Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have a a dirty little secret

While I've confessed on this blog to things such as trying to tuck my stomach in to my jeans and the possibility of having an addiction to wine and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, I've kept something from you.

My 7 year old daughter had been sleeping next to our bed for the past oh, year and a half. She has a perfectly adorable room with skylights! And bunk-beds! And more snuggly stuffed animals than FAO Shwartz! But she was "scared". Now, this may come as a shock to some of you, but I MIGHT baby my daughter a tiny bit. But damn, she's so cute and sweet and snuggly, and she's my only kid. So I (WE...thank you David for tolerating me and my child's neurosis...) allowed her to lay a sleeping back next to my side of the bed, thinking she'd be uncomfortable and eventually make her way back into her nice, warm, soft (because I even bought her a FEATHER BED for gods sake to make it that much more attractive) bed. But no. She layered blankets and comforters and other sleeping bags under her make-shift sleeping area next to my side of the bed...and I may have even helped her a little bit. What?? I wanted her to be comfortable. Plus, she loooooves me. And as time went on, more and more (and more) of her stuffed animals made their way into our bedroom until it was ridiculous even to ME. I could not get into or out of my side of the bed without stepping on a sleeping child or a gigantic stuffed tiger.

Finally, I'd had it. Ok, the truth is that on the way to Priest Lake, Nichole and Martin were stopping by to see our house for the first time since we moved in and I just couldn't let Nichole see that I allow Anna to sleep next to me. Because Nichole is perfect (in a good way!) and her daughter, who is a year younger than Anna, is also perfect: she sleeps in her own bed (without her stuffies!) and participates in every extra-curricular activity you can imagine AND she has memorized the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. In Russian. Ok, that last part might be a slight exaggeration, but just barely. Really, she's spectacular. Anyway, I couldn't stand it and I dismantled the entire set up.

And then I hid under the bed rocking myself gently and sucking my thumb, because I knew that when Anna realized what I'd done, it was not going to be pretty.

And it's true, she was, um, slightly upset. But I just explained that it was TIME. That she is stronger than she seems and braver than she thinks and she can DO it. Then we went to work making the bottom bunk a cool little "nest" with some pretty floral fabric that she picked out up above her(so she wasn't staring at the ugly brown stuff that is under the top bunk). I printed up lots and lots of photographs of all her favorite people and put them on the wall right next to her and made sure all her favorite animals were around her...and she's slept there ALL NIGHT, 9 HOURS for the past several nights.

That's right. And it only took me 6 years longer than it should have.


jpogue said...

I have nothing to say about this...

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

I have plenty to say, and the list is long and distinguished. But I will spare you, as I think there may be areas in the parental arena where I have faltered as well.

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

In other words, "nobody's perfect."

kate said...

Lala, it's true. In fact, I had to laugh because up at Priest, the truth came out that Nichole almost always sleeps in Syringa's bed with her. ha!

Oh man, the sleeping we go straight from sleeping with them every night to them sneaking out their bedroom window? Is there NOTHING in between???

Robyn said...

Isn't it sad how we compare ourselves to our friends and their seemingly perfect children... I am guilty of doing this all the time. Just remember, everyone's got something that they're dealing with... it just might not be the same thing you are.

Congrats on how you handled it, though! That bottom bunk sounds pretty cool... I think I want one.

Blank Girl said...

I agree, I think you handled that very well. You're a good mom even though you baby your daughter...a little. :)

But just remember, it's probably harder on YOU than it is on her. I really think that Grace enjoys sleeping on her own, it helps her feel more independent. Plus it makes camping out with grandparents and staying up late a treat. Not to mention it gives Jake and me time for just us, which helps with mommy's sanity! ;)

Dee said...

This all just throws me. It just NEVER occurred to me that any of you kids ever sleep anywhere but in your own beds. And I know it never was anything you wanted or needed, except in storms or scary things. That was for a short time for comfort and then back to bed with lots of love and reassurance.
The thing is never to start in the beginning.