Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I'll Do For a Little Sleep

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.


Heather said...

Well if young hot stud ends up in your bed, I want to hear ALL the juicy details.

Anita said...

I second Heather's request.......and just telling you how much I don't miss kids in my bed. I do admit that I had a 16 year old in my bed earlier this year when her boyfriend broke up with her, but I did send her back to her own bed. Mind do still wake me if they are sick in the night, but I can tend to them and usually get back to bed. This is just one phase, sleep is overrated, coffee is the bomb!

Brandy said...

I only have this issue when my nephew sleeps over, but I'm with you - it is easier just to let them in the bed. That is until you get a little elbow or knee to the ribs and he's turned sideways in the bed.

It's only then that I re-think my "easy" decision.

You know it could be dangerous to let us EE peeps know your sleep weakness.

Geeta said...

This reminds me of..

1. The Sound of Music... Maria let them pile into bed too :)

2. My mother. We knew if we woke her up just enough she'd answer a question but then wouldn't remember the next day! "But Mom, we DID ask you!"

3. ME - I used to get in bed with my Mom for all sorts of reasons if I was upset or my room was messy... oh wait... I still might do that!

Love it :)

Jill said...

Sleep is SOOOOOO important Denise!! AND if Momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy! You have GOT to get it where you can!

Hmmmm, I detest sleeping with the kids but sometimes HOW do we avoid it? Some have such SHARP elbows and knees it is more of a torture chamber! I also have one that sighs and coos all night...this drives me insane and then I end up in their bed! UGH!

Okay...I am tired today...it is gray and chilly...think I had better stop at the market on the way to pick up the big kids and get a box of little white donuts. Wait, then I would have to share them.

Oh wait...one more thing...I want to know WHO the stud is...or would be!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Oh, sleep...glorious sleep. I dream of the day, one day far in the future, neither of my two will wake me up in the middle of the night. Of course, by then, my bladder will have shrunk and I'll have to get up to pee ever night multiple times.

Margaret M said...

I so relate to this post. I laughed when I read it. What has worked BEST for me is that I pay my children to sleep in their beds. Yes, I do! Crazy as it sounds. I NEED my sleep with 2 wee ones and 2 jobs. They have also learned that Mom is very Grumpy when I don't get enough sleep. We also have some weekend sleep overs where we all pile in my bed and this helps too. With all this said, Lily Wen has been in my bed for the last three nights so paying her is no longer working. I am open for suggestions! Have a great day!

Vic said...

This post made me smile. Last night a friend of mine and I were supposed to be watching Facing the Giants together however I fell asleep and as she got up to go back to her room I found myself jumping up and trying to talk to her... I was mildly confused and could barely form sentences. It made for an interesting conversation this afternoon.

Desiree' said...

So funny. Ya know our kids have always and still do sleep in our bed. Right now we have a 4 YO in a toddler bed beside us, a 2 YO in our bed and our 9 YO on a cot beside our bed. No idea why they prefer our room, jokingly told DH next time we buy a home it should just have one ginormous bedroom...LOL Don't know what we will do when our next one comes home in the spring...

Brenda Jean said...

BAHAHAHAHAHA Isn't it amazing how such little bodies can take up so much room. We used to call them Little Furnaces too because they always seem warm, and then crush us and make us sweat. With me now it's a 9 year old girl and a husband who snores like a chain saw. When they are both in the bed I just give up sleeping.