A Case for the Family Bed
Mom Ericka Lutz shares her experience of sleeping with Annie in the family bed.
So it is with my daughter. Annie slept with us in the queen-sized bed until, desperate for space, we resurrected her never-used-crib, removed the front panel, and wedged it as a “sidecar” next to the bed. That gave more room to Bill and to Annie — I ended up in the crib. Then, when she was two and a half and interested in being a “big girl,” we bought Annie her own “big girl bed,” a twin-sized foam mattress for the corner of our bedroom.
An hour later I wake, balanced on the edge of the bed, grasping on for dear life. Somebody’s nose is in my mouth, somebody’s hair is in my eyes. It is not my husband getting affectionate. No, far from me, on the other side of the queen-sized bed, Bill dangles half off. Between us, sideways, is Annie. I shove her perpendicular. She protests, Bill and I squawk. The family settles down. Another few minutes, and the same thing occurs. By now I’m sleepless. Bill has rolled over onto the floor, he’s grabbed a couple of pillows on the way down. I have no such luxury — no rug on my side of the bed. How can a three-year-old take up more room than two full-grown adults? Yet she does, arms and legs in an X as the snores issue forth.
So now at night, every night, we play musical beds. Morning finds us: Bill, tired of the floor, wrapped in a blanket on the living room couch; I’m in Annie’s room scrunched among the forty-odd stuffed animals who populate Annie’s twin; and Annie, sprawled, pleased, and purring like my old cat, completely owns the master bedroom, and the family bed.
P.S. You would think that things change in life, and they do. Yet have you ever heard the old adage, “The more things change, the more they remain the same?” In our case, alas, it’s true… I have a five-year-old daughter who is old enough to count to a hundred, blow her own nose, and help clear the table. She knows that Tyrannosaurus Rex was a meat-eater and she uses the words “option,” “actually,” and “ambivalent.” Can she sleep in her own bed all night long? Ha ha ha ha ha……..
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