We made a decision last weekend. Tyger and Bear have never liked going to bed and being left by themselves. They have also been getting more and more clingy with each other come bedtime with one or both of them getting upset about leaving the other. The plan was always to have the cubs share a bedroom at some future point but on Saturday, after the cubs had gone to bed and both were still awake and calling out, I thought, ‘Why wait? Why not tomorrow?’
So, Sunday we moved around some furniture in Tyger’s room and put in Bear’s cot. The cubs were both elated but we knew them being excited during the day wouldn’t necessarily be the same thing as them settling well at night.
Both of them struggle with change due to ASD – Bear in particular – so we had no idea how they were going to take the new set up. They also both hate transitions (again and ASD thing) so falling asleep and waking up are both unpleasant for them. Bear is also very particular about his bedtime routine, which obviously had to change.
It started…badly. Lots of screaming.
I was cooking so I only heard bits and pieces from the kitchen until I was called through because Tyger – with the world-weary voice of a three year old – said, ‘It’s going to be a bad night. Can I have my ear defenders?’
Once Wolf left the room it didn’t take long for little clattering feet to make their way along the hall and burst in. The interruption was totally explainable, though, since apparently, ‘Bear said ‘Daddy’ and I said, ‘I’ll get Daddy!” Bear tends to call out for us often once he’s gone to bed so we tried very hard to get Tyger to understand it wouldn’t actually be helpful for him to come and get us every time Bear said one of our names.
Tyger got up another time for…something. I don’t know because I was busy defending myself from all the things our fat tortoiseshell cat launched at me when she decided to jump onto the top of the kitchen door and from there to the very top shelf of the upper kitchen units.
The final time Tyger came through that night was to let us know, ‘Bear wanted to ask me something and I said, in the morning.” Not sure he go the irony of refusing to talk to Bear because it was night and would have to wait ’til morning…then coming to tell us that’s what he’d done.
Things seemed a little calmer…or at least more positive the second night. I left the cubs in high spirits. The problem was things were a little too positive and Tyger came to find me because Bear had been sick. Turns out Bear threw up because Tyger made him laugh so hard…
Thankfully, the only other disruption (other than constant noise over the baby monitor until they fell asleep) was Tyger coming through to the living room to tell me, ‘Bear has his pillow on his ear. When I took Tyger back through to the bedroom Bear was stood in his cot and his pillow was in its usual place at the top of the cot so I don’t know what that was about.
The third night was pretty uneventful. Tyger did run down the hall to inform us Bear had said…something. Exactly what was unclear. There was a lot of shouting, laughing and blowing raspberries over the baby monitor but nothing else worth mentioning.
The forth night was even less eventful than the third. Things seemed to have calmed down. Bear did get up at 3.40am the following morning, which was painful but bedtimes were all peaceful now. Woohoo!
Of course bedtimes were not all peaceful now. The fifth night was a nightmare (literally at one point).
From the offset there was an abundance of crying. To begin with it was Tyger crying for me but both cubs ended up screaming. I was back and forth to the bedroom. Wolf was working late doing overtime so I was largely on my own (though, my mum did steer Tyger back to bed and calm him down a couple of time, too).
At one point Tyger was still crying but Bear seemed to have calmed down, which was surprising since Tyger was not exactly keeping his distress quiet and low-key (Tyger doesn’t really do quiet or low-key with anything). When I entered the room to try – once again – to settle Tyger I found out why Bear was silent: he was obviously as fed up with Tyger’s noise as everyone else and had his pillow over his face!
I had to go through to the bedroom many, many times. Bear – who rarely poops after he’s gone to bed decided this was the perfect night to change that and Tyger complained bitterly about the stars on his Gro Clock not disappearing fast enough (once all have gone it’s ‘morning’).
I went through to the cubs yet again when it was getting on for 9pm (their bedtime is 7.30) because Bear sounded particularly upset. He was pointing to his back and seemed to be saying it hurt. I soon found out why. Tyger had taken it upon himself to put a load of trains and books in Bear’s cot and subsequently Bear had tried to lie down and…I don’t think it was very comfortable.
Finally the cubs went quiet. After being up so early I was relieved to climb into bed, myself, in the knowledge they at least wouldn’t be up early after such a late night…
Tyger started crying at 1.30am.
Apparently, there was a crab in his bed. Since Bear was actually still asleep and Tyger wasn’t exactly being quiet (and wouldn’t accept he’d had a nightmare) I took him to my bed and he climbed in between Wolf and I. I don’t normally take the kids into our bed because they get too excited and try to wander round the room grabbing at…everything but he was tired and just wanted comfort and I was tired and just wanted sleep so it that was fine.
Except, it wasn’t fine because then Bear started crying.
So, back out of bed and back through to their room. Trying to coax Tyger into his bed was difficult because he was still convinced there was a crab there. The next hour was a fun-filled mix of Bear crying, Tyger crying, Tyger shouting at Bear for crying and me trying not to cry.
Once exhaustion finally kicked in and they fell asleep I didn’t dare move in case I woke one of them back up so I ‘slept’ curled up at the end of Tyger’s bed.
We’re getting there. Bear goes down quite well for naps (at least as well as he did in his own room) and I hope things will settle down further as the cubs get used to the change. Last night was back to Tyger coming through a couple of times early on and then both of them falling asleep quickly but Bear was up at 4.20 (luckily for me it was Wolf’s day to get up with the cubs!).
The best part of them sharing a room is they do seem a little closer. There are still times when they shout at each, push each other, hit and even kick but they also play nicely, fetch each other things, chat and snuggle up together on the sofa to watch a film.
I hope they look back on sharing a room fondly and, who knows, once Bear’s in a bed instead of a cot maybe he can keep a watch out for crabs and coax Tyger back to sleep when they ambush him in bed!