I'm not sure how it's worked out this way, but we're a threesome most nights. And by "most nights" I mean every night but eight since L was born. 18 months ago.
Not exactly what we'd planned, but she seems fine with the arrangement.
Every night between 9p and 2.30a L joins us in bed, and now that she's approaching 19mo, she sprawls in ways and resists in ways that are counterproductive to quiet nights. There's something distinctly different between a fully-swaddled and immobile 3mo old, and a toddler who can shake her head emphatically when told she needs to Just Go To Sleep. "Uh UH!"
I'm afraid we missed the window, that magical "let her cry it out even though the neighbors are starting to congregate on the sidewalk" window. That "do your damnedest, scream your loudest, because we're going to be down in the kitchen eating Hagen Daz and drinking chardonnay" window.
One problem is our house -- it's really a one-bedroom house. Don't get me wrong, it's a GREAT one-bedroom house, but damn, another bedroom would be nice. K and L share a walk-through room on the way to our bedroom and this means that, though we were overjoyed to let K cry it out (she'll get deal with the trauma on her own time, in therapy), with L we tended to leap for her on the first hint of crying ... after all, what's worse, one crying kid, or two?
There's nothing so lacking in perspective as an exhausted parent, And when I say "exhausted" I fully acknowledge that M bore the brunt of those early long nights.
Unfortunately, this "shut her up at all costs, even if it means sleeping with her until she goes to college" hasn't turned out to be as a good a long-term solution as we'd hoped, and now we're paying for it.
Of the eight times she's slept in her own crib for a complete night (defined as until at least 4.30a) six of those were in the last two months, but none in the last month. There we were, imagining that we'd gotten over the hump, so to speak, when L caught a cold and everything went to hell in a handbasket.
Last night she slept in her crib until... 11.30p? Maybe. I'm pretty blurry about details when woken up from a dead sleep. In any case, it was long enough for us both to do some bedtime reading, which, truth be told, is probably the single thing we most miss when she gets up before 9p. Lately when she joins us, she's awake for 1-2 hours, kicking, squirming, sitting up and handing over her pacifiers ("All done!") and demanding water ("Water!!"), then wanting the pacifiers back ("Waciwa!").
Compounding the issue now is that K, at 3yo, has started to wonder why her sister gets the royal treatment (sleeping between us) and she's stuck out in her own bed. Try reasoning with an exhausted 3yo at 2.30a! No one is reasonable at that hour.
Good thing I get to go to work!