I’m currently watching over the baby monitor as my sister and brother-in-law take in a show. When they left, they asked me to go in and check that the younger nephew was sleeping in five minutes, which I did. Fast asleep. And this, mind you, with his door cracked and next door, his older brother keeping up a running dialogue with himself about whether he wanted to be a construction worker or an “old-time car driver”. Yes, he was supposed to be asleep. No, he didn’t want to be.
It made me wonder if those two perennial favorites of psychological study, birth order and sleep, have ever been considered together. When the older boy was this age, surely, we tiptoed around as he slept? The younger one is learning to sleep through all sorts of outbursts and upset. It might be interesting to find out if many older siblings are, like Ryan, light sleepers. For myself, a younger sibling, I am a deep diver into the sea of sleep. Probably a specious theory, but perhaps worth looking up tomorrow, when I’ve completed my night’s dive.