At first, it was kind of cute.
After tucking Ryder into his toddler bed, he would fall asleep for an obligatory three hours… then lightly pad across the hallway, enter our room and crawl into our bed. At the time I was pregnant with Reid, and knew that my alone time with my little buddy was drawing to a close. Hence, I turned a blind eye (literally, I didn’t even bother to get up) and let him stay the night.
Then Reid came along, and I soon discovered that breastfeeding in the middle of the night was vastly easier when I could just roll over and relinquish a boob. So, he too found a home for the night on our bed – but only after we kicked Ryder to the curb (I wasn’t willing to chance Reid being crushed by a toddler who has a penchant for sleeping sideways). And with a brand new big boy’s bed and bedroom, for at least 6 months Ryder stayed away, reveling in the novelty of his new room (actually I think he just cottoned onto the fact that Reid woke up crying exactly every three hours – and couldn’t deal with those sleep conditions).
For a while, there was balance in the force.
Reid slept between hubby and I, letting us know when he wanted a midnight snack. Ryder bounced on our bed at 6:00am, willing us all awake as only 2-year-olds can.
But then, Ryder decided that perhaps he didn’t love his new room after all, and he wanted to sleep with mommy and daddy. After all, why should only Reid have access to the prime real estate? Reid was now over a year old, and having never been introduced to alternate sleeping arrangements, literally thought our bed was HIS own.
One night, late last June, I came to bed after a late night of blogging to find this:
I sighed in defeat and made my way to Ryder’s room, where he has a big, comfy, EMPTY double bed.
But my slumberous ways were short-lived; realizing that his drink ticket didn’t come to bed, Reid lightly padded across the hallway, entered Ryder’s room and crawled into his bed. And lifted my top for some boobage.
GAH! Was it so unrealistic to want a solid 6 hours of sleep? Hell-o!
That was just over a year ago. And today, although Reid no longer has access to my boobs, he does still sleep with us. Since you’re wondering, yeah, so does Ryder. Here’s how it happens:
8:00pm: Begin the boys’ bedtime ritual.
8:30pm: Tuck the boys in bed, after an obligatory 3-4 short bedtime stories.
9:00pm: Scream at Ryder to get back to bed, to stay in his room.
9:10:pm: Check on Reid sleeping peacefully in his room.
9:30pm: Have complete confidence that both boys are out of our hair. For the time being.
12:00am: Ryder makes his way back to our bed. Sleeps at the foot like a puppy. We don’t even hear him come in.
2:00am: Reid stomps into our room. Clambers up on the bed noisily. Searches for the best pole position. Kicks me in the face twice before he successfully snuggles against me. Pinches my husband’s back for good measure. Sometimes says sleepily, “I lub you, Mommy”.
Seriously, like I’m going to kick out a cherubic little angel who says “I lub you” before fluttering his eyelashes off to sleep?
So, my sleeplessness is self-imposed, because I don’t have the will or desire to repeatedly cart Ryder back to bed. (He’ll just return, it’s been done. Sometimes, up to 3 times in one night.) And, I simply can’t remove any creature that cuddles up and whispers sweet nothings before drifting off to dreamland.
Yes, I sleep with three dudes. No, I don’t really sleep; I toss and turn until the sun peeks through my shutters.
Often, when I attend overnight press trips, the most exciting part is sleeping in my own bed – with no nocturnal interruptions. While other moms are gung-ho to party it up through the night, I’m usually the one changing into pyjamas in a determined, unapologetic fashion. I get to SLEEP tonight, dammit, and I SHALL have my slumber.
And so, it’s been 4 years, 3 months and 5 days since I last enjoyed a well-rested night in my own bed. As much as I like to complain that I’m a #zombiemom, etc, etc… truth is, I do rather enjoy being surrounded by warmth and pure, innocent love. I know they won’t want to sleep with me forever, so you know what? Come on in. Let’s snuggle.
How old were your kids when they finally stopped crawling into bed with you? Do you still co-sleep with your children? Have you ever?