So you may remember that my children and I are co-sleeping here at Nana’s house. We’re in a queen sized bed and theoretically they are smaller combined than Jonathan is alone, and frankly I really love my kids, so all in all it’s a pretty good arrangement. But they are both bed hogs who sleep spread eagle; arms out stretched while lying still and flailing when rolling over. I hadn’t really noticed their poor sleeping habits until this last Friday night, when the mackerdoodle had her first sleep over upstairs in Nana’s Attic:
There she is, bunked out on the floor with her cousin “Bess” and “Glory” watching over them from her nest on the hide-a-bed (which she shared with her mother, my sister, Melissa.). Mackerdoodle did very well that evening, and I had the opportunity to remember what it was like to sleep without a set of toes in my ribs.
Saturday night, after running and playing and playing and running with her cousins for as long as they would put up with her (which really is a surprising length of time) the mackerdoodle conked out before 7 pm. When I came to bed around 10, she had folded herself in half. This isn’t uncommon. She sits up in her sleep and then unable to withstand the inexorable pull of gravity while distracted by slumber, she collapses on her side, knees somewhere near her nose and little behind facing her pillow. I took a long look at the position and hatched a plan.
Instead of putting her head back on the pillow, I pulled up the comforter from the end of the bed and moved the pillow to the foot of the bed. I slid the mackerdoodle down a little, on to said pillow, and readjusted the comforter around her. I then slid the cheesedoodle over so that his feet were aligned with her feet and I sank into a child free zone of mattress with glee at my brilliance. Within minutes I was peacefully drooling into my pillow, settled in for a long, undisturbed, night’s sleep.
until the THUNK sound woke me, punctuated very soon after with a wail. A mackerdoodle styled wail.
In the dark I fumbled over to the foot of the bed, where either a kick or a stretch had sent the mackerdoodle solidly on the floor – face first. Her cries of pain woke her brother, who cried either in sympathy or out of frustration at having been woken. With both children awake, I flipped on the light and was greeted by the sight of blood oozing from a lump the size of a cherry tomato on my daughter’s lip, and from a cut under the lip.
Eventually we settled back down, the mackerdoodle with ice for her lip, the cheesedoodle with a quiet, dark bedroom again, and everyone once again at the same side of the bed. In the dark, the mackerdoodle scooted closer to me, and put her head on my shoulder. She whispered, “I sowy I fall on Nana’s floor, Mama.” I hugged her and whispered back, “You didn’t do anything wrong sweetie. I’m sorry I moved you.”
I lay awake for a while repenting of sacrificing my daughter’s safety for my own comfort.
In the morning the swelling had subsided. The inside of her lip was an angry purple, and at the base of her bottom lip was a fairly good sized scab. No one accused me of beating her, and most people didn’t even seem to notice the way she ran her tongue over the strange new shape her mouth had taken.
But I noticed. Because it was my fault.