I’m still at a loss what the right thing to do when the monkey wants in the middle.
The monkey’s desire to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed has increased dramatically of late. Either it’s bad dreams or she can’t sleep or she wants a cuddle.
I had made it my own personal policy to comfort her and then tuck her back into her own bed. After all, I have a slight worry that sleeping with us would be habit-forming for her and she wouldn’t learn to comfortably sleep by herself.
Not to mention she sleeps like a little tornado. Once she gets into bed with us, she spreads as far outward as possible (and since she’s got pretty long legs now, the better half and I end up trying to sleep teetering on our edges of the bed) and flips constantly.
It can sometimes sound like a boxing match in our bedroom in the middle of the night with the better half and I taking turns going "Owww, oooh, ouch!" as the monkey unknowingly hoofs us in the stomach, groin or face with her flailing feet and hands.
On the nights she hasn’t managed to talk her way into our bed, I’ve gotten out of it, tucked her back into hers and kneeled at her bedside holding her hand till she feels better and is ready to go to sleep — or until I fall asleep kneeling with my head slumped on the side of her bed. When I do this, she softly nudges me and tells me it’s OK to go back to my own bed now.
But I’ve been doing that less lately. I don’t know if it’s getting over the business of the holidays but I’ve been hitting the hay hard and when she wanders into our room in the middle of the night, half the time I don’t even remember agreeing to her snuggling in with us. I just wake up with a hot little kid suctioned to my side.
I suppose maybe I’m giving in a little more because I feel absolutely like a rotten horribly mean mom to convince her to go back to her bed, especially when she’s had a bad dream. What I really want to do is give her a big hug, rock her in my arms, tell her it’s OK and let her sleep as long as she wants beside me.
But the big meanie sensible me tells me I should only do that sometimes and should try and get her back into her own bed so when she’s 24 years old and living in her own apartment, she won’t call me in the middle of the night and need me to comfort her to go back to sleep.
Although, now that I’ve said that out loud, I admit I would fly over to her in a flash if she had a bad dream and needed her mommy in the middle of the night.
I understand that’s quite fleeting ... needing your mommy. So while I don’t aim to raise a baby, I do want to cherish her needing me as long as I can, because I know she will be grown up and not needing me long before I ever want her to.
Sigh. I guess, for now, I just need a bigger bed.
Kyla Henderson is a local freelance journalist, business owner and mommy. Her column runs every week in the Community News.