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The love of a mother

Posted by Kristen on December 4, 2008 at 7:07 AM in Kristen
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It only took almost four years, but I think we finally have Ethan sleeping through the night. I know. What is wrong with those people that let their kids get up 700 times a night? He really just wants to sleep in between his mom and his dad. In fact, he says, "I just want to sleep in between my mom and my dad."

The trouble is, there is no room in a queen size bed for a grown man, a large pregnant woman and a boy who sleeps all over the place. Frankly, I would just like to not be awakened one or two times every single night. I don't think I have slept through the night in four years. And since sharing the bed with Ethan means Ethan shares MY half of the bed, I had to shut it down.

But what to do? I know people that lock their kids in their room and let them cry it out but my friend still sounds traumatized when she regales me with stories of being locked in her room. She is nearly 40.

We decided to lock our room instead. Wonder of wonders, it worked. After five minutes of hysteria outside our door, Ethan began negotiating.

E: Mom. Dad. If you promise to keep your door open and leave the light on in the bathroom, I'll stay in my bed.

It sounded too good to be true. I have no idea where the light thing came from but whatever. He was off to his room and is going on three weeks of staying in his bed. He does get up occasionally to check that our door is open and if it is not, he opens it.

I failed to do the math that an open door with a bathroom light on would be a bad combination for me.

Growing up, I shared a room with Jen a fair amount of the time. Jen liked to torment with a variety of things. First and foremost, she liked to set the alarm for two hours before she had to get up and then hit snooze every nine minutes until she got up. I, of course, woke up the first time the alarm went off and stayed awake. It made me a bitter girl.

The next big thing was that for my entire life, I have to have complete darkness when I sleep. So my sister would leave our room, go across the hall, turn on the bathroom light and then come back and crack my door. You know that light shined in my face.

Fastforward a few decades later. Wouldn't you know that light from the bathroom SHINES IN MY FACE. My husband just laughed when he realized what was happening. But a deal is a deal is a deal. Every night now I fall asleep to that light shining in my eyes. But I'm not waking up twice a night with my head in the stinky armpit of a three-year-old.

The things we do for our kids.


Becky writes...

Why don't you try using a eye mask? You can find really pretty ones. Though I don't know if I could sleep with something on my eyes, but it might work for you. Congrats on solving the problem.

patience writes...

omg, me too!!I'm so bad that the green light on the dvd player drives me nuts. Jorge tells me to close my eyes and it will go away but I FEEL it's why I actually like hotel rooms- black out shades and all.

jen zug writes...

We have a full sized bed, so kids crawling in with us is definitely out. Ruthie finally resorted to a pillow and a blanket on the floor NEXT to my bed, but ever since she started kindergarten she's consistently slept through the night.

Tina writes...

Ooh, you're strong. I would have found the negotiation so pitiful and heartwrenching he'd have been in my room in the blink of an eye.

Course, my 6 year old just moved to his own mattress on the floor beside my bed a few months ago. He stayed in his own room with a friend and the friends mom last weekend and I missed him so much I cried. He's back and right now he can stay as long as he wants.

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