Not so attached anymore

I was a co-sleeping parent for practical reasons, not emotional. It was easy to pop open my nightie and nurse the kids in my sleep. I would then drift off to sleep, never worrying about having to get up and shift the baby back to the crib.

But once the nursing was done, I was very determined to get the spawn out of my bed and own my space. In fact, they moved to the nursery fairly early by desi kid standards. The Brat is a good sleeper, but the Bean has still not learned to sleep through the night, making sleepovers impossible. She wakes up and pads into our room at least once a week.

I’m told that the first two or three times she did this in the early years, I transformed into my Chandi ka roop, released my inner Kracken, breathed fire. I can’t tell you really, because I have no memory of this. The OA on the other hand remembers it vividly because it was left to him to console a horrified little Bean, so he brings out this anecdote for regular airing. The proof of this pudding is that the Bean refuses to come to my side of the bed at night, heading for her father like a homing pigeon, even in a hotel room. Suits me fine. I sleep best when the OA travels and I have the bed to my self. I call it my bachelor sleep. And somehow on those days the Bean stays in bed and doesn’t sleepwalk into ours.

The Brat is no problem. In more ways than one.

Anyhow, I travel for work once in a while and the Brat and Bean take that opportunity to sleep with their goodnatured father who makes a big picnic of it. He, on the other hand travels very often and the kids sometimes hint at coming to sleep with me but I need just raise my Chandi ka roop eyes for them to go scuttling.

These last few trips that the OA has traveled, though, we’ve all been a little low. New country, the house quiet and dull. No doubt I am the more active, noisy parent but somehow even one family member missing and there is a funereal air to the proceedings. The day is easy to get through, it’s the evenings that fall as flat as beer left open for an hour. And so it was that the kids caught me at a vulnerable moment yesterday and asked if they could sleep with me.

I can compromise on a lot else, but I need my sleep. A hint of moonlight, a couple of TV/mobile phone blinking lights, the fan raising the curtains or causing something to clink, and I’m up all night. When I travel I prefer to stay in a hotel because others’ homes are great for everything but I end up sleep deprived thanks to the street light, or the sound of the fan. Three days in a row and I’m in zombie mode. And trust me, it’s not a pretty sight.

So sleeping with the kids is my idea of a nightmare. They toss, they turn, they punch me in the face and they push until I’m clinging to the edge of the bed by my fingernails. The OA can sleep through an earthquake so this doesn’t bother him.

But last evening the Brat came to me with that little heartbreaker face of his (damn him!) and said – Can we have a special treat? Can we sleep with you because Dada is not here? Or should we wait and save this for a more special occasion? Like a holiday or a birthday?

Now the only thing I’m crazy about is a peaceful 4-5 hours of sleep. In all other matters, I’m a pushover of a parent. But he so rarely asks for something. And he did the Brat special – climb into my lap and give me access to his chubby soft cheek. So I caved like a fool. I mean what sort of hard hearted mother refuses to let her kids sleep with her? What sort of Cruella needs her kids to beg like it’s a treat? It wasn’t a play station they wanted – they just wanted to cuddle their mother.

So I said yes. By 2 am I was regretting it more than the time I got my hair streaked red. By 3 am I was begging for deliverance. The Bean does this thing where she shoves a hand under your pillow – yes, your pillow, not her own – and you find your head raised up by an inch or two with something like a rock under it – which is only her fist. She then shoves her fine silky hair up your nose and if that doesn’t work, she systematically kicks you in the stomach until you are ready to throw up your dinner.

By 4 am I conceded defeat and crawled to their room and fell asleep in their bed.

By 7 am I woke up and realised that we’d missed school because I’d left my phone by my bed and they had slept through the alarm. I of course had not even heard it in their room, so dead to the world had I been.

And so we’re drawing back the old lines. Sit on my head, kick me in the face, throw your food around the living room, pour milk down the television, it’s all good while I am awake. But when it’s time to go to bed, you go your way, I go mine, and we meet at that beautiful place called morning.


14 thoughts on “Not so attached anymore

  1. I have been regular reader of your blog for quite some time. Love your blog. I can so relate this post. I was nodding at every sentence in agreement 🙂 My 9 yrs old daughter still wakes up at night & want one of us to sleep in her room & it’s always her dad 🙂

  2. Woman, you’re back and with a bang. “meet at the beautiful place called morning” wah! if I could I would kick the hubby out of the bed too and sleep happily alone… :p

  3. LOL. I so understand. Madame Bubboo recently turned one, but is still to learn to sleep through the night. Wait, I am not even sure if all kids do learn to do that, at some point of time or the other. Most days, I am a sleep-deprived zombie. 😀 I am like you – some days, I can’t fall asleep without hugging the OH, and at other times, I sleep like a log when he is out of town, as if I haven’t slept for ages!

    I wrote a similar post on my blog some time ago:

  4. Hee-hee. Now I know you’re human. I’ve only read the stories where you sacrifice your sleep all the time for all those bazillion activities you do. This, I can make sense of. You need little sleep, but it’s got to be good.

  5. Love reading BB stories 🙂

    and oh! i just got done sleep training my Bub n Chub and can really relate to this post. Feel like its the best decision I’ve made as a mom, so far anyways! I know a lot of people judge pareents who sleep trained, I even had to fight my DH on this! But personally I think well rested babies n well rested parents contirbute to making a Happy Family!

  6. Oh I cannot stand kids shuffling in the bed. My five your old forcefully pushes his feet in my tummy no matter how many times I push him away. It is so annoying.

  7. Do I see a tiny acceptance of the country you’ve moved to? Resignation, perhaps? So the B and B are “Desi kids” now? 🙂

  8. story of my freaking life! Except in our case the hubs does not travel and A is in a habit (unless she is dead tired at bed time) of walking into our room when she rouses from her sleep. Not infrequently I hear the following “ugh, A!!! STOP kicking me…ugh, uff, cluck” followed by shoving and rustling. And like you, I can hardly fall asleep after listening to their midnight brawl in my bed!
    Is there a magic age when they just stop this? Please provide details on Chandi ka roop, I think it’s time I unleash mine 🙂

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