Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: The Great Wall of Safety

I've been neglecting my twinland posts of late. I have no excuse, other than life with twins is exhausting and most days I really don't want to relive the day by writing it all down.

But this is too funny to not write about.

Remember back in September, when we moved the twins to toddler beds and the all-night partying began? We had the shattered glass, and took everything off their walls. Well, it got worse. The partying turning into fighting. At first it was just blood-curdling screams first thing in the morning. I'd go into their room, and find Thing 1 on top of Thing 2. Sometimes there were scratches, sometimes bite marks, and sometimes blood.

Things got worse. Thing 1 was constantly bothering and abusing Thing 2. We got a video monitor. It didn't help, other than we knew when to go in and break things up. It took 3 hours to get them to bed at night, then 4, then 5. We tried lying on the floor in their bedroom with them until they fell asleep, but every time we moved they'd wake back up. We tried exhausting them before bedtime. We tried putting them down earlier. We tried putting them down later. It just kept getting worse. Thing 2 wanted to go to sleep, but Thing 1 insisted on keeping him from it. Sometimes it was Thing 1 crawling into Thing 2's bed amidst much screaming. Sometimes it was Thing 1 hitting Thing 2 to keep him awake. It was not fun for any of us.

I got desperate. Really desperate. Our bedtimes were becoming 1 and 2 in the morning. Our wake time was 6 or 7. We were all tired, and we were all cranky. I knew if they could just not touch each other we'd all get back on schedule. But we didn't have a spare room to move one of the twins into.

Husband suggested a plywood wall down the middle of their room. But I knew there would be an adjustment phase with that, too. They would not like it if they couldn't see each other. And that's when my mom suggested chicken wire. And husband and I loaded up the kids immediately, even though it was nearly six o'clock at night, and went to Home Depot, where we bought the materials. We came home, and Neil got to work.

And this is what he built.

We didn't take time to paint the wood. We weren't concerned with looks (obviously). We put it up as quickly as possible, and then all got the best night's sleep in more than a month.

It's ugly. A little, um, white trash. But it works. Within a few nights, we were more or less back to our normal 7 pm - 7 am sleep schedule. I absolutely love this chicken wire fence. The twins can still interact if they want. They talk to each other. They laugh together. They even pass books and socks through the tiny spaces between the edge of the frame and wall and share sippy cups (they have the straw kind for bedtime) through the chicken wire. They know their brother isn't getting any special attention or privileges, because they can see each other. 

But they can't touch each other. They can't attack each other. When one of them gets tired, they lay down and ignore the other. If one wakes up first, they just play quietly with their books and stuffed animals instead of waking up their brother. It is awesome. This ugly, heinous, ridiculous wall has helped us all regain some semblance of sanity. Totally worth it. 


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