Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Family Bed

Well of course Kumar and I meant to have our first child, Maya, sleep in her crib from the moment we took her home from the hospital, duh. But after 72 hours of her incessant crying, we frustratingly gave in and let her into our bed. Needless to say, she took to it like a fish to water. I guess for her it must have been the second best place to lounge around next to my womb. She immediately abandoned her nocturnal ways and settled into a more circadian rhythm, and we didn't have to do our nightly vigils anymore.

The only problem is that she didn't stay as that cuddly, little squishy thing. All too soon she sprouted these long arms and legs, legs which she learned to sprawl even before she learned to do the walking motion with. And when I became pregnant for the second time, I had to sleep with my back against her so as to shield my belly from her constant elbow jabbing. We felt that the time was ripe to get her to sleep on her own and so we tried and tried. But that didn't work even after much coaxing and bribery. And from being so overworked and sleep-deprived, we just didn't have the energy to follow through.

Along came Jaden, and we of course vowed not to make the same mistake with him as we had made with Maya, and so we trained him to sleep in his crib from day one. Things seemed to be going well because from about one month of age, he did his nights in his crib. We were ecstatic, to say the least, and thought it might be ok to rest on our laurels. But just as he turned exactly six months, it almost seemed like a light bulb got switched on in his brain and all of a sudden he became so alert and aware of his surroundings. Then one night, shortly after this phenomenon, looking like a prisoner behind the slats of his crib, he just screamed and screamed. We were stumped as to why but then we finally realized that he was feeling left out seeing the rest of his family comfy on the bed. And after a few encore performances of this irritating behavior and unable to stand our ground any longer, we let him in our bed, too. Well, at the time we seemed to manage, Kumar and I both assuming a mummy-like position all night at either end of the bed, sandwiching
the two. But neither did Jaden remain the cute little squishy lump that he was and before we knew it, he also sprouted long limbs which he has since learned to sprawl, and by now I have been bumped out of the bed and have taken up residence on our couch every night.

The idea of co-sleeping is generally frowned upon in North American society. There is a long-held belief that the practice produces insecure, lacking in self-confidence and overly dependant offspring. But I'm not being partial when I say that, honestly, 99 percent of the friends I grew up with in the Philippines are all pretty well-adjusted individuals. Of course they had all co-slept with their parents as children. To me they
serve as living testament that co-sleeping might not be all that evil as it's opponents claim and that their fears are simply exaggerated if not unfounded. My friends abandoned the family bed by right around the time they hit puberty. Puberty? Now that could be a reasonable deadline Kumar and I can aim to have our kids out of our bed by??? That could be attainable...hmmm, what do you think??

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