Thursday, February 25, 2010

There Were Four In The Bed, And The Little One Said....

The twins have ending up in my bed every night for the past eternity several days, and as much as I love snuggling with them, it's getting old. Even if they don't begin the night in our room, you can count on usually one, probably both of them thundering up the stairs in the wee hours, howling vociferously. It's come to the point where bedtime is so painful for me that I just let them begin the night in my bed and save us all a lot of trouble, especially when the other half is on night shift and it's just me, dealing with all of them.

But tonight I just didn't feel like it, so I sent them to their beds. They stumped to my room once to tell me they had to go pee, and were indignant when I told them they had to go back to their own room! But ousted they were, and I didn't hear another peep.

Naturally I assumed they had fallen asleep, but when I checked in later on, their beds were empty. And in the next room, this is what I found:

This is a single bed, by the way.


  1. Isn't that something?! And they're all sound asleep!!

    I can so relate to this post . . . I can count on at least 2 sleep interruptions a night, and always during my REM cycle so it's really hard for me to wake up instantly. You said it with "painful."

  2. That is precious. I love that you got a picture of them. Amazing that they are all on a little tiny bed.

    I think I am already dreading the day that we move Boyd out of his crib into a regular bed. Who knows what we have in store?! :)

  3. What a precious picture. =]
    I can relate a bit, Aaron is in his crib in our room and some point in the morning he's out of the crib and curled up between hubby and I. Not sure what he'll do when he's in his own bedroom. =\


  5. Co-sleeping isn’t some newfangled, wimpy, politically correct way to parent, but as old as parenting itself. It’s the idea that a child needs to sleep in his own bed, alone, all night, that is the relatively new way to parent, and is only a couple hundred years old – from only as long ago as the development of larger houses and separate sleeping quarters. It’s prevalent now because we are now all affluent enough to afford central heating and larger homes. It has only recently become the norm, just like free public education, which has only been in existence for 150 years, and would we all agree THAT has become an overwhelming success? There was co-sleeping in Biblical times – remember King Solomon? – and incidentally, the occurrence of smothering during co-sleeping is infinitesimally small. There are arguments for and against co-sleeping, just like there are arguments for and against vaccinations and spanking and sleeping position and just about every other darn facet of child-rearing under the sun.

    From a practical standpoint as a breastfeeding mother, I much prefer that both the baby and I get a few hours sleep, even if it’s in the same bed. Once I dropped a weeks-old infant onto the floor, because I fell asleep nursing in the rocking chair and relaxed my grip. Is THAT preferable to co-sleeping? I’m not about to sacrifice my night’s sleep and be unproductive the next day just for the notion that a child needs to learn to sleep alone. All children WILL learn to sleep alone – not many teenagers still want to sleep with their parents - and it won’t be too long before she is too grown up to need me at night anymore, and will eventually not want to be seen with me in public at all. This dependent season of her life is so fleeting. And if my 6yo migrates to my bed in the middle of the night and I’m so completely asleep that I don’t even realize it, is my sound sleeping also some sort of parenting failure on my part?

    That article mentions that you only need to send a child back to his bed 10 times before he’ll stay there. ONLY? Let’s just say for the sake of argument that each instance takes 10 minutes. The child wakes you up 10 times, maybe in succession, maybe there’s a short interval between each. That’s a minimum of 100 minutes of broken sleep in the middle of an already short night. Tell Andy that he has to fight that repeating battle on a night when he has to get up at 4:00 a.m. and see what he says! I’m a homeschooling mom – do you know what happens when I don’t get enough sleep? It’s not pretty.

    It’s even worse with twins, because one wakes the other, and they both come howling into our room, and it takes longer to settle them both down. I guess if I just spanked them both, hard, they would lie there, crying themselves to sleep. But we also have a central hall, and one crying kid can wake up three or four more. On one hand, this is one kid holding the entire family’s night sleep hostage, but on the other, it’s a season. They’ll grow out of it. Letting a child into my room or bed for the benefit of the entire household isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    There are many parenting battles from which I can choose; co-sleeping is not one of them. Perhaps if I were a spineless, permissive, non-confrontational parent in every aspect, then co-sleeping would need to be addressed as part of a larger problem. Maybe it is just one symptom of my generation’s wimpy, ineffectual, non-authoritative parenting style and I am not even aware of it. All I know is that I don’t have the energy to fight them all, especially not in the middle of the night.

    I don’t think I’m doing a stellar job as a parent, but I also don’t think permitting them to crawl into my bed is going to scar them for life either. At any rate, some of my oldest’s fondest memories are of waking up in my bed and playing I-spy, or looking for pictures in the cracks of the ceiling, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.