the one about the night I realized they would always be ok

A few nights ago we started the bedtime routine and I casually picked Connor up from the playroom floor for his tub and headed for the stairs. As is usually the case, he interpreted this as me ripping him viciously from his usual activity of an hour straight hockey extravaganza. (last night he impressed uncle bubba with an across the room snapshot with such speed and accuracy that it led his to ask, "where will he be playing in college?") Since the kids don't take tubs together anymore, we usually divide and conquer simultaneously. This means I take the little one and Steve lounges on the bed reading twitter while Caroline belts out the little mermaid (or more frequently made up songs that surprisingly make sense). please note, I still do this all the time. In the car yesterday, "gotta call the son, he's not very fun, I gotta call her son."

On this particular night, we were awaiting a kiki and papa drop by regarding the big top curtains. (curtains are amazing btw! She took my simple red and white ikea semi sheers that I had thought we could "maybe do something with" and turned them into something so fab. The true focal point of the room!) So I put Connor to bed and Caroline listened for them at the door.

Caro and Con are true hybrids of Steve and I, perfect little mixes of our quirky traits and expressions. Caro: hot bod, sweaty sleeper a la daddy. Con: ice cold feet when we unzip his sleeper even with socks on courtesy of mom. Caro shares my ability to fall asleep the instant her head hits the pillow. Connor could sit up for hours, quietly, just not ready to sleep.

So on this night, long after Connor was put to bed, his sister prepared herself for sleep and Steve walked by connor's door with a sleepy Caroline only to hear him still wide awake singing "abc." Adorable, but this was a full hour after he had been sung to, snuggled, kissed, and put down.

Here is where I have to note that we totally unplugged the monitor downstairs. We keep it on in our room overnight, but otherwise, what we don't hear doesn't seem to be hurting anyone. Steve has much better hearing than I do and at some point went up to check on them and Connor was whining. Caroline from the other room, in her own bed, "it's ok bud, you're going to be ok." from her own bed.

We celebrated and gave air high fives. Our kid stays in her bed! Sure, she shuffles still asleep into our room to hop into bed with us and demands, "tv," but we never hear the patter of feet who should be attached to a sleeping person roaming around up there.

Greater than that though is the comfort it brings me to know that the genuine love between these two is real and meaningful. They may fight over trucks and we may have to break up wrestling matches begun by one of them falling on top of the one ball the other one wants. They might resent each other's birthdays (a certain two year old is certain he is still the birthday boy). They are siblings with rivalries and disagreements and yet, they are so full of love for one another. Connor awoke this morning and I watched him leaning over the side of the crib, "caro-ine!" and she yelled back "Connor!" They continued on like that for several minutes, until I gave her permission to race in there with me to get him. When he is napping on the weekend, she at first enjoys the silence, but after a short time we find ourselves answering "when will Connor be awake?" We have finally reached the point where Connor will sit still to read a book (obsessed with Jan brett's "the mitten" right now) and I can put one of them on each leg and we can all yell "badger!" together. They are a team and even when I cannot be there, I know they will always have each other. These two could not be more different most times; whirling high sticking hockey crazy menace and quiet dollhouse role player and yet, in the quiet moments they sit together to build a fortress, color, make a puzzle, or flip through books it is clear that they are very much the same in that they more than anything else, enjoy having each other. Our dynamic duo.


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