Up until a few months ago my whole entire family slept together in the same bed, every night. I thought I hated it, but now I kind of miss it.
It all started when I first brought Evan home from the hospital, almost five years ago. He was so tiny and sweet and the crib was so big and stupid, how was I going to let him sleep there.
I tried, I really tried.
I placed him in the crib and just stared at him for a long time. How could I just walk away and leave him there, all those feet away from me?
I've heard it's dangerous to sleep with newborns because you could roll over on top of them, but I was 100% sure I couldn't do that. I'm a very light sleeper; an ant blinking could wake me up.
So I picked him up, kicked the crib and shouted "YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM!" and took him to my bed, where he stayed for the next 4 and a half years.
When Meici came along Z was determined that she would sleep in her crib. I told him if he wanted that then he'd have to go get her at night when she cried, bring her to me, let me feed her, and then put her back in the crib.
That lasted about three hours.
So Meici joined our slumber party.
It eventually had to end though.
I promised Z that when we moved back to America I would work on getting the kids to sleep in their own room. I was sure it was going to be a nightmare. I had seen so many episodes of Supper Nanny where the parents were trying desperately to get their kids to sleep in their own beds. It took those parents all night, many nights before they finally succeeded. The kids would scream and cry and keep getting out of their beds. It freaked me out! I didn't want to do it. But I had to.
So, one night I put the kids in their bed, they said their prayers, I read them a story and I hugged and kissed them good night. I kept telling them this is your room now, this is your bed, you have to sleep here from now on, and if you sleep here all night I'll give you so much candy in the morning your tummy will explode! I slowly backed away from them, whispering "caaaaandy, caaaaaandy."
I just couldn't stop talking,
"Stay here guys, okay?"
"Your bed now, okay?"
"Sleep here all night okay?"
"So much candy"
They both said "OKAY MOM, GOOD NIGHT!"
I finally went to my own bed and just waited; I knew they'd be trying to sneak into my room at any moment. But it never happened, they just went to sleep.
What's up with that.
Didn't they love me?
Then a few nights ago, after several months of them sleeping perfectly in their room, I said "Let's all go sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed, yay! That'll be fun!"
So they grabbed their pillows and blankets and ran to our room, so excited.
We tickled and giggled and hid under blankets. It was so much fun to have them back. I thought, this must be what camping feels like.
Then we started settling down and getting sleepy. I was almost asleep when Evan said "Mom, can I go sleep in my room please."
"Of course you can, Evan. And go ahead and toss my heart in the garbage on your way there, it's broken anyway."
So, Evan left.
Meici held my face in her hands and told me that she'd stay with me.
But she left too, when she thought I was asleep.
All these years I thought they needed me so much. I thought weaning them from the family bed was going to be a huge horrible mess. I thought they'd cry and scream and miss me so much.
What happened to the days when Evan had to be holding my arm in order to fall asleep, my soft marshmallowy arm. And Meici would sleep by me on my other side and always make sure my head was facing hers. If I turned my head to look at Evan she'd grab my face and turn it back, I had to be looking at her for her to fall asleep.
But they haven't done those things in a long time. I guess they've been ready for this change for a while now.
This explains why I used to always wake up in the middle of the night and find Evan searching the internet for nearby hotels. Poor kid, maybe I snore, I know I'm definitely a sleep-kicker.
But the other night made me feel a whole lot better. I woke up to find one of my kids lying next to me. I'm not sure which one it was, it was still kind of dark, and they both have those same noses and eyes and horrible breath. But whichever kid it was, I was so happy it was there and that it needed me. Or maybe it knew that I needed him... it must have been Evan.
See, don't they look alike?
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