[Image from Hyperbole and a Half’s fabulously funny blog. Click here to get to the original post.]
I know what you’re thinking: we brought this on ourselves. The place we’re at, right now, is a natural, predictable consequence of implementing the Family Bed (of Pain).
But that doesn’t make it suck any less.
See, maybe the Family Bed (of Pain) works great when you don’t mind letting your kid sleep there past age 7. I do know parents of twins who have done/are doing this, along with their new infant. They have a Cal King and pushed a twin bed up next to it.
Well, a) we don’t have a Cal King and, even if we were so wedded to the idea of Eternal Cosleeping that we were willing to buy a Cal King, b) one wouldn’t fit in our room and c) it still wouldn’t be big enough for us and a three-foot-tall person who wants to sleep sideways.
Two weeks ago, fighting gravity and the kicking feet of my sweet, cherished daughter:
Ever-Suffering Mother: [eyes still closed, barely able to sit up on couch, resenting being dragged from bed for the morning’s goodbye-to-Daddy-just-one-more-hug-and-kiss-oh-last-one-wait-one-more-and-one-more ritual] I can’t do this anymore.
Husband and Z: It speaks! What is it?
ESM: I’m the Ever-Suffering Mother. Pay attention.
Husband: [realizes Z left some pointy toys of the couch that the ESM might use as missiles] Yes dear?
ESM: I can’t do this anymore. Z, tonight if you wake up and want to come to our room, you can sleep on your cot. We’ll move it next to our bed. [looks at Husband] This has gotta work. Please let this work.
Husband: [muttering] This isn’t gonna work.
[Creepy music to foreshadow disaster.]
Husband was mostly right. The cot, from here on referred to as the Cot of Urine, is only partially successful. Z’s diaper leaked on the second night, so after getting cleaned up, there was nowhere else for her to go (or was there?) except into the Family Bed (of Pain).
Henceforth (what a great, underused word), Z seems to have realized that peeing gets her into our bed. Here’s what I think goes on in her head:
Step 1: Wake up.
Step 2: Say, “Oh no! My Pull-Up leaked!” (Whether or not Pull-Up is wet.)
Step 3: Wait for grouchy parent to take me to the potty and change my Pull-Up. (Whether or not Pull-Up is wet.)
Step 4: Climb into the Family Bed (of Pain). (Even if the Cot of Urine has no urine in it. This is where Mommy and Daddy are weak, lazy parents. If they were smart/less tired, I’d be getting back into my cot (if it’s dry) or back into my bed. Mommy and Daddy are sucker parents and I shall sleep in their bed until I’m 25.)
Step 5: Talk and kick for the rest of the night/morning.
Step 6: Screech with glee and happiness and ask for a snack at 5 a.m.
Step 7: Wonder why Mommy looks like a zombie bride.
Now that I’ve analyzed her way of thinking, I see where we’re going wrong: Step 4. Things are going to change around here.
Somehow. If I ever get enough sleep to have the energy to completely shut down the Family Bed (of Pain).