My 11-year old daughter sleeps with me. Yeah, I'm right there with ya...children should not sleep with their parents (or so I believed). None of my kids slept with me as babies. I fell asleep once nursing Monty in bed and freaked the fuck out when I woke up. I was so scared I would smother him. I needed sleep like a crackwhore needs her next fix and I just could not sleep with a baby beside me.
I had a friend in high school who lived with her older sister. Older sister had 2 children, they were 4 and 2 at the time. Both children slept with their parents. Neither kid was toilet trained, they were mouthy, uncontrollable, holy hellion terrors. They were without a doubt the WORST kids I have ever met. It was not their fault, they had NO boundaries. I remember once when I said to one of the kids not to touch something, the mother said to me, "We don't tell the children they can't touch, everything in this home is theirs". Ummmm ok sure, fill your boots there on the hot stove little kid...just remind your Mom that the stove is YOUR'S when you burn the shit out of your little hand. So I guess I've always associated co-sleeping with those holy terrors.
I don't think I could parent small children in today's world. Parenting has changed so much over the last 15 years and I firmly believe alot of these changes haven't been in the best interest of our children. I could go on and on but chances are I would piss someone off, and though a knock down drag out argument about parenting styles can be full of the fun sometimes, I'll leave it at that for now.
This whole sleeping with me thing started about a year ago. She had a bad dream and came into my room at 3:00 in the morning and she was inconsolable so I pulled her up into bed with me. I almost lost my daughter when she was three years old, I willingly admit she holds the key to my heart. In the morning when I woke up, she was there, and I lay in bed watching her sleep. I'm guilty of not truly looking at my children often enough. I mean really looking at them. It had been a LONG time since I had taken the time to watch one of my kids sleep. The boys would call me a freak and throw something at me if I attempted it with one of them. Looking at her I thought about my newborn daughter with the headfull of black hair, my gorgeous toddler who would squeal with delight when I came home from work, I thought about the fact that I almost didn't have this with her, that it was almost taken from me, and the memories filled my heart.
Anyway, that one night has turned into every night. She sleeps in her own room at her father's house and I once asked him if he had trouble getting her to bed (I was afraid that allowing her to sleep with me was screwing up her sleep at her dad's). He told me that she goes to bed at 8:30 on her own, they seldomly have to tell her it's bedtime.
She always goes to bed before I do but will give me a sleepy "good night" when I finally crawl into bed. I can't help but think it will not last long. She is 11 after all. There will come a time in the near future when she hates me. I know this. Teenage girls and their mothers are like oil and water. As with all things that are fleeting, I find myself treasuring the time.
The other morning I tickled her feet as I usually do to wake her up. She kicked at my hand while letting out a groan and said to me in a soft sleepy voice, "Mom, I was having a dream and you woke me up." Me, "It's time to get up hun, what were you dreaming about?" In the same beautiful, soft, sleepy, voice she replied, "I was in Candy Land, I was a unicorn and we were eating lollipops from the trees".
Wow. How awesome is that....a unicorn in Candy Land? I hope my baby always has dreams filled with beauty and wonder.
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