Bring up the topic of sleeping arrangements to any parent and whether you ask for it or not, you will get a lot of advice: let them cry it out, have a crib in your room, don’t have children. You have to make up your own mind about what will work for you. For both children we chose the option of being slapped in the face and kicked in the groin for eight hours a night. It works for us. I have no need for an alarm clock anymore. Either I am stunned into waking mode by a a tiny fist, or roll onto a bruised testicle. Goodbye snooze button.
The proper name for this sadomasochist activity is “co-sleeping”. One part of that word doesn’t fit at all. It should be called “co-fustrating” or “co-stop-hitting-me-dammit”. There are some benefits to this, such as never having to stumble down the hall to the baby’s room for a feeding, with the guarantee of stepping on a small sharp LEGO piece in the dark. LEGO: making parents curse for over 60 years. (LEGO has not sponsored this post in anyway).
However, there is now a little sucking animal separating you and that woman you once knew by a name other than “Mommy”. On a good night I get to feel the gentle caress of her pinky finger brushing my own. Oh, the overwhelming passion that floods my eyelids making them heavy and close!
We co-slept with the 4 year-old as well, and for about six months before the baby was born she would actually sleep in her own room all night upwards of once a week! That doesn’t sound like much, but once a week sleeping without a child in parent years is like three weeks straight.
Once the baby was born though even that one time a week disappeared. In the middle of the night she sleepily wanders into our room and climbs in bed, somehow taps into a group mind of her baby sister and starts flailing about. Suddenly my wife is trying to sleep in a car wash where the water has been turned off, while I am slowly but steadily squeezed out of the bed altogether. I wander into the four year old’s room and deposit myself in a nest of stuffed animals and fossilized cheerios for a rest.
We have recently started looking at bunk beds as a sleep solution. I really think it’s going to work. I can sleep on the top, on the bottom, pretend it’s a spaceship, hang myself...