For all of you parents familiar with Adam Mansbach’s brilliantly funny book Go the F**k to Sleep, you know how I felt two nights ago when both of my children decided to kick up a fuss at bed time. There is nothing like not one, but two, over-tired yet reluctant children at bed time. The excuses were fast and furious. More books, less teethbrushing, more water, less lights, more lights. And finally, the kicker – “I’m scared”. Because despite how irrational a four year olds fears may be, they can’t be denied.
So there I was, alone and exasperated, yearning for those couple of hours of my own time. I made a desperate move, I invited them both into the big bed with me. I closed my eyes and prayed for snoring kids. I had knees in my stomach, hands in my armpits, my hair was being pulled. They squirmed, they wiggled, they talked and talked and talked. At one moment I realized my fatal mistake – this was never going to work. Not with my chatty Kaiya and the ever-eager for big sister time Myles.
But slowly the rhythm of this escapade softened. Myles started to breath deeply. Kaiya stopped squirming so much. And they fell into gentle, cuddly sleep.
Fastforward 2 hours, and am I basking in the rewards of my triumph? Have I managed to squeeze in a bit of me time? Oh no, I have been coaxed into dreamtime by these little turkeys and relegated to the end of the bed.
I could have been frustrated I suppose. But the early part of their lives is so finite. These mommy sandwich moments will be what separates this part of their lives from that of pre-teen, teenage hood and eventually adult hood. So I sucked it up, laughed at myself, and snuck myself back in between them for an unsatisfactory yet satisfactory sleep.