“Your bed is my space.”

March 31, 2014

Notable Stats

Sheet-Hog Diameter (SHD) – The area taken up by your child when he or she is in your bed. If they are about 3 feet tall, they will manage to take up the area of a California King Bed by themselves.

Child Regeneration Factor (CRF) – The rate by which children are growing in your bed after you remove one. If the number is unusually high, your children may be considered bacteria and the EPA will force you to pick up a HAZMAT suit at your next stop at Target.

Forget one-on-one intimacy with your spouse. That left the building as soon as your first-born got a Social Security Number. You rent one-on-one time like the cruel clock hanging on the wall of an inmate's cell, knowing that lurking around the corner is a crying toddler, a child thirsting to read another book, the dog chewing on your coat for a walk.

But, there is this illusion that when it is bedtime, we can recapture that intimate time, basking in the silence of now, stretching out on your mattress to reclaim the sovereign state of the spousal bubble.

Illusion being the key word.

The other night I thought I was dreaming when I heard the pounding of little feet down the hallway. I knew it was not an intruder, but I could feel the urgency. The steps were determined, borderline angry, but also increasing in volume. They were coming my way. Coming at a ridiculous 5:22 am and there was nothing I could do to intercept its trajectory.

It turned out it was the heavy-footed sprint of our two-year-old. At no time did she think she should tiptoe into our bed, it was loud to make a point. Get out of my way, so I can get some sleep… in your bed.

But what was wrong with her bed?

Of course, nothing, other than her roommate, her sister, was not there. How did I know her sister was not there given that their room is all the way down the hall, and that we no longer employ audio or video surveillance?

She was already in our bed.

Wait, what?

Yes, in anticipation of our toddler daughter barreling into our bed, I glanced over my wife’s sleeping head and saw our other daughter sleeping as if she had been there since 3:47 am.

I guess our eldest daughter finally realized that she should tiptoe to Mom’s side of the bed. Why? Her Mom will not really wake up and could not be alert enough at that time to stop Godzilla from crawling in our bed. And reason number two? She knows that I am a light sleeper and will muster up the energy from nowhere to ensure that the end result is that she end up back in her own bed.

It ebbs and flows, but in recent times, our eldest daughter would go to my bedside first and declare a reason for not being able to fall asleep. I would listen, then gradually ease her back to her bed where she would ask about the hibernation patterns of Saber-toothed Tigers until fading away on her own. Their brains are firing away with exciting growth and sometimes wakes them up with all kinds of info, too bad it is 4:00 am.

On this particular night, the steamrolling toddler daughter was also mad. Mad that she woke up and noticed her sister was not in her bed and must have been in our bed. She came into the bed like a tornado, kicking Mom out of the way to create space between Mom and sis. It was tactical, it was focused, and it was the lunacy only capable of being spawned from a sleep-deprived, stomach-bug recovering, jealous, ball of toddleresque tyranny.

In most states her physical aggression against her family would be classified as assault and battery, in a few states, they would have waived the minimum age requirement and jailed her immediately, given that it was an attack on an unsuspecting group of relatives, sleeping and unaware at her premeditated intent.

I managed to slide both girls back to their beds, the eldest asking about animal food habits, the youngest moaning to get back into the bed to be with Mommy, the same woman she just kicked in the back to get out of the way.

Kids, it is our bed. We sleep in it, we paid for it, we are often getting out of it against our will. So, please understand our need to protect it and charge a toll to those who enter it with a reckless disregard for time, sanity, physical safety, and the law. We welcome your hugs, your cuddly love; I would just prefer if those acts of caring occurred when the sun was up after a nice night’s sleep.

- Doug Glanville

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