I could have used an extra minute or two of sleep today... or maybe an hour. In fact, it's been quite a while since I felt fully rested. It's not because of the early bird knee-in-the-hip wake-up calls, although those are rather jarring, but this time it has been in the form of two weasely little boys that won't go to sleep.
Taking advantage of a vacation and a number of days not requiring us to wake up early, we moved Graham down into Cael's room and into his very own twin bed. We knew that there would be a transition period, but I didn't expect that the transition would become the norm.
But there was a major difference: we were girls. Now it's no secret to anyone in my family that I really, REALLY wanted a girl. I may have even had an embarrassing gender-related freak-out at my obstetrician's office when Graham was about 20 weeks old in utero. But in my defense, my father currently has six grandsons and no granddaughters, and as the youngest sibling, I had a responsibility to deliver a baby girl. Joel's DNA thought otherwise, however. So I had to abandon my fantasy of two giggling girls painting each other's toenails and running downstairs for Saturday morning cartoons.
In the weeks since we've united them, I've learned that there is a completely different dynamic between two boys sharing a room. Even from the start, Cael wasn't sure how he felt about Graham laying claim on his room. And I wasn't sure that Graham was ready to abandon his crib. But mainly, I didn't want to admit that he was getting bigger and not my tiny baby anymore. But after completely downing a cheeseburger and expelling it in full-on "man style", there was no denying that he was no longer a baby.
So on Christmas night, when they were especially tired and ready to crash from eggnog overload, we tucked Graham tightly into his oversized bed and said goodnight. Forty-five minutes later, and after we were confident that Graham was out for the night, we repeated the routine with Cael, who was utilizing every ounce of self-control he had to keep his voice quiet.
They slept all night. It was miraculous. It was a big relief.
It was too good to be true.
The next day at naptime, we followed the same formula. But with some newfound knowledge, Graham decided to stay awake until Cael came in so that they could play together when they were both supposed to be sleeping. I saw that Graham was still awake but laid Cael down anyway, hoping that he was tired enough to close his eyes despite the wily character one bed over.
Upstairs, and only a moment later, I heard some suspicious words over the monitor in my bedroom.
"Graham, say poop. And pee!"
"Poop... peep!" Graham answered back.
"Nipple toots!" Cael shouted to up the ante.
That is SO not how girls behave.
The next night escalated even further. With both boys in bed and my nephews over for a rousing game of Scattergories, (is froglet a real word?), we were surprised to see Cael at the top of the stairs nearly an hour after they'd gone to bed. We were also surprised to learn that the culprit, the perpetrator, was Graham once again, talking nonstop and preventing Cael from getting his much needed beauty sleep.
But the surprises weren't over.
"Daddy, Graham won't let me sleep. He keeps saying the "f" word!"
There was no better time to be playing Scattergories.
Could the "f" word be a boy's name? Frederick?
Could the "f" word be a US state? Florida?
Could the "f" word be an animal? Froglet? Surely not.
Nope, the "f" word in question was the full-blown king of all expletives, and it was coming from the sweet mouth of my baby. I longed for the days of "nipple toots".
I wish I could say that they've mastered the art of sharing now that they are bunking together. And I really wish I could say that I knew how either of them discovered the "f" word. But I have discovered that when two squirmy little boys climb into bed together, it is just as cute as if they were girls.
Except when they both wake me up at 3am.