Monday, June 27, 2011

Heavens to Murgatroid!

Well, Good Morning. Finally. I know I'm late with my post today. I'll bet you can't guess why. I'll tell you. I slept late. I slept until eight o'clock. Which I haven't done since -- I can't remember. And do you want to know why I slept until eight o'clock.

Monster Child slept in her own bed last night. For the first time. (Actually technically, it was the third time, but this was the first time she initiated it on her own.)

I made the decision of keeping her, first, in her bassinet in our bedroom, when I brought her home from the hospital. Breast feeding and all that. And then in our bed when she went through growth spurts, and then, well, she wouldn't go down in her crib and would scream bloody murder, and I just couldn't stand to listen to the poor thing so in our bed she came. When her father and I split up, naturally she wouldn't leave me, and I didn't bug her about it.

What precipitated the change of sleeping venue, you ask? I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's because her bedroom is finally finished. Sure it's always been inhabitable, bed, desk, chair, teddies (bears not pj's), dressers, tv/vcr (spoiled rotten), but I've never been happy with it. There's always been something wrong -- the curtains, the bookcase, the lamp, the chair. So last week I bought two (better) bookcases for her room, new curtains, rearranged the furniture and BAM! Her room, in my eyes, was finally done.

And I guess in hers as well.

I've read the child rearing books, I've had other parents turn their nose up at me for saying I raised Monster Child in a family bed, our doctor even questioned my choice. They all warned me about the possible outcomes, all bad, all negative. I don't think it's fostered anything other than a loving comfortable stable atmosphere at home. No matter how much we scream and yell (she soooo takes after my Type A personalilty and challenges me on EVERYTHING) there's always a giggle and snuggle in bed. I always know where she is, can hear her breathing. (When she was so sick for so long I would stay up all night and just listen to her breath. I had a lot of conversations with God on those nights.)

I knew it would only be a matter of time before SHE decided she would sleep in her own room. I have the patience of a saint (or so I've been told.) Last night, she went up to my room (with the DVD player) and I stayed downstairs to watch Masterpiece Mystery. I figured she fell asleep like she always does. At 10:30 she was still awake. It's summer now, I don't really care what time she goes to bed -- sort of.

She said, "I want you to put up my Princess tent on my bed. I'm going to sleep in my own room."

It's 10:30 on a Sunday night. I DO NOT want to fuss with the Princess tent. I'm tired, I have a lot to do on Monday. However, who am I to turn down spreading out in my own bed for the first time in six years. I snapped that tent together in record time, tucked her in, kissed her good-night, and jumped in my own glorious queen size bed all by myself. I sank blissfully into my pillows, not worrying about if she's cold, or moving an ankle or elbow, not wondering if one of us was going to fall out of bed.

Did I sleep the sleep I've been longing for? NO! I tossed and turned, had horrible, horrible nightmares, got up 3 times to check on her. She came in and woke me up at six a.m. I told her to go back to sleep, it was too early. That's MY usual time to get up. I laid there after she left and debated about getting up. Next thing I knew, the sun was streaming through the windows. I glanced at the clock and to my horror, it was eight a.m. I lost two hours to my Monday. Oh well.

Now I realize my Monday posts are supposed to be about love. I guess today's post is about unconditional love.

Tell me -- Have you bucked tradition where your kids are concerned? Have you done anything for them that other parents might raise an eyebrow over? Do you allow them things or freedoms that you didn't have as a child?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like she was more ready to sleep alone than you were!

Laurel Garver said...

My daughter is fiercely independent and went through a period around age 5-6 when she got very, very controlling about who got into the car when and how. Of course, she had to be first! My MIL was completely freaked out that we would ever let her be alone in a car for even ten seconds. I knew the phase would pass--it was Hobbit girl's way of dealing with the anxiety of starting school. When she's really scared, she gets controlling and we try to find ways within reason to humor that.

Every kid needs different things, and as a parent you navigate it the best you can.

Angie Paxton said...

I actually wanted to have my kids in bed with me just because it's so much easier when they're waking up three times a night to eat, but neither of them would go for it. Hope you get used to having your bed all to yourself again soon.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Both of our sons and their wives have "family" type sleeping arrangements, too. One or more of their kids has shared their beds off and on since they were born, but they eventually grow out of it. It used to be the norm in colonial days, so I don't think it's any big deal. The only time any of our kids slept in our bed was when my hubby was away on a business trip, and then it was like a big slumber party. (heavy on the party, not so much on the slumber) I guess the way I spoiled our kids was with breakfast. I used to fix breakfast in shifts every weekday morning, for my hubby, and then for each of the kids, so each could sleep to an appropriate time for their bus pick-up. My younger son was awful about getting up in the morning, so I used to serve him breakfast in bed right up until he graduated from high school.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

eh my little sister slept with my parents until she was like 10 or something and she turned out fine.
And i totally hear all that. The dogs sleep on my bed, and often i'm uncomfortable, but if they're not there, i miss them and can't sleep

Bossy Betty said...

Do I allow them freedoms I didn't have as a child? Oh yeah, baby!!!!

Maybe you need your own Princess Tent.

Amie Borst said...

i was up until 330 reading a book then couldn't sleep because it kinda freaked me out. so yeah, my monday is shot.

good luck recovering!

notesfromnadir said...

The Princess tent? Don't worry, she'll eventually prefer her own bed. Or maybe you could tell her all about the fanciest hotel you've slept at & that her room is just like it. Make it so she wants to be there--it's the best place.

Talli Roland said...

I'm glad you slept in her own bed without a struggle (despite the Princess Tent!). :)

Talli Roland said...

Oops - that should be 'she', not 'you'! Sorry!

E. Elle said...

Well, I don't have children, but my parents were always lenient about letting me sleep in their bed, especially when I had nightmares. I always liked my personal space, though, so I'm not sure it was a fight to get me to stay in my own room.

Congrats on reclaiming the bed! I'd be praising the Princess Tent. ;o)

Elliot Grace said... these posts on your "little" one :) I can so relate, as I'm sure you already know. In answer to your questions...Yes, yEs, and absolutely YES!

Great post, Anne.


Donna Hole said...

I'll take the 5th on this question (my kids call me "the pushover".

There are some things about parenting that are standard issue, and others that every parent and child has to work out that fit their lives.

My view is, if its comfortable for you both, the timing is perfect. Like newbe writers, I think parents spend too much time worring about other people's opinions (experts) and pay too little attention to their own intuition.


Anne Gallagher said...

Alex -- It was always a matter of time. I knew she would eventually sleep in her own bed.

Laurel -- I hear you. It's so funny when you see what small thing really makes them feel so big.

Angie -- I truly wonder if I ever will enjoy my bed the same way I used to. Or if I will always worry.

Susan -- Breakfast in bed seems to me to be a little much, but then again, some of the things I do for Monster Child are way worse.

Sarah -- At least with my dogs I could kick them out or shove them over. I can't do that with the baby. Is Twin gonna be mad cuz you dissed on her? Or was it another sister?

Betty -- YOu always know exactly what to say. I DO need my own Princess Tent.

Amie -- Been there done that. It'll be a long slow road.

Lisa -- I know it's going to be very short lived. She's tried this half a dozen times already. It lasts one night and then she's back with me. She'll grow out of it by the time she reaches puberty. She better!!

Talli -- Some days/nights are easier than others.

Elle -- I don't remember going into my parents room when I had nightmares, but my mother would come into me and lay down on my bed. Funny, what you remember.

El -- Thanks. At least I don't feel bad about how much I spoil her.

Donna -- Oh, I wish you would have been around when MC was a baby and heard about everything I was doing wrong. It seems I could do nothing right. And now, she's 6 and half, growing strong, smarter than the average bear, and well adjusted. I must have done something right when I bucked all that advice.

Michelle Teacress said...

Sure, I do things differently - and each of my children is different from the other, which means I have to explain myself sometimes. We moms have got to follow our gut, right?

Lynn said...

Child-rearing advise can be good but it does not take over mom's intuition!