed for a bit. She nestles herself quickly into a daddy nook, a few whispered words erasing the latest bad dream. For Daddy, those whispers also erase much of the more complicated interactions that mark the other 23 hours of the day. A clean, simple reset. At this stage, father and daughter could not be closer than in those groggy, middle-of-the-night moments of comfort. (Fisher has only once called out like that in the past few months, after a dream in which a “very bad wolf” bit him. Fantasy didn’t stray far from reality for that one.)
As magical as midnight cuddling with Cory can be, those moments often stretch to an exhausting two hours because Daddy also falls asleep, contorted around a girl and her army of stuffed animals in a twin bed not made for six-foot-two.
Fisher to the rescue, of course.
First, he is talking with her past bedtime…in her bed. Next, he is turning the lights back on so that she can read him a book or two…in her bed. One morning, Fisher confesses that he slept the full night in Cory’s bed “and Cory wanted me to, Daddy.” Finally, one night Daddy walks in to kiss them one last time before heading to bed himself, to find Fisher sprawled out against the wall…in her bed. Now, they ask together at bedtime whether he can sleep…in her bed.
D: Sure, as long as you don’t talk and you actually go to sleep. Sleep is important. It is when your mind rests, and your body grows. Okay?
C/F: Okay, Daddy.
His familiar heartbeat is further than it was in the womb or crib, but it’s closer than it is when he sleeps in the bunk above her. And Cory hasn’t cried out once in the middle of the night since.