Monday, November 22, 2010

Co-Sleeping with Your Monkeys

This is not a blog for or against co-sleeping. So do not write to me arguing your point. It's just some observations from one mom to other moms and dads. So please do not make a mountain out of a mole-hill. It will not be appreciated.

This is Beka - obviously from other photos in other blogs you realize this is an older photo. However, as infants, our girls inevitably ended up in our beds at some point in time.

Beka slept on Chris' chest through most of the first few months of her life. This gave me instant access to her so I could nurse her while dozing until I had to turn to the other side. Chris would then either put her on his chest or return her to the bassinet at the foot of the bed. When she was first born she was tiny enough that this was possible. As she grew longer though, it became necessary to put her in the portable crib we purchased and put in the corner of our bedroom.

Each of the girls had their turns sleeping on Daddy's chest. Chris loved to tell me about Sarah falling asleep on his chest and he woke up with hickeys because she woke up hungry and was rooting around for his nipples thinking he might have what she wanted. When Lizzie was little, one of her favorite places to fall asleep as an infant was on Chris' chest or mine. And during Chris' first deployment in 2004-2005 every morning Lizzie would crawl into bed with me and yes, I let her stay there so I could gain an extra hour or so of sleep. Otherwise, I had to get up and play. This might not have been a problem, but I was struggling with insomnia then so anything that got me a little more sleep seemed like a good idea to me.

Beka still enjoys sleeping with us from time to time. I am not against or for co-sleeping. But listening to friends and reading some of their Facebook posts it did make me ask myself a few questions. You know that you wonder these things too. Like how can a child so small take up so much of the bed? It never fails, when your child comes into your bed, they proceed to sleep across the bed with the pillows and you either find them in your bed this way or they join you in the dark hours of the morning. Or how is it that they always plaster themselves to you or sleep with their head in your armpit? How can someone so small wrap themselves around your head? Or come and find the worst possible spot to sleep so you wake up with cricks in your back or knees? Worse is if you are pregnant and they come into the bed at night and you can't get out to go to the bathroom. This might not be problematic if you aren't at the end of the pregnancy when getting your shoes on, much less shaving your legs is a thing you've almost forget you used to do because you can't put your shoes on, much less reach your ankle with a razor. How can someone so small like Beka create so much heat? She crawls into bed with me and not only does she plaster herself to me (even if I move her) but her little body generates so much heat that I wake up in the dead of winter sweating and feeling as if I might die from heat exhaustion? It's nuts the things you discover as a parent.

For example: A child can in fact shove a cheese puff up their nose - no matter how large it is, if they want to do it, they will find a way. How can a kid fit a macaroni noodle up their nose without you realizing they've done it until they sneeze it out of said nose? How is it that they always pick the worst time to have philosophical discussions about God and life at night when your brain has turned to mush and that is not in the cards? Granted it's usually a ploy to stay awake, but still, 8 p.m. at night is not the time to come to me to discuss grave matters about life, death and Jesus. At least not for me. For Lizzie or Beka, they always discover a bug or worse, a spider in their room at the same time each night? Really? Do they really think we are that dumb that we don't notice? And why is it they don't understand why we get so upset when they do a half-done job on the kitchen or bathroom? I actually had to defend myself to Sarah's therapist, because Sarah thought I was too much of a perfectionist and I was picking on her about the kitchen. Excuse me, but leaving the kitchen filthy is not okay - especially when you live in an old house that gets mice easily.

As many of these questions come to you, whether you are a brand new parent or a seasoned parent, I hope they give you a laugh. If you are a grandparent, I know you are probably laughing. . . at my wonderful mother-in-law, Mary is right now. She loves these questions and having a good chuckle over them.

I hope you all have a good week and a great Thanksgiving. If you are out of country - enjoy the week, I hope you get a holiday soon.

Love in Christ,
Maureen

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