This summer I decided it was time for Ali to have a bed of his own. (Actually, I decided this before but didn't manage it then.) When we were staying in the beach apartment in Tunisia, he slept on a mattress on the floor and I usually ended up joining him there, but at least he was getting used to sleeping on his own.
When we got back I built on that by putting Leila and him sideways on her double bed until a more permanent solution could be found. A friend gave us a midi- bunk bed- where the bottom bed is two inches off the floor, and the upper bed is about chest high (on me.) I sent H and A off to a distant mattress store in an unairconditioned truck in August and they came back with two mattresses that were too high. When put on the lower bunk, there was about a foot and a half of body room. So they returned them, in an unairconditioned truck, in August. And then we went to about 5 closer mattress shops to look around. We finally decided to go with the thin Ikea foam mattresses. When I got those home, they were too short for the bed. I was in despair until H went to a friend's house, saw their Ikea mattresses, and we decided we'd keep ours.
H had to do some adjustments with the lower bunk to get the mattress to set right. This was finished at 10:00 at night, with Leila trying to sleep in the top bunk despite the hammering. However, the beds were set up last week, finally.
Part two of the plan was to get Ali to go to bed by himself, without me lying down with him. The first night this was easy as the excitement of his bed carried him into sleep. The next night he thought it was fun to come to the door of the room and giggle. I put him back in bed several times, but it wasn't until I gave him a little pat on the behind that he finally stayed put. That's been the pattern for the subsequent nights as well. Part of me feels sad for the little boy who's trying to keep hold of my hand until he sleeps, but the other part of me is just so relieved to not be doing that anymore. The best thing is that he's mostly sleeping through the night now- I make sure he has his "ba" and then he doesn't come looking for it.
The third part of this plan is getting the kids to bed earlier. Leila starts every day pre-school next week and I'm going to work early, and I'm trying to get some time to myself before I go to bed. I've tried to wean Leila off the nap, but she tells me that she can nap when she's tired. And she does. Ali is supposed to wake up from his nap early, but that doesn't always happen either. Yesterday it was nice to get home just after 4 and have both kids awake, because that meant they went down pretty easily around 9:30. (I'm trying for earlier, but it's tough!)