Midnight Creepers

They creep in.  Slowly.  In the middle of the night.  Sometimes we don’t even wake up. 

Last night, we woke up.  And stayed up…. 

Bizarrely, the baby had his blankey over his head and was walking into the room, nearly into the elliptical machine (still new to them), as if he was Casper the Ghost.  I laughed out loud.  Even though it was barely 3 am. 

I have no idea what precipitated this nightly migration.  Regardless of the original trigger, it is becoming a pattern.  A bad pattern.  A pattern that involves 5 people in a bed built for two.  A bed MEANT for two. 

I was one of those ridiculous pregnant women that believed I knew everything there was to know about parenting before I had actually done any parenting.  I figured having served as a nanny had equipped me with everything I needed to know about discipline and consistency.  I vividly remember a conversation I had with my brother-in-law during one of our baby showers where I smugly told him that I, Pied Piper of the children, would NEVER allow children to sleep in my bed.  How he kept a straight face I will never know.  He actually did try to talk me off of that position a little, but I would not hear of it. 

So now we’re at an impasse.  I’ve tried everything the parenting books advise you never to do.  (Who writes these books?  Have they had kids?  Did they work while having said kids?)  Anyways, I have bribed them.  With morning M&Ms.  How terrible is that!?!?  It only works for one, so don’t panic too much on their behalf.  I have begged them.  With big sad exhausted eyes.  I have tried firmly ensconcing them immediately back in their beds.  If I had the time to video the response, I would, so you could fully appreciate the dilemma.  It involves me sleeping on their floor until I think they’re asleep, and then me creeping out of the room only to have them starting crying, loudly, and rushing back to our room.  Last night, after that routine, it involved Bray getting into a heated battle with the baby who screamed so loudly to be let into our bed that the walls shook and the remaining sleeping mini-people in the house awoke.

I am confident this migration will stop.  But I’d really like for it to stop before high school.  It’s cute at 6 am when you only have 20 minutes left to sleep and you can just snuggle with one angelic toddler.  It’s less cute at 2 am, and then at 3 am, and then at 4:30 am, when I am squished on one side by the little lady, who falls out of the bed when not given enough “space,” and on the other side by the baby, who kicks me constantly in the rib cage, and at my feet or knees by the eldest who is less particular about his location in the bed, largely because he tends to be the last to arrive. 

If, on desperate occasion, I tip toe out at 4 am to catch an hour or two of sleep in the spacious guest room bed, they follow me.  I kid you not.  Hard sleeping three-year old triplets awaking at any motion I make to shadow me into whatever space I choose. 

I am very tired.

Comments

  1. This hits home for me too, but I only have 1! We resorted to getting an air mattress and putting it in her room so at least she stays in her bed. We take turns on who sleeps in there. My new years resolution is to stop!

  2. Gindi…
    Wow. This is so crazy–and funny!
    You’d think pure numbers would mean the three would want to stick together in their room. Good luck, Gindi!

  3. Hi Gindi! I am visting from Kelly’s Korner. I don’t have any kids yet, but I do remember trying a few times to get in bed with my parents late at night, and they just wouldn’t premit it. We had the choice to either lay on small futon/ couch thing they had in their room or lay on the floor, or have them come into our rooms and lay with us for a short whille. Of course they always made laying in their bed off limits, we could get on it but we could never get under the covers anything though I forget the exact reasoning they used to explain it to us (I think something about it being dirty because my dad went to sleep without a shirt on or something like that???).
    Anyways I think what you could maybe try is having a no being on the bed rule period… tell them that they are getting to big and that the bed can’t handle it. Maybe also just move to their bed or a couch or something if they insist, so your bed becomes less appealing? Also make sure they are comfotable and don’t have to go to the bathroom or anything before they go to bed. Figure out why they are waking up, and maybe that could be the solution? Sorry, if I am not that much help! I just had this conversation with my sister a few days ago and was like “I am never going to let my kids get in my bed in the middle of the night!” Now you have me scarred!

    • That’s so funny Kimberly – this was one of my biggest soap box issues as a non-mom and now I’ve totally caved. I might not care as much if they cried all night when I booted them out of our room if it was just one, but one wakes up ALL three! I do like the idea of a cot in the room, just to get them OUT of my bed :) Thanks for coming over!

  4. My husband and I have six children and over the years at one time or another, they have all come to our bed at night. Our solution was to spread out a blanket on our bedroom floor with some pillows. If they want to come in our bedroom during the night, they are welcome to come lie down on the blanket. Usually if one of the children wants to be close to us, they just come and cover up with a blanket and sleep on our floor. We have thick carpet and we keep a fleece type large blanket spread out. If one of the children is crying, then I get up and comfort them or let them snuggle with us for a bit before moving them to our floor. We’ve done this for years and our bigger children talk about how they loved that option.

    • Thanks Lucy. It’s great to get advice from someone who’s been through this with SIX KIDS (I can not imagine). I think the blanket on the floor is a great alternative for us…..

  5. Hi Gindi,

    I have found your blog through Kelly’s Korner and I thoroughly enjoy reading about your precious kiddos. I am not a mom myself, but my parents had this problem with my brother and me. To solve the problem they bought us each a special sleeping bag with our favorite cartoon character. They stored the sleeping bags in their closet and the rule was when we came in we could get our sleeping bag out and lay in the floor by the bed but could not get in the bed. My mom said it eventually got to the point that we would come in and get our sleeping bags and she might not even know we were there until she woke up in the morning. It seemed to work for us, but not sure if it would work for everybody.

    • Kassi – thanks for coming over from Kelly’s Korner, she and I were sorority sisters in college. I love the sleeping bag idea & we actually have sleeping bags for each kid – I’m going to try it out tonight!

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