Duos and The Dark
By Cheryl Lage
Hey there —
Your twins are older than mine---figured you would be a great person to ask. How long does the “I’m scared of the dark, turn the light on” phase last? I’m going crazy going back and forth, turning it on and then turning it off, etc., etc.....
Oh bless your heart! You know, we have always had a lava lamp (full-size) that we've used as a "night light", so they've been able to "see" even with the suitable for sleeping reduced light (and it also allows us to peek in...was great in the middle of the night feeding days...or when someone is sick..) Periodically our son has said he's "afraid of the dark" but only when I've sent him upstairs for something and it's black as pitch!
Have you done the night light thing? If not, I'd give it a try, that's for sure...or maybe an intensified one if you already are...(but colored like a blue, green or purple hue) so it still "feels" like night time. I'd be really hesitant to get to into a routine of turning the overhead on at night unless you want to leave it on all night...and of course you could, but it sounds like you don't want to...and I wouldn't want to either! Wonder if somewhere in there the kids like the idea of mom coming "back" after bedtime is declared...
We've also found the night light very helpful for our boy, who has quite a few bad dreams, and the occasional night terror...he can visually survey his environment, aided by the night light, and get re-acclimated to his "safe room".
Just tonight our daughter (5, mind you) at (and a half hour later...) bedtime (for the first time ever) was crying saying "Mommy stay with me...I miss you when you're gone..." Of course she has her well-kid appointment with her doctor tomorrow, and she insists she is no longer afraid of her finger test she'll be getting, but Scott and I are thinking she's "projecting" her tears to something she thinks we'll find more "acceptable" for after-hours interruption.
As far as "how long the phase lasts"? Darlin', think all phases are of different durations for each and every kid. We have discovered when BOTH start to chime with the same "phase" in after one "instigates" it? It's usually because the second twin likes/is seeking the "results" they've seen from Mommy & Daddy in dealing with the first twin! In your shoes (take it or leave it), I think I'd upgrade the night light, reassure them that now all is well and safe and they aren't "in the dark", you two are right nearby, but need your sleep too, and I'd stop with the full-on light or no light scenario. If after that you think they are genuinely and sincerely fearful (not merely uncomfortable and seeking Mommy/Daddy to come in to reassure) I'd check and see what the pediatrician would suggest. OR, do the controlled-crying, consolation routine again. (We did return to that on occasion with our two...usually after an illness upset the apple cart of predictability!)
Hang in there...the Target Lava Lamps RULE! (and we got it to look
"cool" it just has ROCKED functionally for all in our house.)
Let me know how it goes-
Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!