The other night, Detective Munch came to our room at about 1:30 AM, woke Mom and Buried and me up, and told us he couldn’t sleep. Actually, what he said was that he’d been “awake since 7” and had been lying in bed with his eyes wide open the entire time.
This was blatantly false on several levels (he didn’t even go to bed until 8!), the latest in a long line of excuses and/or lies he uses to try to get into our bed.
My son is addicted to co-sleeping, so this happens a few times a week. I don’t always handle it well.
In the middle of the night, woken up from a sound sleep, I have little patience for Detective Munch’s maneuverings, and my temper often gets the better of me. (It involves yelling.)
To make matters worse, when I tell him he has to go back to his room and his bed, his response isn’t exactly rational either. (It involves screaming.)
The end result is an infuriated dad, a hysterical child, and an exasperated Mom and Buried trying to stay calm and be the voice of reason. (It involves whisper-scream-yelling).
Amid the chaos, she’s barely holding it together herself, all the while petrified the commotion will wake the Hammer, which it sometimes does. Bottom line: IT’S INSANITY. AT TWO AM.
This is, of course, our own fault. We created our co-sleeping monster.
As good parents, we do our best to make sure he doesn’t get too much of any of those things, both because those things probably aren’t super healthy for him and because getting everything he wants all the time is *definitely* not super healthy for him.
The thing is, neither of us really minds when he sleeps in our bed! When it comes to co-sleeping, we don’t take a hard-line stance; we’ve never committed to it as a lifestyle but we haven’t made it verboten either. Whatever it takes for everyone to get some sleep. Rest is best!
But now that he’s older, and bigger, a co-sleep with Detective Munch usually leads to less sleep (for the adults, at least) and it often exacerbates Mom and Buried’s MS (and leaves me with a black eye or two). At the same time, he’s entering second grade in the fall. He won’t be our little guy for much longer, and his interest in snuggling is sure to evaporate soon.
It won’t be long when we’re pining for the days he barged into our room in the middle of the night simply because he wanted to be near us.
But some nights, like this night, which was our first night at home in over a week, Mom and Buried and I just couldn’t handle it. We wanted our bed to ourselves, and despite our awareness of our son’s fleeting youth (shit just got dark), we want to nip his reliance on co-sleeping in the bud. (Unfortunately it’s no longer a bud, it’s a full-fledged flower. Or weed. It’s definitely a weed. Do weeds start as buds? Is it still called co-sleeping when the kid is six years old? Are these questions meaningful? Are you still reading?)
We allowed Detective Munch to sleep in our room – but on the floor next to the bed. (Mom and Buried gathered up some pillows and blankets for him.) It worked, kind of. He laid down in his makeshift cot, we all fell back to sleep, and Mom and Buried and I were able to hang onto our precious bed space. Apparently, sleeping next to our bed was close enough to co-sleeping for him. Huzzah!
Until the morning arrived, whereupon he woke up and angrily declared that he’d “slept like a dog on the floor!” Good feeling gone.
Next time we’ll probably just let him in the bed with us, and the cycle will start all over again. Until it stops. And we miss it.
Because parents are pathetic.