Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The perspective of a cosleeping kid

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We visited my parents this month and stayed in my old bedroom, complete with its sheep wallpaper that my mom and I had hung and the dollhouse I had received as a Christmas present.

Karsten and Sam enjoyed an air mattress in my younger brother's old room. Mikko, Alrik, and I squished together on my old queen bed, handed down from my older brother before me, after both refused to endure an entire night on the floor mattress that had been set up. Too many spiders in my parents' house, so I don't blame them.

Alrik was fascinated with the historical sleeping arrangements.

"This was your room when you were a kid?" he asked. "Who did you sleep with?"

No one, just myself, I responded.

He was agog. "You slept by yourself when you were a kid?"


He digested this for a bit. "Wow, you were brave."

I found that an interesting glimpse into the mind of a kid who has never, ever slept alone, and who sees no reason to start now.

I didn't start off cosleeping with our first baby with the intention that we always would. I imagined there might be some transition down the line, though the details were foggy, living as we were in a one-bedroom apartment. Now that we are a family of five in a two-bedroom condo, the possibilities of solo sleep remain slim.

It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother my husband. And it clearly doesn't bother our kids.

I think back to all those many nights alone in my solitary bedroom watching shadow snakes dance on the wall, imagining witches in the dark corners and who-knows-what in the closet or beneath the bed, my mind racing with all the scary stories the kids at school whispered to each other at sleepovers. I would frequently decamp to my parents' room only to be sent back with reassurances that it was all in my mind.

I wasn't brave, but I didn't have a choice.

I know cosleeping isn't for every family, but I'm glad for my children that they don't need to be braver than they are at the moment. I'm glad that they feel comfort and peace every night at knowing a loving adult is within an arm's reach. I'm glad that they'll grow up thinking staying near a loved one at night is normal and peaceful and what makes sense.

It means sweet dreams for all of us.

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Inder-ific said...

So great. When we rented a house near the beach for a trip, which had multiple bedrooms, my kids were like, "yeah, but which one are WE sleeping in?" It never occurred to them that they might sleep in a different room than their parents! Ha! I think they see those arrangements at friends' houses, but maybe the reality of it hasn't sunk in. My daughter sets up all the people/calico critters sleeping in the same bedroom in her dollhouse. It's just normal for them! I will be honest, sometimes don't know whether to be delighted by this or run for the hills shrieking with claustrophobia, LOL! But they are definitely happy and secure sleeping with us, and rarely complain about bad dreams or fears or anxiety around sleep, so I am not worried about THEM.

Lauren Wayne said...

@Inder-ific: Ha ha, so cute! I will admit that on the rare occasion I get a whole entire bed to myself, I starfish all over that sucker. Eventually they'll want space, right? ;)

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