We co-sleep. Or bed-share. Or "practice the family bed." Whatever you call it, we do it.
In my case, it would probably be more appropriate to use the term "family bed," because nine nights out of ten, we have at least 3 kids snuggled and sprawled out every which way in our Cal king sized bed.
I actually got the Cal king sized mattress, not so I could let ten kids sleep in my bed with me, but so that I could have plenty of room to spread out and enjoy deliciously comfy nights of sleep.
But, we co-sleep.
Which means that many nights, I am clinging to a corner of my bed, curled up in a position that I would guess that 99.99999% of people could not finagle, wondering how I conned myself into this predicament.
I love my kids. I love co-sleeping. But I like my space when I'm sleeping.
That is, of course, unless it is with my little babies. The infant, who curls into the fetal position and snuggles right up to my abdomen like she would like nothing more than to climb back into her cozy womb and curl up. That's priceless.
Granted, sharing the adult bed with babies has been a big no-no for over a decade now. The experts will tell us that we are putting our baby's life in jeopardy by snuggling with her all night long.
I beg to differ. In my book, Breaking the Rules, I explain my position on co-sleeping. (You can find the book advertised in the right hand column - Look >>>>>> to the right. There is a sample you can check out if you click through to the Amazon page.) I have also posted my opinion on co-sleeping before in this blog post, only I delved more in-depth in my book with the research and studies.
I'm not going to rehash my feelings on the subject. I have done that plenty. Today, I need to vent.
You see, as I said, I love my kids. I even love co-sleeping. But, I have an issue with sharing.
Especially my bed. Especially at night, when I need sleep.
If you're a parent, whether you co-sleep or not, chances are, you can relate. Sooner or later, you will have a child...or two...or three...in your bed one night.
An elbow will be in your ear. And if you've never had an elbow in your ear while you are trying to sleep, let me tell you. It's kinda like someone inserting a drumstick in your ear hole. And leaving it there.
That's not the worst of it, though. You will also have a foot in your face. Sometimes, it will be cold, like an ice cube, right against your cheek, pushing inward against your jaw.
Even if you try to move it, it's going to end up right back in your jaw. Or, better yet, in a far more uncomfortable spot. Like your nose.
And that (bleeping) hurts!
Besides the cold foot, a knee from another little soundly sleeping body will be stabbing into your back like a sword. It's more than likely going to be poking right into your spine. Bone on bone.
If you roll over, you're going to have the same problems, only the pokes and stabs and ice cubes will land in different places on your body.
And, God forbid, if you get out of the bed in the middle of the night to pee. I promise you, when you come back to the bed, every single little body in your bed will be sprawled out with eagle wings, criss-crossing in a big, complicated puzzle that spells out: "You're not invited."
So, you'll have to find a corner. A very small corner of a Cal king sized bed that once felt like sleeping on pillows in the endless sky. Oh, the dreams of sleeping in that new bed were so sweet!
You will be left no more than a 4 inch by 4 inch square corner of the mattress to curl up on, and you will have to grab onto the sheets with a white knuckle hold, hang on for dear life, and try to catch some zzz's.
As if that's not enough, somehow, some way, a hand or a foot is going to jut out and clunk you in the back of the head, just as your exhausted mind starts drifting into dream world.
Don't get me wrong, I really do love my kids, but by this time of the night (well, actually, by now, it's the wee hours of the morning), I am ready to push them all onto the floor.
I don't, of course. But, the idea is enticing!
I just find another way to slither like a snake up between the arms, legs, and heads, and curl around everything like a contortionist. (It's a talent you learn when you co-sleep with multiple children.)
Just as I am about to fall asleep, my mind so tired and head heavy as a ton of bricks, the soft, yet escalating music of my alarm starts playing.
It never fails.
That's the real beauty of the family bed. The babies and children sleep like...well, they sleep like a baby. We, the parents, on the other hand...one day, when they're all grown, we'll get our sleep.
Til then, I'll just be clinging to the corner of the mattress.