Sleep in Your Own #$%$ Bed. It’s Why I Pay the Mortgage.

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 7.06.03 AMI need a good real estate agent again. I just moved,  but I need advice badly. Here’s my dilemma:

1. How do I buy a couple of square feet in my own damned bed?

2. How can I then I secure it from trespassers and wanderers?

I tried not to get to this point. When you buy a house you get a decent-sized bed so everyone has their space. When you have kids and dogs you train them properly. From day one. There are books on this in dog and child training land. I read them all. I obeyed them. Even while breastfeeding, I never let The Boy sleep with me. Back in your own crib! The dog–aka “the 70 pound furnace,” often got in. But she kept the heating bills down.

Very powerful spray--works on evil minions, monsters, bad dreams, and bad behavior.

Very powerful spray–works on evil minions, monsters, bad dreams, and bad behavior.

Then we moved. I assumed there was a certain psychology to moving with kids and dogs. We assigned Declan the farthest bedroom from us–As he grows, I won’t have to listen to his crappy music and loud friends. He can make all the noise he wants, and the only time I’ll see the two-foot pile of things encroaching on the world is when I use the bathroom nearby. He can sleep in his own room. It’s why I pay the mortgage.

Bedtime was always a ritual in the old house. We had “the secret knock” and the minion spray. Minion Spray, when sprayed directly before bed, conquers anything, like monsters, evil minions and bad dreams. It has the added benefit of smelling good (Mrs. Meyer’s lavender room freshener if you need some).  If Declan woke up, he did “the secret knock,” on the wall between our rooms. I rolled over and knocked back. He went back to sleep.

Now our rooms are far away. The Secret Knock doesn’t work. He does “the secret sprint” and jumps in my bed. A little 40 pound squatter with heat-producing properties who talks in his sleep. I am left with six-inches of my own space, rolled over on my arm which goes to asleep so I’m convinced it was amputated by body snatchers.

When Declan cycles through his REM sleep, he asks me questions about the meaning of life, laughs like a hyena, and falling asleep before hearing my reply. I am awake.

“Mommy?”

“I am sleeping.”

“No you’re not.”

“I should be.”

“Well, can you tell me which dinosaur is faster, a (insert two dinos I can’t spell here…)?” Snore.

“Go to sleep.”

“Mommy.”

“I’m sleeping.”

“I want some apple juice.”

“It’s not apple season. Go to bed. Go to your bed.”

“I love YOU, Mommy. Yours is better.”

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 7.06.17 AMThe problem with putting him back in his bed is that I am asleep. If I leave the subconscious space where I’m trying to return to my dream, I might as well just get up and stay up the night. It’s a little like sleep deprivation training or POW camp, neither of which, I imagine, is cool.

This week I’m trying stickers. If he goes to bed and stays there, he gets a sticker on his folder. “How about if you give me money, Mommy.”

“Fine, for each sticker you can have a quarter.”

“I need more for my junior bow. How about a dollar.” He’s been saving for this junior bow for a while.

“How about 50 cents for every three. That’s two quarters.”

“How about three.” What does this kid think he’s doing, negotiating a business deal?

“Two. If you want more, work harder.”

I gave out my first two quarters yesterday. “Is that where you keep the money, Mommy?” He can find money anywhere. And he can find chocolate chips.

This morning, however, I’m looking at the clock. I’m drinking coffee, watching the sun rise having slept alone in my own bed. Maybe I needed to have paid him off from day one. The peace and quiet is definitely worth the cost. Maybe I can have my accountant peg that to the cost of the mortgage. Maybe there’s even a tax dedication for that. But even if there’s not, I’ll take what little peace and quiet I can get in the middle of the night… it’s priceless.

[images: mrsmeyers.com, betterparentinginstitute.com, sodahead.com]

 

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8 thoughts on “Sleep in Your Own #$%$ Bed. It’s Why I Pay the Mortgage.

  1. I, like you, trained my child to “stay in his own freaking bed!” The only, and I mean only, exception was if Daddy was out of town. I will say, the older the offspring get, the better the quality of sleep. Until they start to drive, and then it’s all over. Enjoy it now.

  2. OMG!!!!!

    I have the same problem X 3!!!!!

    My fourteen year (Aspie Teen) old adamantly refuses to sleep in his own bed….he’s even moved past the point of where he’ll sneak in in the middle of the night and just brings his blanket and pillows and plops down at the foot of the bed at night. This is only because I will do him bodily harm if he actually gets in my bed.

    My eight year old (Aspie Monkey Boy) will fall asleep in our bed because he can’t fall asleep unless his mom is next to him. But I can bring him to his bed after he passes out. And he only occasionally comes back in.

    My two year old…(Tantrum Tot)…used to sleep in his crib, but when my wife’s cousin came to stay for a few weeks, she would go upstairs and get him when he cried, and keep him with her on the sofa and now he only sleeps on the sofa…

    • No one stopped her? No one told her that she was breaking the routine–and that routine is sacred? That’s tough. Really tough…. By the nature of the beast I don’t suppose it helps Teen to tell him that you can’t tell the ladies that you still sleep in your parents room:)

  3. My first born stopped sleeping in our bed when our second born was born. She has remained an independent sleeper ever since. My second born, now 13, still comes in to snuggle – both at bedtime and in the wee hours of the morning. His early morning visits are becoming less frequent and we know they are close to ending for good. I will miss that era, but not the sleep deprivation. And now the worry about the driving begins.

      • How do I feel… Surprised that he is so old and that I am so old. I am so focused on my daughter’s maturation that sometimes I forget to notice his. He is so sweet that I worry he will get teased. I have always worried about his sweetness. So far he seems to be surviving. When it comes to the co-sleeping…I come from parents who were undemonstrative and unphysical. It is important to me to have physical closeness in my family. He is on the cusp of puberty, and I balance embracing him and pushing him away to become more independent. It’s a bittersweet dance.

      • Everybody gets teased. But we learn to make everyone have positive aspects, and not to tolerate mean. That’s the line in the sand…

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