We Are Both Right


The #OccupyMomandDadsBed movement may be coming to a bed near you. ©We Are Both Right

It’s official. Our kids are staging a revolt. Their 1% wants to occupy 99% of the parental bed.

When Amanda wrote about the pint-sized bed partner who kept her awake all night (on vacation no less), I felt her pain.

In the case of my house, it looks like our two protesters are determined to kick me and my husband out of our bed every night. Literally. Kicking, punching and all of their other late-night and early morning unconscious flailing that leaves us cowering for cover.

But if we actually retreat — like when we threaten to go into their beds — they stick to us like glue. So I think what they really want is full access to our big bed with the comfy duvet and two parents to cuddle (even if we’re both hanging on to the last one inch of the pillow top with bloody noses). Nothing like being well rested.

We are dealing with two adults, two children and in the worst of times, a dog. It’s a big bed but the extra bodies that are getting longer by the month make it a tight squeeze. Not to mention that since they were little, my kids’ preferred sleeping position is laying perpendicular to me and my husband, so that he has feet pounding his chest and I get a head butting my face.

Still, say what you will about the parenting debate on co-sleeping, I don’t mind it enough to put an end to it. When they were babies, I didn’t encourage cosleeping. I was too afraid of rolling over a little arm and having all those blankets and pillows around them. It wasn’t until they were walking and in beds of their own that I allowed it to happen.

I know, I know. We should have broken this habit long ago. It is a valid point, especially because the path to our bed is now entrenched in their subconscious minds.

But my working mother’s guilt has rationalized it as bonding time. (And sometimes it feels so good to roll over and nuzzle the back of my “baby’s” head.) Anyway, we figure that by the time they find their way to our bed (usually between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.), we have already logged the minimum hours of sleep a parent needs.

So we let them off the hook. My husband jokes that we should just make ours a double-decker king size bed and retreat to the upper level when they invade.

But like I said, the occupiers want to take what we have and expect us to stay along for the ride. *Yawn* And so the #OccupyMomandDadsBed movement grows.

Any of this going on in your home?

Taking a Break (from Sleep) on Vacation

©We Are Both Right

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?