SOL 22: imitation

Living with three children in a home only planned for two has its struggles. At first we thought we would put McKenna and George together in bunk beds until Theo was ready to make the transition from crib to big kid bed. The bunks were shared by Aaron and his brother when they were boys. They don’t make them like they used to. So many issues with this plan.

I’m scared to be on the top. 
I don’t like the bottom.
He’s too loud.
She won’t turn off the light.
I like the rain sound machine.
I want the thunder.

First night in their bunks. It looks like it is going to work. Looks are deceiving .

It lasted two weeks until we moved McKenna to the small room earmarked as a nursery and the crib in with George. McKenna was starting kindergarten soon and there was no sleep being had in that room. At the time, Theo was still sleeping in our room busting out of a tiny bassinet so we didn’t have a problem getting George to fall asleep.

Big Theo. Tiny bassinet

When it was time to move Theo from the bassinet to a crib, he was still getting that last dream feed before we knocked out for the night. So he would doze between us until we did the feed and transfer. Once we started moving that last bottle back, we prepared George for his new roommate. He was having none of it.

Theo was not allowed to be placed in the crib until George was fast asleep. If we tried, George screamed until practically hyperventilating. This got Theo crying last the top of his lungs. They ended up waking McKenna in the room next door and somehow they all ended up in bed with us. No one was sleeping.

Eventually we landed on a routine. George went to bed around 7:15 falling right to sleep. McKenna snuggled or hung out in her room until lights off around 7:30-7:45. Theo stayed with us until we could put him down after the Bigs had both settled and we put him in his bed awake.

Most nights were fine. But lately he’s been a mess. He tantrums for what seems like hours but is realistically only about fifteen minutes. We have no idea how George sleeps through this since the coffee maker wakes him on the regular. Eventually everyone passes out quickly followed by mom and dad.

the first night they were all in their beds at the same time

Tonight when I came home from book club, Theo was in one of his favorite spots next to Aaron. I got into my PJs and started my nightly routines. When I got my tin of hand cream, Theo grabbed for it and gently dipped one finger in then massaged it into the palms and tops of his hands the way he’s likely seen me do it hundreds of times. He reached for my lip mask and tried to untwist the top. He wasn’t able to do it but watched intently while I did. This time he showed me what to do. He again gently took some product from the jar and applied it to his closed lips, giving them a smack. He then handed me tube of lip treatment, yes I know I’m high maintenance at night, a pulled the cover off. I twisted the product up and handed it back to him. I was shocked at what I was seeing. He perfectly applied the treatment and replaced the cap with a click. I drew the line at using my inhaler.

Now, when a saw my kid are echoes of me, I’m surprised every time HERE & HERE. I love that they are watching and learning while simultaneously am horrified that they see all the worst parts along with the mundane. What’s next? Is he going to start imitating up my bad habits like picking at his cuticles or leaving his shoes wherever he’s taken them off? Can I expect to see him forgetting his glasses everywhere? I need to be more careful around him. The two Bigs did it to but it was more with my kids grazing than my actions. And although having you voice parroted by at you is unnerving watching your 1.5 year old son completing you entire before bed routine falls into the WTF category.

I need to start being more mindful. They are always watching.

I am writing for the 15th annual Slice of Life challenge presented by Two Writing Teachers.

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