It was 2 a.m. a few days ago. I woke to hear the unmistakable sound of my daughter’s tiny little feet padding across the floor of her room, around the corner and into my room. It’s like 10 grown-up steps, but for her, it’s twice as much, if not more, even though the rooms share a wall.
Ugh. I thought to myself. Not again.
My three-year-old arrived at the side of my bed and I, still half asleep, stuck my arm out ready to haul her in. She grabbed on and I flung her into the middle of the bed. It sounds a bit vicious but in the middle of the night all bets are off. If you can’t climb up yourself, you get a bit of a launch. Don’t worry. She’s hardy. As usual, she crawled into the space between me and my husband.
I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a regular occurrence. I’m not sure why but the kids have been ending up in our bed more and more lately. On the one hand, I love it and know these days are numbered. On the other hand, sleeping with kids is like trying to sleep in an old dryer: you get tossed around and quite often end up overheating. My children are very active sleepers and the joke is on me because according to my mom, I was too. Anyway, the kids end up sleeping horizontally in the middle of my bed, pushing their poor parents to the very edges of each side. (Picture the letter ‘H’. That letter seems to pop up quite a bit in my columns. Remember the birthday cake?)
More often than not, I’ve been forced to the foot of the bed for the rest of the night or I give up entirely and move to one of their empty beds instead. That backfires sometimes because their beds are much smaller and if they notice I’m gone they’ll find me and it’ll be even tighter quarters.
The whole thing was cute when they were little but now they take up too much space and mom and dad are tired.
Anyway, this one particular night a few days ago after my daughter sneaked in with us, I had expected her to lie down and go back to sleep. Instead, she sat up and proceeded to take her slippers off and throw them onto the floor before settling in and quickly falling back to sleep. I laughed so hard it woke up my husband.
“Did you see that?” I whispered in disbelief.
“See what?” he replied, groggily.
It cracked me right up. Here I was using muscle memory to reach out and lift her into my bed in the dark — quite honestly not even sure I was entirely awake — and my three-year-old had the presence of mind at two in the morning to get out of her bed (which is no small feat as she had to crawl from the head of her bed to the foot, avoid the bed rail and climb down a step to get to the floor) then find her slippers, put them on, and wear them the 20 baby steps to my room, and then remember to take them off before going back to sleep.
“She put her slippers on to get here,” I explained.
Of course that made him laugh too.
Which woke up our son and soon there were four.
“Four bears in the bed, and the little one said ‘I’m crowded, roll over’. So they all rolled over and Mom fell out and went to sleep somewhere else, happily ever after.”