Goodnight Sweetheart

Until recently my twins, Bubba and Toot, have spent almost every moment, waking and sleeping, together. As infants they slept in the same bassinet. Even when they started wiggling around they were still only a few feet apart so they could see each other. They even napped together until Bubba figured out how to tip over his pack and play and then free his sister.

Before they could talk we would hear them laughing and giggling together. When they started to form a few fledgling words we would eavesdrop on the monitor and hear them “talking” to each other.

“Toot… Toot!”

“No Bubba. Too early.”

I couldn’t get enough of listening to their private conversations.

Three years later they still shared a room until about a month ago. The peace treaty between Bubba and Toot had broken down and if they weren’t waging war on each other then they would wage a bedtime war on us, their weary parents.

One night out of exhaustion I waved the white flag and asked Toot if she wanted to sleep in her little sister, Juju Bee’s, room. To this she exclaimed “Yes!” and happily padded down the hall.

She hasn’t looked back.

I thought it would be a one night thing. Give them a little space from each other and then they would contentedly go back to being roommates. It didn’t work out that way. Every night Toot says goodnight to Bubba and heads down the hall, leaving the toddler bed next to him empty.

Bubba has taken consolation in our new pup, Duchess, dragging her warm little body under the covers and holding tightly to her until she stops struggling.

The result is that bedtime is easier. There are no longer two raucous hours before they pass out amid scattered books and toys on the floor, under the curtains or in a chair by the door. But it also means their relationship is changing.

One morning as we drove to school Toot told me she didn’t have a good sleep the night before. I suggested maybe she would sleep better if she went back to sleeping with Bubba. She quickly dismissed that idea. Bubba leaned over and looked at her from his car seat and said “I miss you… Toot!!…. I miss you SO MUCH.” It nearly broke my heart. Toot looked at him and matter of factly said “I love you SO MUCH. I sleep with Juju Bee and you sleep with Duchess, Bubba.”

I knew this day would come, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. Toot was ready for the change. She was ready for the independence. Bubba… not so much. He is slowly getting used being in that room by himself. He doesn’t ask Toot to come back anymore. Now they meet in the morning at the breakfast table like old friends. Bubba climbs into the chair across from Toot and waves “Hi Toot!”

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