One of my (many) projects was to get the boys transitioned from sharing a room (which was a great idea in theory but eventually led to late nights and evil deeds) with two toddler beds to separate rooms with a big boy twin bed in each. Oh, I had everything picked out right down to the sheet and comforter sets. You know what they say though, the best laid plans... (..."come to fruition much later than anticipated when a male spouse is put in charge" for those of you who really don't know what they say.) Well, FINALLY the boys are both in their separate rooms in their big boy beds.
It hasn't been an easy transition, although it was intended to be flawless in my grand scheme. Looking back, it was a long, tedious process just getting the twin beds. We shopped around. A lot. Picked out what we wanted. We bought them. Left them in the van until a friend could come help unload them. Left them in the boxes laying around the house until they were attacked by boys with sunscreen or just plain tripped over. Jude's bed got up first, but with no mattresses, he slept in a twin bed on a crib mattress for awhile. Not pretty. I will spare you most of the details of the mattress store escapade, but suffice it to say I took two tired boys out in 104 degree heat and spent all of seven minutes in the store actually buying the darn mattresses. Cal's bed (whose box outline is still imprinted on my living room floor) was fully assembled this afternoon and finally, FINALLY the bedrooms are situated to match my mental picture. Whew.
Now if you think getting the beds up was exhausting, just imagine how much worse it has been to get the boys to sleep in a room by themselves again. You can wear Jude out enough during the day so that he will crash, but Cal - he is a different creature. No matter how hard we worked on a bedtime routine, we just couldn't find something that could soothe him into that quiet, semi meditative state that leads directly to REM land. It would be 10 o'clock and that child would still be calling for one of us or up rearranging his room or wandering out to turn on any light switches he could reach.
I am not sure how I stumbled on it, but recently I found something that is actually working. I am not sure who it is benefiting more - Cal because he gets more sleep, or me because I can feel like a maternal genius and nostalgic all at once. After Cal has had time to look at his picture Bible, we do prayers (never a dull spiritual moment there) and then one night I asked him if he wanted me to sing him a lullaby. Here's the kicker - I actually don't know any lullabies. So I had to sing something on the fly, and without much thought out came this old hymn I love:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me,
And He talks with me.
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
For whatever reason this hymn has completely captivated Cal Henry. He gets this look on his face that makes me think maybe, just maybe, he is getting it. One night as I was singing it, he whispered "Jesus" and I thought hurray - he knows who we are singing about! The other night as I was singing "He walks with me and He talks with me", Cal pointed to himself and whispered "He walks with me". Tonight when I got to the part about "He tells me I am His Own" he whispered, "Mommy, I am His own". Oh, a mommy's heart almost can't take a beautiful moment like that! What once was the most frustrating part of my day has now become the sweetest, because once I leave his room he just lays in bed and sings this old hymn to himself until he falls asleep.
For all of the frustration that the whole "bedtime reorg" has been, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Having that sweet moment at the end of the day with Cal Henry is worth any schedule change, carpet mark, or shopping fiasco. They say God works in mysterious ways, and I am telling you, He must. I had no idea He would go through the bedroom to get the the garden.