I can remember when my best friend’s youngest son was between the ages of 10 and 11, that she would complain that he would rather sleep with her than in his own bed. As a newbie parent, I found it a little disconcerting, but chalked it up to the fact that his father was out of town frequently and his older brother was embarking upon the teenage years and therefore was slightly scary. Insecure children seek the comfort of their parent(s), I reasoned. Eventually he grew out of it, and is now a high school senior who stays up half the night and catches catnaps throughout the day. Ah, to be a teenager again.
At the time my friend’s son was going through this, my husband and I were going through a little cosleeping adventure of our own, namely a game of musical beds known as Having An Infant. Now, I come from a long line of sleepyheads — my father can sleep anywhere, anytime, and sleep so deeply that a bomb could go off and not disturb him. His father was the same way, and so am I. In fact, most of my Dad’s family are champion sleepers. So when I had a baby, I was a little concerned that either a) I would sleep through everything and not hear the baby or b) not sleep nearly enough and die.
Neither happened, of course, but the sleep deprivation DID make me quite cranky. It did not help that my own husband was out of town quite frequently and left me with no one with whom to take turns getting up with the baby. We (I) went through the usual stuff of every four hour feedings, in-the-dark diaper changes, random crying, and the like, and as Spawn grew, the sleep issues changed. We did a stint with nightmares, and another with sleepwalking, and finally we graduated to potty training and wetting the bed. Once we got past all that, the main issue was getting the kid to go to sleep once bedtime came, and tippytoeing around in the mornings to keep the kid asleep as long as possible. Alas, Spawn did not inherit my sleep gene.
And then we hit a spate of years where sleep came. This happened right about the time that Spawn was old enough to participate in activities such as swimming, trips to the water park, day camps, and so on. All the extra activities flat wore the kid out, and sleep would hit like a ton of bricks.
And I finally got caught up on my own sleep. Huzzah!
But now — now! — we’re in that 10-to-11 age and suddenly, we are back with the sleep issues. Spawn either wants one of us in the room or will come to our room and crawl into our bed at random hours. And even though we have a king size bed, it’s not big enough for the three of us. Mostly because Spawn wants to sleep perpendicular in the bed, feet in my stomach. Cold feet, at that. We’re back to musical beds at night, though mostly it’s my husband who gets up and moves to Spawn’s bed, just to have a little mattress space.
This morning, at 4:30, I was pokepokepoke’d awake: “Mom, I can’t sleep.”
Did you know that 4:30 in the morning is a prime time for my brain to snap to attention and start racing? It is! And did you know that 9am is when it finally quits buzzing and wants to go back to sleep? Yay sleep deprivation!
I can hardly wait for the teenage years.