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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bed Buddy

Looks like I have a dilemma on my hands.

For some time now #2 has been lamenting over the fact that he has to sleep alone. The injustice of having to spend his entire boyhood as a bachelor is nearly unbearable.

The other night he had a nightmare that woke him up (involved a maniacal dinosaur who enjoyed snacks of small boys). He crept out of his room where his father found him sitting in the corner, unsure if he should come into our room or go back into his own.

We snuggled him into our warm bed and tried to squeak out the last few precious minutes before the alarm clock rang. But he wasn't interested in going straight back to sleep. Instead, he rubbed my face, he kissed my cheeks, he gave me the tightest hugs you can imagine. Then he began to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.

"Mommy I wuv you." (still workin' on those l words)

"Love you too, Monkey."

"Mommy you the best mommy in the world."

"Thanks, Monkey, now go back to sleep, kay?"

"Kay, Mommy... Mommy, you hair is pretty." (obviously blinded by sleep deprivation)

"Okay, Monkey. Do you want to go back to your bed?"


"Okay, then be quiet, Daddy has to get up soon."

"Kay... Mommy?"


"I wove you, Mommy."

This went on for about 30 minutes. And, while I thoroughly enjoyed all of the ego boosting show of affection, 4:15 in the morning is not the best time for it. And, of course, he drifted pleasantly off to sleep at the precise time that I had to get up to prepare breakfasts, lunches, and backpacks for the day.

Then, two nights ago, I found him snuggled into bed with #1 (who he refers to as Brother). And, last night, again he scurried into #1's bed, only this time Brother was not interested in playing host to his heartfelt shenanigans. He was yelling for him to get out of his bed immediately which led #2 to feel hurt, which led to #2 getting angry, which led to #1 getting punched.

Here is the dilemma: Do I make him stay in his own bed?

I love having him cuddle up with me, but I don't necessarily want to make it a habit, and I certainly do not want #1 to fall victim to his compulsive bed hustling. At the same time, isn't that what brotherhood is partially about? Sticking up for each other, being close to each other, letting your lil' bro climb into your bed and hold on to your hand when he's scared, even if it's a bit annoying (as long as there is no more punching)?

So, readers, this is my dumb mom SOS. Feel free to share your thoughts on this one.


Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

My daughter climbs in bed with me. Every. Single. Night. I'm such a sound sleepr that I never notice when she comes in. She tells me that she's my teddy bear. Sometimes, I don't sleep very well without my teddy bear! Unless, of coarse, she is rockin' her famous Dragon Breath!

joanofalltrades said...

I vote for letting him sleep with his brother but not with you and hubs. But what do I know? I don't have kids. I do like watching the Supernanny whipping people into shape though. Your kids are adorable. Thanks for the follow.

otherworldlyone said...

My daughter went through the phase of sleeping in my bed...or my 16 year old sister's bed. It got old very quickly and it was hard to get things back to normal. She would use the nightmare excuse every night. And while I believe that's how it originally started, I know that wasn't always the case. I finally had to put a stop to it.

Every time she came to my room (or Lee's) one of us would take her back to her bed and lay down next to her until she was asleep again. We only had to do it for about a week and she stopped getting up. It sucks, but the long term results are worth it...she kicks like a horse!

Good luck!

parentingBYdummies said...

Thanks for the tips guys. Since this happened last week I decided to duct tape him to his bed. And it worked like a charm! No, j/k. The weather got nice this weekend, he and his brothers played like a pack of puppies, and he was too tired to climb out of or into anything. Problem solved. For now at least!

Jenny Penny said...

We're having this problem with our 5-year-old. It started a couple months after the baby was born eight months ago. I have a pretty good memory that goes pretty far back, so I distinctly remember having nightmares at 4-5 years of age, waiting in bed trying to muster the courage to run into my parents' room, and then flying in there to sleep between the two of them in their little full-size. Being that these were good memories to me, I thought I'd indulge my daughter in the same way. It's not been good. She thrashes and has difficulty settling for quite some time once she's been made the transfer. At least we got her to quit YELLING for us at the top of her lungs. We have a whole system going now, which is working pretty well. If she behaves at bedtime, she gets a star on a chart in the morning. If she stays in her own room all night, she gets a marble in a jar. After accumulating six stars, she can start a bedtime in our bed and stay the whole night there for one night. Once she fills the whole marble jar, we're going to take her to a nearby water park -- you know, something big. We have also been allowing her to leave the light on if she wants (something I did as a kid, too, until I grew up and had to pay my own electric bill -- seriously). The #1 thing that's been helping, though? Us tenting her bed in under a big blanket and letting her have a book or a drawing pad to use after we leave the room. She says she feels safe in there, knowing monsters can't see her. We have been sleep Nazis since she was a baby, so it's been hard for me to let her have that freedom after "lights out," but it's helped a lot!

Gibby said...

Both my kids are great sleepers, but they have gone through phases. My oldest had a hard time at 5, too. Not sure if it was nightmares, KDG, or what. She would come in our room, we'd cuddle, and then walk her back to her bed. It was really hard to make her leave, but we didn't want to start any bad habits. Eventually she stopped coming in and went back to her peaceful sleeping.

Good luck!

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