Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Bed Ain't Big Enough For 3

Before I became parent, I had all these fancy ideas of the kind of parent I would be.  Of the kind of child I would have. 

One of my ideas was: I would not let my child sleep in our bed. 

I stuck to this during the first 2 years.  Even on The Boy's first night home, I gave him a bottle and put him in his crib to sleep.  I was setting a precedent.  And for a while, it worked.

Then, shortly before his 2nd birthday we converted his crib (after he learned to climb out) to a toddler bed -The Boy FREAKED OUT!  I mean - hysterics.  I couldn't understand what the big deal was.  This was before the diagnosis.  We tried everything to get him to fall asleep by himself.  Looking back, it makes sense - we changed his routine. 

The Boy would fall asleep after a few hours of crying, but always wake up in the middle of the night and wander into our bed.  We used to fight it.  Or rather, I used to fight it.  Walking him back to his bed 4 or 5 times during the course of the night.  I never really succeeded. 

And once we got the diagnosis, all of my pre-paternal parenting ideas needed to be modified or thrown completely out window.

The Boy reading a bed time story 
in OUR bed
It's three years later and The Boy has a twin bed.  But still every single night, he'll wake up and come into our bed.  I don't even fight it anymore.  Because on those nights where I fought, neither one of us got any sleep. So when he comes into our bed, I just make room.

The Boy will sometimes lay down across the bed at our feet.  Which means, I have to pull up my knees so that I don't kick him off.  It's not comfortable.  And The Husband often falls asleep on the sofa, so that he stretch out his legs without worrying. 

But last night, The Husband fell asleep in our bed and The Boy climbed in between us at about 3 am.  He's a big kid.  He takes up A LOT of space.  His size 13 foot is in my back or his legs across one of our stomachs or his hands on my face or arm across my neck. He kicks and squirms and steals the blanket.  Our queen size bed seems to get smaller and smaller every night.

I am hoping that eventually, The Boy will no longer be comfortable sleeping in our bed and stay in his own.  Because I certainly cannot afford a California King.        

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.