Our eldest daughter has developed a fondness of sleeping in our bed. Smack, bang in the middle of our bed, right in-between us. When I say ‘a fondness of sleeping in our bed’ what I mean is, she despises being in her own bed post-2am. Actual hatred. Screaming, hysterical hatred. She goes to sleep calmly in her own bed and we explain, over and over again, that she can get in with us when the sun comes up and lo-and-behold, in she potters at 2am. Or she’ll shout us from her room, which I’ve told her not to do anymore as we don’t need to wake the entire street. I mean, it pisses me off and I grew her from scratch so I can’t help but think the neighbours won’t find it all that endearing. Two in the bloody morning. Not sunrise, as previously negotiated. 2am. At the latest.
We used to have a firm ‘no bed sharing’ rule. This was, hilariously, before she started trying to join us. We always said we would stick our guns after an ex-colleague of mine talked of his struggles to remove his five year old from his bed, because that’s what you do before you’re actually IN a situation, you assume you’ll react in a certain way and you judge the hell out of people who do it differently. I remember thinking ‘Well honestly, what did they expect?!” Pass the Judgey Pants, please.
So on Night One of The Hatred we fought back. Hard. We battled, we cuddled, we reasoned, we threatened, we bribed, we stood firm. And none of us slept a wink. Rose’s screaming woke me and her little sister up. Her little sister’s screaming woke Tom up. Then when her screams turned to whimpers, Guilt kept me awake.
The next evening, after mulling it over all day and dropping things/burning myself twice/yelling even louder than normal/generally feeling like a zombie I said to Tom: “I’ve been thinking. What are we actually trying to achieve? We all need sleep. And if Rose is going through some stuff we don’t understand, or that she can’t explain to us, she needs comfort. That’s our job. Our main, most important job”. He agreed and that night, at the slightly later (well, earlier…) time of 3am he calmly turned back the duvet for a non-screeching Rose to clamber in, and we all went back to sleep instantly.
It’s not ideal. We know that. And if her baby sister follows in her footsteps, we will definitely need a bigger bed. If fact, I’m considering putting them in a bedroom together once her little sister masters sleeping through, as it might help them both to have some company. (Mum Wishlist side note: and then we can have a ‘playroom’ to keep all the toys in! Wahoo!!!)
But for now, Rose needs this, she needs us, and I need to make her feel better if I can. She starts preschool this week and I know it’s weighing on her mind – if she’s thinking about it half as much as I am it’s a wonder she’s able to sleep at all, bless her. We’ll all be ok. We ARE ok. We’re all sleeping and while she still nods off in her own bed initially I can’t help but feel like that’s a small victory (for our sex life, if nothing else…) and we all sleep-in til 9am most mornings after Tom gets up for work, so I really can’t grumble.
Here’s hoping pre-school doesn’t just steal away our lie-ins and once she’s settled in the night demons bugger off aswell. Until then I’m pretty sure we can cope with having a little less elbow room and a few more cuddles ❤️