Sleepless in Salt Lake

We’re visiting my folks during TO’s summer break. It’s tradition. It’s also H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D and we’re in one of the two rooms that has aircon ergo limited choices about where I crash at night.

Now we have a biggish bed for our use and it comes in handy because I play musical bed-sides atleast once every night. On the really fun nights I do it twice. Oh joy!

This is what happens. TO rolls and then he rolls some more and then some more again till I’m bracing myself on the floor with one leg out.

That’s followed by some amount of pushing and shoving and words that I’d not rather admit to using with a child present. I gain some ground, sleep for a bit and then the steam roller known as my flesh and blood advances again. This time it’s one foot and one hand on the ground aka time to switch sides.

So I go and cozy up in the other side of the bed which has to be warmed up and made sleepable.

And then the bundle of joy and sunshine in my life wakes up in the morning and says, “Hey! How did you get all the way over there?!” When I stare daggers at his well-rested face and say, “I flew” he bursts into peals of laughter and calls me silly.

Kids should really be tagged with their own caveat emptors before they let us take them home from the hospital.

Y-A-W-N

Pointy Elbows and Drool

Everytime you think you’ve reached a time and place where you don’t have to be a crabby cakes about your kid, they prove you wrong!

Of late TO’s been climbing into our bed. Resulting in either one of us sleeping on our own somewhere else (bliss) or us getting through the night but with pokes and prods and occasional limbs flying about.

Early this morning but still at a time I choose not to be woken up at, someone went poke-poke at the soles of my feet. It was TO asking me to make room for him, his pillow and coverlet.

I made room for him and then did a quick recon of the room he’d been sleeping in to see if the fan or AC had still been left on. We apparently have mood lighting in this house you see- when one leaves a room and *if* they feel like it, the fan and lights get switched off. Else, they don’t.

Anyhow, I came back to my room within a few seconds and found a small child could take up a ridiculous amount of space; yet again. I squished him up and moved him down towards Red (who always sleeps like a baby I might add resentfully).

I kept dreaming of the world being all cold and wet and me baby proofing the house for some reason…putting those cone guards on the edges of tables and sharp pointy things and then realized why that particular dream had come to me…TO was sleeping with arms akimbo and his rather pointy elbow had caught me in the ribs! To add to it, he was drooling. Everything one likes to wake up to an extra hour early, for no good reason.

This parenthood stuff is a doozy!

A Post From The Past

I wrote this post on a Word doc years ago and didn’t get around to publishing it. Discovered it today and publishing it because it’s still relevant and I’m still fighting for my space on the bed!”

Travails of Sleepytime

Many of us sleep alone at nights. And they are the lucky ones. The ones who don’t aren’t unlucky per se but they’ve lost that God-given privilege of rolling about on their bed all by their lonesome, unless something bad happens and well…that’s where couches (in conjunction with angry spouses) come in.

Why am I suddenly tripping on sleeping alone? Well let’s see now- the only child that I am, I graduated to a bed of my own at a fairly early age I’d say. And after that I’ve found that a bed mate (even a chaste one) just didn’t do it for me all in all. Something would happen that’d make me long to sleep. A-L-O-N-E!!

The current trigger is the hubby’s death grip on my coverlet. Boy! You think it’d be easy to shove a slender guy out of the way and dig out my wrap from under him. You’d think wrong. I’d have better luck excavating dinosaur bones somewhere. The sheet’ll be free once he moves. And he doesn’t move. Much.

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Which leads me to another bone of contention. I’m a wriggler. When I get into bed for the first time I HAVE to wriggle till I mush out a nice cozy space for myself and get the place a bit warm in the process. Not everyone’s a natural bed warmer like my father. I remember some pretty cold winters as a kid when I’ve tried to sneak under his comforter because he radiates furnace-like heat when all covered up.

I sadly, warm up only the place I lie in and since I’m a twitchy sleeper by nature I seldom lie in one place long enough for it to get properly toasty. I inevitably used to wake up from a cold spot on the bed during the winters in various places I’ve spent my childhood in. Hyderabad not really having much semblance of a winter is definitely easier on my malfunctioning heating coils. Anyhow, I realized that sleeping alone is a gift that is never given again post marriage and during the times when you have clingy roommates in the hostel. But that’s a different cuppa tea altogether.

Take me for example- I frequently smacked the new groom across his face while we got used to sharing a bed. Now I can sleep pretty much anywhere. But he NEEDS to be on his left else he feels as if he’s deprived himself of a good night’s sleep. Don’t ask me why. It’s not as if the mattress people stuffed his side of the mattress with more foam and left spikes in mine right? But adamant he is and on the nights when I’ve occupied the left side, the following mornings have brought me face to face with Monsieur Le Grumpy.

Bonuses of sleeping alone #1 your posture can be anything at all and you don’t ever have to have people grumbling over you at odd times of the night about why you are mimicking the Karate Kid’s Crane kick in your sleep. So whether it’s a pose of a bird hatching an egg or a midget hatching a plan, your posture is your thing and you get to indulge in all sorts of jungle gym activities all while sleeping beatifically.

Advantage # 2- you can emit any kinds of noise from anywhere you wish and not be thought as disgusting or get an elbow in the ribs right in the middle of the gorgeous dream of you and….never mind who else. It’s a great and understandable provocation for bodily harm leading to murder if you’re startled away by a monstrous snort of your partner. That pillow never looked handier for smothering, am I right?

Drool is also another dread to have to encounter. Imagine while fast asleep, you roll over/ reach out and your hands, feet touch something cold, sticky and thoroughly unpleasant. It’s enough to recreate the bedroom scene in the Godfather!

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Another reason to not let others in your bed, especially kids, is that they’ll never want to leave!! Mine starts out in his cot and somehow always ends up draped over my head, feet in my face, fingers tangled in my hair or moving around between the sheets like a wraith from the horror movies. Am convinced the hubby sleepwalks and then picks up El Munchkin and places him between us. And after a few attempts of his kicking his father (whose bones hurt your hands and feet when you make contact) my son’s permanently turned his limbs towards me. Courtesy my cellulite.

Apparently I often go *bleep-bleep* in the night after being kicked in the face or almost being pushed off the bed. I don’t remember them of course. I’m told about my runaway mouth across the dining table, over a cup of life-restoring coffee I’m; by a disapproving spouse in stern tones. But in my defense, I was in limbo you see. Formed of fatigue and memories of the days when I ruled my own bed and rolled around in circles, formed odd geometric shapes that were a puzzle to my mother.

For now I’ll just dream of sleeping by myself instead of tugging the sheet free (it aint gonna happen) and get a few winks in before the sheet usurper and the child repo agent (it SO feels like that) both work in tandem to have me lying awake through the night and working on another blogpost.

Nighty night!

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Why Life’s Like The Wizard Of Oz

When I woke up with a weight on my chest this morning and realized it was my kid’s heel on my sternum, it led to yet another epiphany. Life’s like The Wizard Of Oz (hold the Wonderful).

Dealing with kids often morphs us (read me all the way through) into the Wicked Witch of the East. Red usually is the Good Witch and magically smoothes things over with his placid tone and his magic wand (aka hugs and kisses and a nicer, pleasanter demeanor) while I’m all riled up and fit to have an army of flying monkeys to do my nefarious deeds.

See, sleep is important. UBER important. And when sleeping with an adult, despite what they show you in the movies, they eventually disengage and go their own way. You don’t pretzel and spoon beyond a point. You have S-P-A-C-E. Blessed, blessed, blissful, beautiful space.

Red’s travelling now and the brat’s bunking with me. That means that after reading to him and doing a bit of cuddle time I have “space” for all the time it takes for him to fall asleep viz 10 minutes. And then the magnetic pull begins.

I have woken up with an elbow to my eye, a butt in my face or a child sprawled across my torso and me having dreams of drowning somewhere because I couldn’t breathe.

The child in question is damn smart. He gravitates towards the well-padded parent and not towards the bony one. EVER!

This morning was no different. After a night of semi-bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy (I know, I know…) I slept off good and proper and didn’t even have any weird dreams that I could recall. And then suddenly there was a sudden and rather sharpish whomp on my chest and lo and behold it was a child’s heel. Now MLM for reasons unknown to me has a pointy chin, elbows and heels that he loves to dig into his mother’s rather substantial flesh. Love I suppose…

I woke up and quasi-gently rotated said heel of said child off me and onto the bed and added 2 pillows between us for good measure but the moment was gone and sleep had fled. Again. And because am weird, I thought of the Wizard of Oz where my offspring isn’t Dorothy but Toto. The frisky puppy who got Dorothy into trouble in the first place. Frisky and lovable but irksome at times too.

So Toto and I will wait for the Good Witch to get back and then my flying monkeys will rest. Till Toto acts up again.

Y-A-W-NNNNN

Co-Sleeping…A Parent Reflects

One of the first things I bought when I got pregnant, was a cot for my baby. It was nice, smooth with rounded edges and had teething shields on both the rails. It worked well when the brat was a teeny-tiny infant and it also worked as a mini-prison of sorts during time outs when he started getting his bad-monkey groove on.

And one day he and I both slept off on my bed and after that there was no looking back. He wanted that big bed! He wanted that big bed to turn cartwheels in, to go up and down and round and round in and somewhere along the way he also slept there.

We’ve got him his own big boy bed in his own room and he has slept there on and off but it just took one bout of cold, cough or fever for him to end up in my bed and NEVER LEAVE!

But last night while we were having our usual story-time tussle (another blog post for later) before he slept off, I realized that each night when I reach out I can usually connect with one or the other of his limbs and unless it’s his butt which ending up near my face; it’s comforting to have him close by and I actually like it.

Right from the time he was born, he smelled ‘nice’. That smell that’s particular to babies which is a mixture of sweet, soft, baby powder, drool and cuteness. Add to that whatever lotion or powder you now smother your child in and you have a unique aroma that you associate with your child forever.

And while my night-time sleep is often punctuated by a bop on the head, sheets being tugged away entirely, hot breath right on my face and a knee to my sternum in the first hour of hitting the sack; it’s also quite lovely to have a soft, squishy bundle to well…softly squish.

Plenty of parenting manuals, how-to books advise against co-sleeping, I for one am beginning to think that our kids grow up too quickly as it is. One day they fit in your lap and then they don’t. They have the rest of their lives to sleep in different beds, holding onto different people. A few more nights of cuddles and elbows to ribs won’t hurt anyone.

And while I write this I know fully well I’ll be grumbling while I get the offspring into a “normal” sleeping posture from his usual one of the Vitruvian Man so I can make some space for myself at the near-edge of the bed.

Here’s wishing you all adequate space to sleep.

Good night.