Everyone has an opinion about letting babies sleep in their bed. When my first child was born nine years ago, I didn’t want her sleeping with us. I was afraid we would squish her or she would crash to the floor. I couldn’t risk that. There was no way I was letting her out of that bassinet. No matter what stunts she pulled. She couldn’t break me.
And then she did.
At two o’clock in the morning, after nights of little or no sleep, you will do ANYTHING to get a few solid hours. We tried all the tricks, washing machine agitation, car rides and even the vacuum cleaner running beside her bed. Nothing worked with that child. She would cry for HOURS. I remember the night that I surrendered. I heard myself cry out “YOU WIN!!!”. And it was done. She slept on my chest for six hours straight. Heavenly.
It was just too easy. I was actually getting sleep again and I didn’t care what anyone thought. Then all of a sudden, she was two years old. She was STILL in my bed.
Her baby brother slept in the crib. Either I had learned a thing or two about being a mother or he was just less demanding. Either way that was good because his sister was still with me. I thought surely she would be in our bed until she went away to college. Until one night at age three, she just…..went to the toddler bed. My goodness, she really did call all of the shots.
After her none of the boys stood a chance. They took their turns in the bassinet, crib and the toddler bed. Then they went to their big boy beds. I was done with sharing my bed with little people. Until this past weekend that is.
On a trip back home for a wedding, we had to stay in a hotel for one night. The only problem was the family suite that we were supposed to have was not available, so we were moved to a standard room and given a cute little roll away bed. Two queen beds and one roll away. Six people. Fun.
Luckily we arrived at the hotel close to bedtime. I heard my daughter and middle son claim bed number one. The other two crawled into bed number two. Dad was sitting in a chair looking at his iPad. I was exhausted so I weighed my options: Roll away bed (bad back and all) or bed number two with two boys, who already looked pretty sleepy. How bad could it be? I chose bed number two.
They asked me to sleep in the middle but there was no way I was falling for that. Trapped like a rat between two little boys was not my idea of fun. I chose the side by my youngest. Not because he was my favorite or anything but rather because he was by the air conditioner controls. This is a must at age 40.
It didn’t take long for the kids to be out cold. They had a full day behind them. I on the other hand would require a little longer since my woman brain had not yet retired for the evening. Finally I could feel the waves of sleep rushing over me. Dad opted for the roll away bed instead of bed number one. Looking back now? I should have challenged him to a duel for possession of that roll away bed. Dad is evidently a genius.
Dad had only been in the bed for all of two minutes when he started snoring. That is right. Snoring. That was okay. I was super tired so I closed my eyes, ready to get some rest. About this time the very first limb was thrown over my body. Aww wasn’t that sweet? My youngest threw his leg over me. I put it back where it belonged and turned back over. Then it happened again. I put it back. Again. Back. Again. Back. Fabulous.
Apparently number four was a live one. I checked to make sure that he wasn’t just playing games. By his breathing I could tell that he was still asleep. So as usual, everyone was asleep in the family except for me. I should have been asleep but I had this kid all over me.
After removing his leg from my side about ten times he finally rolled over and faced the other direction. Score. I took the opportunity to also face the other direction. Now I was facing his back. Then….he threw his arm on top of his brother. Now the only thing worse than him keeping me awake was him waking his brother. I did not need a whiny seven-year old contributing to the drama. I quickly pulled his arm back down. He moved it back. I pulled it off. Back. Off. Back. Off. What is this kid’s agenda?
I decided to roll him back over. I could not risk him waking anyone. I turned back over facing the wall. I closed my eyes. There was still hope for sleep. Until…he jammed his toes into my ribs. I pushed his foot back down. He jabbed my ribs. I pushed. He jabbed. I was about to kick this kid of my bed. Then he started mumbling in his sleep. Yea.
I sat up in bed and looked around. The room was dark but I could still see. All four kids were sleeping. The two in the other bed were all sprawled out. My oldest son who was also in bed with me had not moved once since I had come to bed. Even Dad was sawing logs on a bed that was only half the size of a twin. Why don’t I ever catch a break?
A break from this madness was necessary. Except I was in a hotel room, so……there was just the bathroom. That was good enough. I can use the bathroom on demand these days. I got out of the bed and headed into the darkness. The events that occurred next were something out of a Jim Carey movie.
While trying to move quietly though the room, I stumped my toe on a dresser, hit my knee on the roll away bed ( No worries, Dad didn’t budge) and slipped on some water on the bathroom tile. I screamed a couple of times and maybe I kicked the roll away a little harder on the way back to bed (still didn’t move). NO ONE MOVED. I arrived at my bed to find my four-year old in my spot. Of course he was.
What is the deal moms? I am destined to NEVER sleep again. All because I had children. Even with all of this, who do you think was the first one up the next day? Getting ready for the big day? That’s right. It was me. I mean not like I was sleeping anyway. Eight hours you say? Pffft.