Five’s a Crowd

I woke up this morning with four small bodies crowded around me. Two kids, two cats. No husband. I lay there and wondered, “How did I get here? Where oh where did I go wrong?” Clearly, we should have bought that king sized bed when we replaced the full after C was born. But at the time, the queen seemed so huge, and C was so small! Plus, he would soon be sleeping in his own room, in his own bed. So a queen would serve us just fine. Hah. Yet another fatal error in parental judgment.

While the kids start the night off in their own beds, somewhere around 1 C has started migrating into our bed. He migrates back to his own around 2 or so, just in time for the cats to arrive. At 4, A tries to wake up for the day and generally can be convinced to snuggle in bed with us until 6 or so. But C must have some sort of fairness radar that goes off the minute she climbs into bed, because he arrives shortly after demanding the opportunity to snuggle as well. After a few minutes of two children and two cats squirming around trying to get comfortable and carve out their own space, M generally gives up the ghost and starts his day. I try to eek a few more minutes out of the kids, but the sound of the shower alerts A to the fact that it is time to start our day, and so ends our night.

When talking with my mom a few days ago, I mentioned that my sister, with a toddler and a newborn, seemed to be getting more sleep than I was as Baby C2 already has day and night figured out, and is only getting up once or twice a night to nurse. My mom paused, and then finally commented, “Well, she is not quite as quick to go to them as you are. They have to really mean business before she heads in to them. Not that there is anything wrong with what you do!” And it is true, I have always gone with the “Cut the crying off at the pass” philosophy in hopes that the child would quickly return to a sleeping state.

So last night, I tried not to run up the stairs the instant A woke up. I sat and finished my row, and even debated starting another one. But then she climbed out of bed and stood in the hallway screaming “I want my MOM-MEEEEEE! I want my MOM-MEEEEE NOW!” By the time I made it there, she was lying in the middle of the staircase, about to roll the rest of the way down and crash land on the tile floor below. And then she continued to scream for an hour and half. So much for that experiment.

I really, really wish we had gotten that king sized bed. If you glean any advice from my blog at all, let it be this. If you are in the market for a bed, and you have more than one child, and you are of the “whatever works” style of parenting, do yourself a favor and get the king.

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