Hey guys, remember when I said people who bed-share with their kids are crazy? Remember that? Remember how we laughed?
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” is only half-right. “Judge not, lest the great boomerang of karma swirl back on you and lodge in your bum” is probably more accurate. Moira, it seems, is a snuggler. And not your garden-variety hug-and-kiss enjoyer, either. Oh no. Moira puts the “attached” in “attachment parenting.”
Oh, sure, she’s already cut two teeth and tries desperately to get up on all fours to crawl and by all accounts seems desperate to just flee already, and that is just crazy to me. Maggie was over six months old before she even thought about turning over and it was another ten months after that before she deigned to walk. She just didn’t care, and why should she? There was at least one tall slave around to carry her from Point A to Point B at any time. Moira wants movement and forward momentum, and she wanted it yesterday. The idea that my youngest may achieve mobility before the summer solstice has become quite chillingly real. She’s into everything and into everyone’s business, grabbing and groping, and I fear that her constant daytime motion is going to get the best of Maggie’s patience.
In addition to her physical maturity, Moira is just freakin’ huge. She wears 12m shirts, 9m onesies, and 6m pants. (She’s built sort of like an inverted triangle.) She’s so strong, and hungry! Always hungry, that one, with her happy nursing and double helpings of applesauce and can you maybe mush a banana for me, Mama? These chins aren’t going to grow themselves. (No sweet potatoes, though. Those were rejected with an audible “Ptooey!”)
But back to the bed-sharing. All this activity makes for a tired, tired baby, but her brain is still trying to crawl and go! Dammit, go! so her sleep is thrashy and restless. During the day she conks out easily in my baby wrap or while we’re in the car, but nighttime is problematic for her. She flips herself onto her stomach and then flips herself back and fusses because she didn’t really want to be on her back, and won’t stay swaddled. Somehow that on top of the teeth-cutting and agitation and I don’t KNOW, OKAY, I’m TIRED–coupled with the path of least resistance resulted in her landing in her favorite, favorite spot: directly mashed into my side.
I resisted. Oh, how I love to sleep on my stomach, legs and arms akimbo, on top of a feather bed and under a heavy down comforter. None of that is safe if you’re sharing a bed with your baby. The feather bed went. The down comforter is pushed down to my knees. I cling to the edge of the bed, and my little barnacle sleeps like a stone while my arms and legs atrophy from lack of movement.
And can it be that I enjoy this? I do. Nothing in life is permanent, and few things are less permanent than babyhood. It’s not a habit I want to continue into toddlerhood but for now, while she needs it, it’s fine. Watching my last baby sleep (as I am even as I type now) safe in my bed, perfectly comforted, totally and absolutely assured of her mommy with her hand pressed against my chest and her toasty legs against my stomach is, despite my various discomforts, such a peaceful experience. Tom and I will have the whole rest of our lives to annoy each other with our cover-stealing habits after we’re done banding together to get the little interloper some decent rest.
Babies. They sure know about Stockholm Syndrome, eh?
Moira’s peace and reassurance is so total that she can let her brain turn off and get some real sleep, and I think I finally get the paradox of why bed-sharing and such is said to actually build confidence. She has all the love and cuddles a growing baby could want, and by God, that child is thriving. So we’ll keep on. “Sleep on your own!” is not a parenting hill upon which I am prepared to die–whatever gets all of us the most sleep is what we’ll do.
But I still think that sharing a bed with multiple kids is bonkers and please, feel free to join me in preemptive laughter because now that I’ve committed that to text, I suspect Maggie’s going to jump back in the mix at any moment. At least Maggie can be trusted not to pee on my favorite sheets.