Don’t tell Husband, but I’ve been sleeping with another guy.
My paramour is about 2’6″ and 27 lbs. He doesn’t speak in complete sentences and he can’t yet cut up his own food, but he’s very easy on the eyes and he likes to cuddle.
Allow me to explain.
You see, my parents were in town visiting this weekend (while Husband, I might add, was off gallivanting with his friends) and my mom’s presence in the living room during Big Boy’s “quiet” time allowed me to sneak off for a different type of quality time with Tiny Baby. For the past couple of weeks, he’s been taking shorter and shorter naps, but, as my perpetually sleepy third trimester self has discovered, he can pretty reliably be coaxed back to sleep with a little rocking, or – if the stars align and there is another adult around to corral Big Boy – if I snuggle him back to sleep in my own bed.
And what a joy it is. To see his soft, perfect skin and scandalously long lashes from a two-inch distance. To feel his warm, moist breath on my neck. To pat his back and send him back to sleep at his slight stirring. (To ignore his occasional spasmodic kicks to my unwieldy abdomen.)
And it’s a joy Husband and I haven’t shared too often with our boys.
Both of our sons were early roommates of ours, but almost never our bed-mates. They each slept in a bassinet next to our bed during their early weeks to facilitate all that middle-of-the-night nursing. Big Boy moved to his own crib in his own room after a month or two once his odd nocturnal utterances (think of a cross between that low-pitched chanting of Tibetan monks and the sound of a metal fork stuck in a garbage disposal and you’d be on the right track) started to steal away the few winks I was getting. Tiny Baby was granted a longer stay, not moving in with Big Boy until he started sleeping through the night.
Not co-sleeping with our babies wasn’t really an active choice that we made. It just wasn’t what we ended up doing. We backed our way into the decision as we have done with so many parts of parenting and it seems to have turned out fine. Our kids are happy and healthy and loving and have slept well since their early days. (Yes, I do realize that having written that guarantees that Baby #3 will emerge and remain a night owl for years to come.)
And, to be honest, I didn’t (and don’t) really mind having a space in our house that belongs to Husband and me. Sure, our kids are in our room all the time. Big Boy builds forts on our bed with our down comforter; Tiny Baby uses the bed as a perch from which to arrange and rearrange the lotions and potions on my bedside table. But, at nighttime, they sleep in their room and we sleep in ours.
But these magical afternoon naps with Tiny Baby almost have me reconsidering my approach and I almost wonder if Baby #3’s arrival will usher in a new sleep approach chez Motherese. I say “almost” because I’m not sure if my Type A instincts are ready to scrap the approach that has worked well for us so far.
Ooh, but that skin and those lashes and that eerily good breath of a baby asleep at my side?
Do you have a child sleep philosophy? Is it part of your larger approach to parenting or did you just happen upon it?