By Kia Morgan Smith
I've got a confession.
My husband's been having many sleepless nights and I'm to blame. Someone has come in between us and I let it happen over and over again. We have words about it every night. He wants me to end it, but I can't. I won't. I can't help how my heart feels.
I know my husband doesn't deserve to lose sleep over it. He drags himself out of bed every morning, exhausted, weary-eyed and with one eye open, wishing he could turn back the clock, if just for 40 winks, so that he can hit the bricks and make the bread for his family. To him, three's definitely a crowd.
And now, my husband is demanding I let him, my other man, go to his OWN bed.
My little man, the 2-year-old other half of my heart and the little boy who makes me go cuckoo between the slobbery kisses and baby talk goo-goo, can no longer sleep between us or so says his pooped big poppa.
Be clear: My husband is by no means a pushover. The hundreds of kickboxing trophies in our foyer gives proof to any detractor that the soft-spoken, nice-guy-next-door is likeable and lethal. But when it comes to his boo (me) and his boo-boo (mini-me), he just can't gain any ground.
It goes like this: the little guy, JoJo, climbs into our bed at the same time every night. He's usually wound-up as if his internal alarm has sounded and Reveille is blaring in his little brain. He knows the deal so he scopes me out and makes a B-line for my side of the bed. I scoot over to let him in. He sleeps on the outer edge. The risk here is that he might just hit the floor if I forget that he's there. And yeah, baby has gone boom a few times. (Spongebob Band-aids on the night table, check)
I try not to put him in-between my husband and me because if daddy wakes up, it's going down. Jo-Jo will be carried out and put back in his bed. But that makes JoJo no nevermind. All he does is wait till the midnight hour to come back to his mommy's sweet embrace.
When baby boy returns, I once again scoot to the left, and try to keep him on the right so he doesn't disturb his dad. But in the course of the night he agitates me. I get elbows to the eye, kicks to the gut, and stinky little toes on the cusp of my nose.
I then, unconsciously, toss and turn and kick and slap my husband like I'm fighting in the UFC on my Serta.
That boy's gotta go, my husband says. I didn't get any sleep.
For some reason this time when he said it, I knew he really meant it. I started crying like I was having postpartum depression two years after the fact. But, but, I whimpered, I just love him. I feel so bad for him. He doesn't want to sleep by himself.
See, in my mind, my son needs me. Maybe he's scared. He does sleep in a room by himself while my girls all share a room. My husband and I sleep together and so JoJo is the only one who sleeps in a room alone.
And even when I have tried to make him go back to his bed, he never does.
We may get a full-night's sleep without him, only to wake up and find the poor little fella spread eagle in the hallway outside my door. And it breaks my heart to see JoJo lying on the floor without his blankie and his stuffed Crocodile, Lyle, Lyle.
I want to honor my husband and tend to my son like a momma should. So I chose to give up my own comfort just so I can make the little guy comfortable.
I know I'm not alone in this. There are many parents out there who share their beds with their babies. As uncomfortable as it can be, Babycenter.com says it’s a growing trend in the United States. Other reports say that co-sharing doesn't make the child any happier. I disagree. My son seems very content sleeping with us. It's daddy who's cranky and incoherent at daybreak.
As he grows, he certainly can't continue to sleep with us. I already know this. I never had this dilemma with any of my other children and always trained my kids from birth to sleep in their own bed. But for whatever reason, my baby boy wants to share my bed. And he's smart enough to know that momma's the easy target and daddy's the enforcer.
In less than six months he'll be three and that will be a time of many transitions. He'll go from being too lazy to pee in the pot, to being potty-trained and I think this will be the perfect time to put the hammer down and demand that he stays in his own domain.
(I know what you're saying good luck with that!)
For me it's going to be a bit of a transition too. I love holding him and snuggling up to him. He's my FIFTH and last baby. That's it. Once gone, I'll never have these moments again.
For now I will try to keep him contained on the right side of the bed so that daddy's not disturbed. I just hope my husband doesn't get up and head to the hallway to get some sleep. But just like JoJo, he'll be back too!
Kia Morgan Smith, author of the delightful children’s book, Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too, is a passionate and dedicated educator and former award-winning education reporter from Philadelphia. She has five kids and balances life like nobody’s business all of which she chronicles on her blog,CincoMom. She lives with her husband and their family in Atlanta.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.