The family that sleeps together...

...... doesn't get much sleep at all
Pic Courtesy Google
In a few months the kids'll turn 6. That's a huge landmark considering they'll 'graduate' to primary school. And so I thought it was high time they slept in their own beds. Unfortunately three and three fourths of our family thinks it's a bad idea.

First, half the family - the kids (TK) are convinced they can happily snuggle up with papa and mama till they're hundred.

Then, there's The Husband (TH) who misses the kids sorely at night and doesn't think much of my plans. Each night he tells me "bring them over to our room".

Then there's 3/4 me - the mushy mum (MM). Oh how she loves having the kids sleep near her, their little hands on hers, their gentle breath on her cheek, cuddling warmly, sharing a blanket... sigh she misses them so.

And finally 1/4 me - the sane mum (SM). She's the only one on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of making it happen.

It really hasn't been easy for SM with TKs staring at her with tear-filled eyes and TH watching her with a look more suited to Dashrath when Kakeyi banished Ram to the forest while MM has simply been wringing her hands in worry. But SM stands firm in her resolve.

A family conversation on the issue would go somewhat like this...

SM: H, N come, see I've put a special bed for you. You'll be sleeping in your own room from now on.
TK (not quite ready for it, wrapping their tiny arms around my waist): But we'll be scared mama.
MM: Okay fine we'll try later.
SM (Quashing MM's outburst sternly): I'm just across the hall. Call me if you get scared and I'll be right there with you.
TK (in tears): But we like to cuddle with you when we sleep.
MM (in tears): Baby I like to cuddle you too.
SM : You can cuddle your favourite teddy.
TH (With studied casualness): Think of the extra cost - two ACs and two fans running through the night.
SM: Never mind.
MM (Pretending to be the voice of practicality): Think of the extra work - two covers to be removed each night, two beds to be cleared up and two beds to be made each morning.
SM: I'll do it.
TK (wailing): We're still babies, we're not even six.
TH: They really are too small.
MM (Hating SM and desperately, hoping for a change of heart): Oh yes you're too small.. my babies.
SM : You're almost six.. that's really grown up.

SM prevailed. The kids were bribed with the promise of a bunk bed on their birthday while the voice of The Husband and The Mushy Mum were ruthlessly crushed.

Since Sunday, the kids have been sleeping in their room. While N sleeps like the proverbial baby, H has come to wake up Mama each night with a "Can you please sleep with me". Each night she has gone to put him back to sleep and have then come back to her bed. That, of course, has wrecked havoc on her schedule heavy with daily chores and the rather tough gym routine.

Four days later... SM is wavering, specially at night when MM takes over. The memory of those tear-filled eyes refuses to leave her alone. She lies awake as she wonders - will they fall out of bed? Will they get scared? Will I hear them if they call? She goes to check on the kids countless times during the night for at heart the SM is an MM. Or maybe SM doesn't exist at all..... maybe she's simply ..... a mum.

NO ... she's there, she has to be there, she's only too real, she's the voice of reason. She's the one who will help the kids through tough times, when the MM becomes incapable of clear thought driving herself crazy with worry.

Oh the kids need them both. Love tempered with reason.

And so God bless SM with perseverance. She needs support, desperately. Raise your hands if you're with her, people.

That's how the kids spread themselves over three mattresses. Now consider squeezing two adults in there.
Still wondering whether you should raise your hand in SM's support?

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