To Sleep Perchance to Dream

I realize children are our future and we should teach them well and feed them on our dreams, and a smile from a child is a package of sunshine and unicorn farts.

Terrific.

But my little package of sunshine and unicorn gas has been in the habit of yelling my name in the middle of the night with an invitation “to come sleep with me” in his twin bed, which really means “no sleep for hours then when I finally sneak back into my bed, a 30-minute respite before the next primal scream and  I relent and just let him sleep in my goddamn bed.”

All this after me or my husband begin the night lying awake in his bed until he falls asleep, and realizing my child has a later bedtime than me.

Nightime is beginning to resemble that surreal hellscape I stumbled through when I was a barely function bag of cells “mothering” a newborn baby.

This morning I had a lengthy discussion about the merits of phrenology to detect lice when it became clear that  a) I don’t know what phrenology is and b) I was actually talking to the coffeemaker.

There is a reason sleep deprivation is such an effective torture technique.

I vaguely recall my smug, child-free self boldy declaring “I would NEVER let my child sleep in my bed” when I would hear of parents getting kicked in the face multiple times by a child sleeping perpindicular to them.

I also vaguely remember rambling on about how I would never cook separate meals for my kid and he would just “eat what I’m eating.”

Aw, sweet, young Speaker7, you dumb fuck, you.

I’ve consulted all the experts like the random people who somehow have time to answer questions on wikianswers:

sleepstrategiesMy options are limited. I could keep things as is and die earlier from it, but at least that’s sort of a type of sleep. I could engage in a nighttime battle with a victor who has more energy stores than the hottest part of the sun. Or I could spend the time making out with Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice because I swear he was just in my kitchen a second ago talking to Kato Kaelin about O.J. Simpson’s latest book “Okay I did It.”

It’s likely karmic retribution. I slept in my parent’s room so much, they kept a mattress tucked under their bed. I had convinced myself I was going to be murdered in my sleep. Amityville Horror may not be the most comforting bedtime story.

In fact, the last time I slept on my parent’s floor was when I was 23 and home for a visit. I had mistakenly assumed I could handle a viewing of the movie Scream without thinking I would be the next to be gutted and strung up a tree by Ghostface. After a fitful night of continually turning on my light, I gave in and curled up on the floor of their room only to slink out early in the morning.

So judging by my track record, only 20 more years of this. That third option is looking pretty good.

Speaker7’s bout of sleep deprivation is only making the experience of posting daily as a member of the Nano Poblano Team even more sheep. When I move my hand slowly in front of my face, I can see leprechauns. 

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38 comments

    1. …see what I mean…I can’t even function enough to comment properly I’m so tired. I was going to say that we are in the same spot with my 15 mth old. My husband has dubbed him “cock blocker”. We start the crying it out method tonight. God help me.

  1. I started this comment with gentle reprimands about the dangers of sleeping in the same bed with your sprog, bla, bla, until I realized I’m the LAST PERSON on EARTH who should be doling out parenting advice. It’ll be a miracle if my daughters don’t wind up as double ax murderers. Mollytopia has some pretty great ideas about parenting. Ask her.

  2. Mine is 3. Often her mother or I will sleep with her, (by often I mean way too much) but after struggling with it for quite some time I came to two realizations. 1) we all need sleep and if one of us doesn’t make the sacrifice, none in the house will sleep well. 2) she’s three, our only, and I know there’ll come a day she doesn’t want to be that near either of her parents.
    That being said, I may have to rethink my #2 realization…if the last time you slept in your parents room you were 23! 😉
    THanks for sharing such a great story!

    1. To ease your worry, I didn’t sleep constantly on my parent’s floor from 3 to 23. I was there quite a bit from 7-10 and then it tapered off to only a few occasions when I saw something on tv that scared the shit out of me.

  3. When my youngest was three, we went through this stage. It is a stage – I promise! We used bribery (classic parenting at its finest) and a little chart with stickers. The chart idea was from my friend whom I will call Super Mom. Super Mom was right, though, a sticker every night he slept by himself and ten stickers = a toy. Hope that helps a little bit! Watch out for those leprechauns – they bite! 😉

    1. We are starting the bribery phrase except my child is no fan of stickers. He wants trucks and trucks only. I could fill an entire landfill with the number of trucks this kid has.

      1. but cats are more quiet, clean themselves, you can leave them to the care of strangers without being judged for it … The downside is – even after 20 years (if you are lucky and have them that long) – they still have the intelligence of a child of about 30 months …

  4. I have a 6 year old that gets out of her bed at least 25 times (maybe more!) to tell me random things she “forgot” to tell me earlier. She slept with us 99% of the time until she went to Kindergarten – then , I told her she was as big girl and needed to sleep in her own bed. Now, she is a 1st grader she only sleeps with us about 20% of the time – ha ha ha ha. It’s a process!!!! Good luck. Loved your story.

  5. My 10 year old bundle of joy wakes up just about every night with bad dreams – probably all the cocaine he’s snorting. Or the crappy mothering I’m doing.
    I don’t give a rat’s ass about sleep rules for kids. I’m single, and I like having a man in my bed. Even if he’s 10, and related to me. Ewwwww.
    The truth is, in another 2 years he won’t want to know me. I’ll take what I can get now.
    (pssst! formerly SAT girl)

  6. As a non-parent who is therefore not qualified to give advice, I put in a vote for a separate-yet-in-parents’-room bed. Tell him he can come and sleep in it if he’s scared or whatever, but you don’t want to hear about it. If he’s using the ‘can’t sleep’ thing for attention, giving him an option that kind of removes the need to call for you/get permission might help.
    As a kid, I had night terrors, but was only rarely allowed to share my parents’ bed.

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