Thursday, November 08, 2012


Sleeping, six years ago. Was Oscar trying to send me a message??

I let my girls sleep in "the big bed" with me last night. Christopher is traveling for work and our bed is a king. Awhile back when they found out he was going, Genevieve was sad, so I promised her this treat to make her feel better. But because I wasn't sure how it would go, I said only one night. Just for fun. A one-time novelty.

When I told my friend Angel on Sunday that I was letting them do this, she shook her head at me and said, "Yeah, you're not gonna get any sleep at all." And I shook my head back and said, "No, I'm really not." But it actually went a lot better than I expected. I tucked them in at their normal bedtime of 7:30, with a little horse nightlight set up on the dresser making the room way too bright for my taste. They went immediately to sleep without a sound.

When I came to bed not all that much later (I'm sick), they were spread out over the whole bed. Of course. HOW can two small children take up most of a king-sized bed? I needed to sleep on the far left side because my alarm clock is there, and I needed to be able to silence that thing as fast as possible at five a.m. But Julia was all the way over on my pillow, totally ignoring the pillow of her own that she'd brought into the bed an hour before. I kept whispering to her to move over; but she was so sound asleep that she paid me no attention whatsoever. I actually sort of lifted her head and moved it over; but then she rolled right back down off her pillow into the valley of my spot before I could even get in. This happened three or four times. By then I was laughing but still, they slept like logs.

At some point Julia talked in her sleep at me, something about chicken. I laughed again. Genevieve slept through all of this.

Eventually I got Julia shoved over far enough that I could squeeze into the bed. I think I slept the whole night on about six inches of mattress. There was this vast swath of bed somewhere off in the ocean by Genevieve, but I couldn't reach it. It was covered in stuffed animals and blankies and Pillow Pets anyway. The horse lamp bathed the entire room in a yellow glow.

But I loved every minute. I never once woke up worried over random night sounds like I normally do when Christopher is away. I never squinted nearsightedly at the doorway, wondering if an intruder was coming up the stairs. (This is what my brain does at night when I'm alone. So fun.) There was something about having all my people there in the bed with me that made my heart full and my brain still. I was cuddled into a cozy cave with my bear-cub littles, and I slept the calm, unworried sleep of a mama with all her babies at arm's reach.

Even if they hogged every inch of space.

I'm going to ask them if they want to do it again tonight.


Angel said...

Awwww, so sweet. And totally worth having no space and little sleep. :)

tricia*kushman*anderson said...

LOVE IT! Love the visual of the "vast ocean over there somewhere". Perfect!

Rita said...

I smiled the whole time I was reading this, Shan! So so sweet! And you know they'll remember this forever.

My SIL has ALWAYS let her kids sleep in the bed with her when her hub is out of town. And she has a QUEEN bed and THREE children!! Now that her boys are teenagers (and taller than she is) they sleep on the floor next to her bed. But still! They go in there and sleep with their momma when dad's out of town. HOW SWEET IS THAT??

Shannon said...

@Rita: So, so sweet. :)