As I may or may not have mentioned here before, while I continue to look for a permanent job, I fill up a chunk of my free time babysitting for a friend. She has two little ladies who are now two years old and eight months. Since the baby has grown out of the bassinet, the two have been sharing a room. My friend has done an awesome job of getting them on the same afternoon nap schedule.
The first time I put them down for a nap in the same room at the same time, I walked out and into the living room. They began chattering like a couple of teenagers at a slumber party. The baby was a BABY mind you…but they were definitely communicating. And giggling. And NOT napping.
I went in and explained it was nap time. Of course I felt like only the older one could understand. Little did I know – at that time – that it was the baby starting most of it. (Their cribs are on opposite walls, so they can look at each other easily. Even moreso now that the eight month old can stand at the side of her crib.)
The slumber party fun lasted about 45 minutes until they both settled into a sleep. Once my friend came home I learned it was their thing. It was adorable.
Not long after that, I was sitting in the living room after putting them down and heard the two year old say my name. Oh my gosh, you guys. They were talking about me! I had often wondered how much they could possibly have to talk about since they spend virtually every waking moment together and there they were…saying something about me I couldn’t understand. She didn’t sound mad or upset tho, so I thought that was a good thing.
Then last week, the baby’s schedule had set her naptime a little later. I thought if I staggered the naps it would cut down on the 45 minutes it took for them to fall asleep. But once I put the two year old to bed, the baby was content to play with me for about 20 minutes before all but telling me with words that she wanted to go to bed. I thought the two year old had probably fallen asleep by now, but quickly discovered the two were chomping at the bit to get that day’s meeting underway.
It reminded me of all those nights growing up I laid in bed across the room from my own younger sister. Giggling and talking and imitating the newcasters we watched on a daily basis. We, too, shared a room early on. But I can’t remember those early convos. It’s those times when we shared a room during elementary school that I can recall more clearly.
I actually have two sisters and bedtime convos were definitely an integral part of our childhoods. We braved thunderstorms together, scared each other, and – most importantly – listened to each other. Siblings don’t always get along, and I know we didn’t, but it’s those moments – the moments that apparently start so young – that exemplify the preciousness of having someone under the same roof as you, experiencing life with you. We moved around about every four years growing up and my siblings were my first friends in every new city.
When I think about what I want for my own someday children, I always knew I wanted siblings for them. But now I’m thinking I want shared rooms for them as well. I want them to have those little talks. Share those giggles. Find that confidante. Without ever having to go very far.