Because I was sick, Edith chose last night for one of her rare 4:00am awakenings. As usual, I checked her forehead and her diaper and once I’d established she was just ready to get up, I told her it wasn’t morning yet, and went back to bed. Eventually she went back to sleep, and then she woke up again howling 20 minutes later.
Since I was sick and didn’t have the endurance to outlast her, I lugged her into bed with me, where we spent the next 90 minutes. I don’t know what happened in that 90 minutes. I know she did a lot of kick-flips over me, and then she spent some time curled up against me with her fuzzy little head under my chin sleeping, and then she began to pummel me and I handed her my phone, and eventually it was 6:30. I know I slept at least a little bit in there.
I am not sure what is normal and healthy when it comes to co-sleeping. In my house it was an absolute no-go. From as early as I can remember, I knew I was not allowed in my parents’ bed unless they were awake for the day and had invited me. I didn’t even try it. If I woke up scared in the night, I dealt with it myself using various mental techniques I’d honed over the years. Hell, if someone had broken in, I probably would have told them to keep it down lest they bother the adults.
Nowadays, going by my friends, it seems that most parents let their actual bodies serve as their child’s mattress. The bed has a 24/7 open sign on it, and if your child wants to get in it at 2am and kick you in the face all night, well, that’s their god-given right as your progeny, and declining to allow this is callous and will result in them being insecure attachers who only date jazz musicians.
I feel like there must be a happy middle ground between these two extremes, but if I have to pick between the two, I’ve got to go with my parents’ version because I simply cannot function at all, let alone parent, without sleep (neither can they; it’s a family curse).
Which all is to say, I quite enjoy having Edith in the bed when she’s sleepy-cuddling (for the full five minutes that happens), and I wouldn’t mind permitting it for, say, a couple hours every other week. But I fear that allowing it at all is going to just open the door to Edith demanding it as a permanent arrangement, and that’s not doable for me.
Anyway, I’m dreading how tonight will go, now that she thinks she has the upper hand.