Saturday, November 13, 2010

Battle for the Bed

At the Folksy house, we are currently at war.  At stake in this war is the most valuable piece of real estate around: Deb and Sven's king-sized bed.

It began almost five years ago, when Princess was born.  From the very beginning, she would not be alone quietly.  When I think of the money we spent before she arrived on things like cribs and bassinets, I can't help but laugh bitterly.  The crib wasn't a total loss; it converted to the full-size bed she now refuses to sleep in, but the $200 convertible bassinet was a total waste of money unless you consider having an extra place for our late cat (Hambone) to pee is a wise investment.

Princess slept with us for the first year on purpose.  We called it co-sleeping.  Everyone else kept silent, but I knew what they were thinking: how will you ever stop?  Answer: I don't know.  I'll tell you when it happens.  When we decided to have her sleep with us, it was from necessity: I hadn't planned on having a C-section, Sven's brother died the day after we brought her home from the hospital, so we had to find a way I could feed her without getting out of bed every 2-3 hours.  We did what we had to do.

When we found out we were pregnant with Dexy, I said, "We need to get his room all ready."  Sven replied, "I just thought he'd sleep with us the way Princess did."  Bear in mind that, at this point, Princess was almost two years old and it was a nightly struggle to get her to sleep in her room.  I goggled at Sven, but, muddled by the hormones of pregnancy, I shrugged and just went along with it and ate another wedge of cheese the size of a mature hamster.  (That was a strange pregnancy.)

So now, here we are: Dexy, nearly three, who cannot go to sleep without a thumb in his mouth and a hank of my hair in his hand, and Princess, nearly five, who lays down in her bed for thirty seconds before proclaiming, "I had a bad dream, I can't sleep by myself tonight."  My nights are spent curled up in the fetal position on the edge of my once-luxurious bed, waking up every half hour to dislodge a child-sized foot from some part of my person.

We are trying.  This week I've been up every night until 2:00 or 3:00 with Princess, insisting that she sleep in her own bed.  I'm on to her tricks: she will wait until I'm asleep, then creep in and sneak into my room and fall asleep next to her daddy.  (Usually because Dexy is already asleep next to me.)  Some nights, Dexy actually stays in his bed when we carry him down, but Princess is like The Terminator.  She doesn't sleep.  She can go days on two hours of sleep a night with almost no signs of ill effects.

She's ruthless, I tell you.  But she hadn't reckoned on dealing with me.  I'll beat her yet.

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