Last night I fell out of bed.
Well, maybe I was pushed out of bed by the long arm of The Toddler Bed Whore.
I can’t tell you because it was during the .5 hours of the night that I’m actually truly asleep.
I’m a grown woman with no
diagnosed sleeping disorders or balance problems yet I found myself with a face full of carpet at around 3am last night.
Let’s all sing together now: There were four in the bed and the little one kicked the mother in the head and the mother fell out, way out of that fucking bed…
I should not be surprised nor do I have anyone to blame but myself.
I am weak. Very, very weak.
I started strong. The first two kids were sleep trained and sleeping through the night in their own beds by 8 months. My husband and I were smug about it. We gave sleep deprived parents copies of How To Get Your Little Nugget To Sleep Through The Night And Then Polish Off A Bottle Of Wine.
But with each kid I have gotten older, more tired, less inclined to tolerate long bouts of crying. So when baby number three came along five years after the child number two, I had essentially lost the ability to be a hard ass.
Plus he was so damn cute. Little jerk.
Child number one had already done a number on my brain. And child number two had ruined my heart forever. And there was not enough sex going on because of our crazy schedules and the Too Many Children Situation, so my decision-making abilities were compromised, too.
So, baby number three ended up in our bed. It was just going to be for the first three months. And then it was going to be by the time he was six months old.
We had a crib and everything. And we would put him in it after he had fallen asleep, but it was like he had a cold sheet detector in his cheeks and would immediately wake up wailing.
So then we’d put a warmed up blanket in the crib and he would sleep for thirty seconds and then start sweating and wake up wailing.
We purchased and tried Your Child Will Sleep If You Play This music and Your Child WIll Sleep If You Hang This mobiles, and Your Child Will Sleep If You Leave Him With This mother scented dirty bra, t-shirt, stuffed animal, etc., etc.
Nothing worked. We should have just made him cry it out. But I could not. He is our last baby. There were extenuating circumstances. My husband was overly kind about my inept parenting decision-making.
So the baby sleeps in our bed. And the baby has grown into a thirty pound two-year old Toddler Bed Whore who likes to take up 65.5% of the bed and sleep 30% of any given night with at least 3-5 loud requests for SHOON! and SHOONAH! (boob one and boob two).
But that is not all, oh no, no it’s not. Not to be outdone by the little creep who unceremoniously booted him from the coveted baby role in the family, the middle child started having nightmares and proceeded to come into our room every night, making a ruckus and insisting on climbing into bed with us.
We fought the middle child and walked him back up to his room every night, but his disruptions woke the baby, and the husband, and the mothercowpoordecisionmaker and so we gave up and moved his mattress into our room right next to the bed.
Looking for someone to reprimand me and tell me that I am stunting my children’s growth I appealed to the kids’ doctor:
Don’t worry! said the pediatrician. The family bed is an excellent thing. In Asia it is common. It is very comforting for children and some say it is even good for brain development. Just get sleep, however you can make it happen!
Fucking Portland! Of course that’s what a Portland pediatrician is going to say.
And then, not to be forgotten or overshadowed by the two boys who booted her from the coveted baby role in the family, the eldest started coming into our bed at least once a week. Fortunately she sleeps like the dead, but every time she wakes she must locate her special blanket and if it is not right by her hand she starts poking me in the head area (eyeball, ear, nose).
So guess how much sleep I get a night? About half an hour. And I have no one to blame but myself. When I went to therapy last week for the first time in many years and I described this situation to the kindly shrink her eyes looked like they were going to bug out of her head.
Her eyes said: Oh, girl. Change gonna come. Change got to come or you’re gonna lose it.
It took last night’s mouthful of carpet to realize that yes, I am afraid of change, but in the words of the great Sam Cooke, “It has been a long, long time coming/But I know a change gonna come/Oh yes it will.”
Change gonna come, Sheriff!