With this many kids in my house, I've got to be strong and try to be consistent. Most days I feel like I accomplish this goal. But kids, being kids, will figure out your weakness. Superman's is Kryptonite. Homer Simpson's is donuts. (Jill's is white mini donuts) Mine is sleep. And Crack Bars. And Starbucks. And Diet Coke. Okay, okay we'll stick with sleep in this post.
Since last spring when I was Mean Mommy and took away Emma's bottle, I've gotten spoiled with my 5-6 hours of consecutive sleep. Don't be messin' with my sleep people! So when children wake up in the middle of the night I take the path of least resistance. I put them in my bed.
I would like to insert here that I have also been known to not totally wake up when the older children have come into my room in the middle of the night and have said some pretty off the wall things, according to them. The rule is now that if you really need me you have to keep talking to me until I'm speaking coherently. I think that's a good rule for when I'm awake too. But that's another story.
In any case, you can't sleep? Get in my bed. Had a bad dream? Get in my bed? There's a thunder storm outside? Get in my bed. You're a young hot stud? Get... oh, never mind. I'm just plain lazy and I throw those kids in my bed. I've been known to have up to 3 kids in bed with me. (Four if you count our trip to China last summer.) I don't get much sleep but its better than none. I keep telling myself that anyway.
Last night as I was getting ready to go upstairs, I heard a small child beginning to cry. When this happens, I always hope that it's Ryan. Ryan's easy. Sometimes he's not even awake so I can pat his back, tell him Mommy's there and he'll stop crying and go back to sleep. Emma's not so easy, but seriously, who's surprised by this? Emma has to be rocked and rocked completely to sleep, otherwise she'll start to cry again. This often means at least 15 minutes of rocking. I will do this if I'm still awake, so last night, it was her crying and I rocked her, dozing as I rocked, and got her back in bed. But less than an hour later, when I was amazingly enough asleep, she began to cry again. There was no way I was going to rock her again so I brought her back to my bed.
No problem, right? Big king size bed, a small 24 pound 33 inch long child in my bed, plenty of room, right? Need I remind you? This is Emma. About 3 am I found myself completely plastered against the edge of my bed. I finally roused around enough to consider moving her. Did I move her and risk waking her up? Sleeping on the edge wasn't working.
This past weekend Julia was sick and came into my room in the middle of the night because she was coughing so much she couldn't sleep. Between her coughing and the TV, I ended up sleeping with Ryan. (Much to his complete surprise and delight the next morning.) This could have been an option with Emma but I was too out of it to think of it. I also could have moved to the other side of the bed, but didn't think of that either. Instead, I gently moved her and was thankful she was still asleep. Only to find myself plastered to the edge again about an hour later. Sure I slept, but not very well.
It occurs to me that my children could use this weakness to their advantage, exploiting my vulnerability for their own selfish whims. They could come into my room in the middle of the night, ask me for anything and I'd probably say yes. Get it on camera and it's iron clad. But it also occurs to me that I could use it to my own advantage as well. How did that hot young stud get in my bed? He must have asked me in the middle of the night.
Maybe this isn't a weakness after all.
2 months ago