Sunday, July 13, 2008

Musical Beds

While musical beds sounds like something you did in college, or wish you did in college, or wish you didn't do in college... don't let your mind get into the gutter here. We just got the short people all bedded down and I was just thinking about how non-traditional bedtime is at our house. All the books say that for happy, healthy children a regular schedule is what is required. We didn't read those books. We eat at all hours of the day and night, we travel spontaneously, we constantly change plans, and by and large, the short folk don't seem to be bothered by it. Not to any large degree anyway.

So, for a little background, we've been swapping things around a bunch lately. It all began over a year ago when our two youngest, the boys were sharing a room. Our middle son J-man would randomly shout, "Wake up baby!" to keep himself amused, and the baby had trouble sleeping and would shriek J-man awake all the time. Just about that time, Miss O was having anxiety about sleeping alone. So, lickety split, J-man had his crib moved in there and all was well.

Some might think it strange for opposite sex siblings to share a room, but when you're two and four and spend a good deal of the time running around naked anyway... what's the diff? Eventually the two of them got into a level of shenanigans that required some action on our part. My wife has posted exquisitely on this series of events here. Eventually, it was time for the boys to room together again, and so Miss O got her own room. The quote of the week that time was from Jack while decorating his sister's room, "I want my room decorated too... wiff Sis right dere!"

OK, so now you're about up to speed, except that this is where the mattress hopping begins. With a crib and bunk beds in the boys room, Sis sometimes crawls into an unused bunk to ease the lonliness of the Rapunzel tower that is her new room. It also doesn't hurt that the air conditioner is in there. Oh the drama that ensues when nobody can decide who get's the top bunk, or even if the top bunk is actually better. Then J-man reciprocates sometimes by crawling into the playpen that for some reason is living in Sis's room.

Add to all this that I've been bunking on the couch for several months and things have gotten pretty scrambled. Let me elaborate on that whole sleeping on the couch thing before your immagination runs away with you. My wife hadn't slept well for at least the first year of Little H-bomb's life, he was not a good sleeper right out of the gate. Add to that the fact that I am a world class snorer and we had a tired, cranky mommy on our hands. So when I started a new job I started sleeping on the couch so I wouldn't wake the whole flock at six, which had the added benefit of a peaceful night's rest for Queen Mum. And, just to satisfy anyone who might not be able to keep from going there, the level of adult-type naughtiness has actually gone up in recent months, so there you dirty minded wonderers you.

Anyway, said all that to express my amusement that at any given moment, myself and my two oldest may be found sleeping in any of half a dozen locations. The kids seem to find it amusing. Little H never knows who will be in the bunks across from his crib. J-man sometimes comes looking for me on the couch, only to find that I'm sleeping in Sis's vacant bed for the benefit of my back, or actually occupying my veryown space in the glorious pillow-top with The Missus.

I'm thinking that all this turmoil will be good practice. I think back to my own college experience and how long it took me to get used to the odd hours and constant upheaval after living under my parents' roof for so long. All their careful nagging about bedtime when I was wee seemed like such a waste when I would do everything from stay awake for two days to sleeping nearly that long afterward. My schedule ten years out of college has me rising and bedding down at nearly every position on the dial. Get used to it kiddos. When it comes to sleep in this ever more hectic world, you've got to catch as catch can.

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