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Taking a Break (from Sleep) on Vacation

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They look sweet enough, but try sleeping between them. ©We Are Both Right

When is a two-night stay at hotel and spa not an exercise in relaxation?

When you have to share your bed with a two-year-old and an eight-year old. A double bed. With two pillows.

While the facility advertised “luxurious linens, fluffier pillows & down comforters” I spent my weekend resting my head on a bright yellow duck pillow pet, curled up under a corner of the decorative blanket that looks nice when you first walk into the hotel room, but most people don’t give it too much thought when it comes time for actually sleeping.

Not that I did too much of that.

It was a quick getaway two hours north of our house. A visit to a museum, some laps in a hotel pool, a few meals out — a nice way to bond as a family. And it was. We had a great time. The grownups just didn’t get any sleep. Normally we’d put the three kids (11, 8 and 2) in one bed and the adults in the other (and sometimes the 11-year-old opts to sleep on an air mattress on the floor), but the littlest guy was coming down with a cold and had a cough, so I decided to sleep with him and my daughter.

Toddler S. still sleeps in the crib, so to keep him comfortable and safe in the bed, we positioned it up against the wall. Our daughter A. slept on the other edge and I took the least-coveted middle spot. (There’s a reason why when you are picking your seats on an airplane those seats are never taken by the way. Even so, an eight-hour flight wedged between two sumo wrestlers would be preferable to what I endured.)

It was 10 p.m. on the first night and we were all tired from the day and our trip. We had arrived at our room a half hour earlier and everyone was ready to settle down. Everybody that is, except S. who was excited that all of his favorite people were all going to “sleep” in the same room at the same time and whose second wind seemed to kick in the second we walked into the hotel.

“S., stop kicking the wall.” (pause, kick) “S., get your feet off the wall.” (pause, kick) “S., stop kicking the wall.”

“I not tired! I no want sleep! I watch tv! Turn tv on!”

Kick. Kick. Kick.

Eventually (e-ven-tu-al-ly) he fell asleep, but as those of you who have shared a bed with a toddler know, I still wasn’t safe. Because that’s when the kicking, punching and head-butting portion of our evening started.

The thing is, I’m a big advocate of bedsharing. We’ve done it with all of our infants. The problem I have with co-sleeping is that once the kids get older (and their heads get harder), sharing a bed with your little one is less of a portrait of a snuggling family cuddled up under blankets and more of an image of a WWE wrestling ring. And guess what parents? You never get to win. Ever.

Sigh. Still, I tell my husband all the time that one day in the far too soon future, we won’t have a little person kicking us in our sleep or leaving sticky fingerprints on the television or pouring an entire cup of RED fruit punch in the middle of the sage green living room carpet (two months later we still can’t get rid of the stain) and we will miss every single second.

Even in my no-sleep-induced haze, I know we will.

What are sleeping arrangements like when you are on vacation?

3 Responses to “Taking a Break (from Sleep) on Vacation”

  1. Romy says:

    so perfect. I am thinking about all the sleepless nights ahead of me with boy #3 comes along. The guest room, which will now be the baby’s room, is not losing the bed, just getting a crib, because I know after the first night time feeding, I will just sleep there with the little guy and try hard to remember that the sleepless nights don’t last forever.

  2. Romy says:

    oh and the best hotel night ever was when page got bronchitis while we were en route to virginia and could only sleep sitting up. we got his car seat out of the car and propped it between the beds and listened to him wheeze all night. fun.


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