I never took naps. I stayed up late, trying to milk every precious second from the day. I don’t know what was wrong with me. These days, I’ve wizened up and now I love to sleep. It’s often the best part of my day, which is only a little depressing.
Unfortunately, sleep doesn’t love me back. Maybe there’s just no room for sleep when there are three people squeezed into our queen-size bed. Maybe sleep is a little put off by the fact that my daughter, Molly, lies horizontally across the top of the bed and steals our pillows. Maybe sleep isn’t a fan of that tiny snoring sound that Molly makes from the hours of 10 p.m. to sunrise.
Whatever the reason, sleep is a seldom-seen and almost mythological thing at my house.
Anytime you cram two adults and a large 3-year-old into a queen-size bed, you’re just asking for insomnia. I’m one of those people that has no problem taking up a king-size bed alone. When I sleep, I like to lie face down with my legs and arms spread out like I’m skydiving (and in my dreams, I often am). Unfortunately, Molly is also one of those people. She may look small and unimposing, but it’s just an illusion.
You might ask, “So, why is she in your bed in the first place?” That’s a really good question. When she outgrew her crib and we converted it into a toddler bed, our problems began. With no prison-like bars to keep her contained, she started climbing out of her bed every night and crawling into ours.
At first, it was cute. We’d wake up at 2 a.m. and see that she had wiggled herself between us, wearing those cute footie pajamas that mothers and fathers can’t resist. We’d smile at each other, like, “Look at this bundle of joy we somehow created,” snuggle up to her, and go back to sleep without putting her back into her bed. We didn’t know what kind of monster we were creating.
Here we are, two years later, and she’s still in our bed. Not right this second, mind you, but every single night. Clearly, this causes problems, and not just of the lack-of-sleep variety. It’s a tough transition, going from skydiving in my sleep to lying on my back, rigid and half-awake. That part is all the queen-size bed’s fault. I mean, why is it so small? And with Molly in the middle (note to self: future book name), I can’t snuggle with my husband, Michael, which is one of my favorite things to do in life.
So, sleep, if you’re reading this, I still love you. I’d welcome you back with open arms if you ever decided to come home. Also, if you could bring a king-size bed with you, that would be great. Or, maybe a very large crib that Molly can’t climb out of. Either way, I’m looking forward to meeting you again one day soon. Really, really soon.
(Editor’s Note: Debra Carpenter is a novice mother, wife and college student. She writes about the parts of parenthood you didn’t expect when you were expecting. Like the fan page at Facebook.com/MotherInterrupted or visit the website at MotherInterrupted.com.)