Monday, November 3, 2008

The family bed (aka my wild and crazy night life)

"THWACK!" That's the sound Max's hand makes when he flails an arm in his sleep and hits my face in the middle of the night. All four of us are in one bed. One queen bed. 

"AARGH!" That's the sound I usually make. "Hon, he didn't mean it," Dave will mumble, sleepily. Just once, I'd like Max to whack Dave (I'm quite sure Dave would say "AARGH!" too), but for some reason it's always me Max gets.

My two kids have been in our bed, on and off, since they were born. It started when we brought Max home from the hospital after two weeks in the NICU. He'd had seizures on the second day of his life, how doctors knew something was up, and I was scared to let him sleep by himself. What if the seizures returned? I still remember lying in the darkness, one hand covering his little body to make sure there were no weird twitches or movements. 

I know it's time to kick the kids out of bed (old Ferber is turning over in his grave as I type this, I'm sure). I'm just weak. WEAK. I'm not up for the nights of wailing that will ensue if we put them to sleep in their rooms. (BTW, they willingly go to sleep in their own beds for the babysitter; they sweetly do it for my mom and sister, Judy; they would go to sleep in their own beds for anyone who walked in off the street and did it. They just won't do it for us.)  

So, that's how sleeping goes at our house. How about at yours? 


  1. Can't remember when, exactly, but at some point I demanded that Charlie get out of our bed. It was hard for my Hubby, though, so we made him a nest on the floor. There he sleeps, but thank-goodness, now I can sleep too.

  2. Wow--your hubby sleeps on the floor? Why didn't I think of that? :)

  3. This is Aunt Judy. Ellen speaks the truth. I think it is just a phase that they will hopefully out-grow. I love the way Sabrina sleeps across the foot of the bed.

  4. Hi, I've just found your blog ;-). Thanks for sharing your adventures with Max.

    We all sleep in the same bed - BC (my 4 yo son with CP), my 18 month old "Bean", husband and I. We started out that way for similar reasons to you. After 4 weeks in the NICU I wanted my son as physically close to me as possible. And well, we just sort of didn't stop ;-).
    Before our second son was born, we DID buy a toddler bed for BC, but then at the last minute I couldn't put him in another room so we put the bed in our room, right next to our bed. And that's where it still is, an extension of our bed ;-).
    I swore we would start Bean out in a cot, but then once he was born, I just couldn't do it. And I can see that we'll need to get a bigger bedroom soon so I can fit another toddler bed on the other side...
    I used to feel bad about our sleeping arrangements and would never tell anyone, until I read about 'cosleeping' and learnt that lots of people choose to sleep this way. And have happy well adjusted kids ;-).

    BTW, are you familiar with the kids book "Max" by Bob Graham? If not, you should look out for it at your local library. It's really cute and Max might get a kick out of it ;-)

  5. I have been sleeping in the same room with my two kids (age 4 and 6). My 4 year old has special needs. It is just so hard to leave them. I feel so comfortable being in the room. I realize that when they are a little older they won't want me in the room anymore, so I will take advantage of it now. BTW Mikey sleeps probably like Sabrina and Max combine. He rollls all over the place, and smacks me too. Enjoy the time with them. They are only yound once!!

  6. I don't know the book Max, nothingbuteverything! I will have to check it out, thanks for the suggestion! And Anonymous, you are right, they're only young once...but I am going to be getting OLD fast (or looking it) if I don't get a good night's sleep one of these nights!!!!!!

  7. I have 3 words for you - King Size Bed. That doesn't mean it still doesn't get a little squishy - there are mornings that I wake up and can't figure out how I have managed to sleep in such a small amount of space, but I wouldn't trade those moments waking up with my children snuggled around me for anything. My fourteen year old gave up our bed a few years ago, but the two younger ones still like to snuggle with us. They go to sleep in their own beds, but invariably end up in ours!

  8. Ellen,
    the book 'Max' is a kids book (aimed at around 4-8 year olds) about the son of Super Hero parents who takes a long time to learn to fly. It's a beautiful, funny picture book with a great subtle message of tolerance, patience and accepting differences. It's a lovely read ;-).
    I hope you can find a copy in your local library or on Amazon.

  9. Okay, I am the strict Mommie and you all know who I am. I can count the times our 4 year old has been in our bed and it was serious illness or freak out nightmare only and then right back to her crib when she was a baby and now her big girl bed. She knows that as soon as Mr. Sun is up she can come into our bed and snuggle. We sleep peacefully and so does she. So, I am not that mean after all....

  10. We have the Max book. Our 4 year old loves it. I try to hide it because she asks so many questions it takes forever to go through it. No words, only pics and lots of explaining....

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    When Alex comes in our bed, it's just about like that...only we each get equal shares of the whacks, kicks, nudges, etc. Don't tell my hubby, but sometimes when I'm just too tired to get flopped around on, I send Alex to the hubby's side of the bed. (evil smile)...otherwise, my days look like this:


Thanks for sharing!