Three in the Bed
“There were ten in the bed and the little one said…” You know the song, right? It’s one of Micah’s favorites. Lately when he sings it, he begins with the verse, “Three in the bed.” It’s like he’s telling us this is the way it’s supposed to be, and he’s right. I go to sleep lying next to Hubby. When I wake in the morning there is a warm, cuddly little man squishing his body into me. Every morning I chuckle to myself as I start singing the song in my head.
We have a well established routine of bath, P.J.’s, books, and then bed. I read the books and then quietly exit the room while Hubby gently eases Micah to sleep. For over a year it’s been like clockwork each night. Recently, however, this is what has been happening instead: Micah will implore, “Mommeeeeeeee! I want Mommmmee! Mama, Mama, Mooom! Noooooo no Daddy,” while he works himself up into hysterics that produce the kind of tears that require a long cuddle session to recover from as he gasps for breath.
We tried several approaches to get Micah to sleep. The only thing that worked was placing him in our bed. We found no matter how worked-up he was, as soon as he laid his head on our pillow, he could calm himself. Within seconds, he would suck on his thumb and drift off into dreamland. Hubby would then place him back in his crib where he would stay safe and sound for a couple hours only to wake up screaming out for me. He could not be consoled. He did not want to rock. He did not want to be held. He wanted to wriggle out of my arms, walk over to the door, and head straight back into our bedroom. This became our new routine and it wasn’t working out for anyone!
I’m a big fan of the saying, “If it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, it broke, people! I needed some help fixing it! Where is a rookie mom in need to turn when she needs advice from veterans? Facebook, of course! I reached out to my network of mom friends and they came through quickly. The problem everyone had different opinions. Some felt he might be getting in his two-year old molars while others thought he was experiencing separation anxiety. There were those who warned me against Micah spending time in our bed for fear of spoiling him while some friends touted the virtues of a family bed and noted he would not always want to be there, so we should enjoy the time now.
After lots of research and conversations with other moms, as well as my Facebook dialogues, Hubby and I decided it was time for a change. We determined it was time for a toddler bed. While Hubby stayed home and converted the crib, I went shopping. I came home with a rug, a cool lamp, a bedspread, and wall decals to enhance the new theme for Micah’s room. Our thought was Micah would be so excited about his new bed and décor, he would forget all about his longing for Mommy. It worked, kind of. When bedtime came, we unveiled Micah’s new room to him. He loved looking at the ocean friends that now lived on his wall, and thought it very cool to climb into his bed by himself.
We reverted back to the old routine. Getting him to bed that night was easy-breezy. In fact, each night since the big change, he has gone to bed with little resistance. It’s the night waking that persists. We’ve tried, with little success, to get him back in his own bed. The fact is, he knows the alternative; he wants to be in our bed. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like him there. I know we should be encouraging him to stay in his room, but it’s so much easier to bring him in with us. It’s warmer, too! Altogether now, “There were three in the bed…”