If your child is a frequent flier in your bed or likes to protest his or her inclusion in your bed, you'll be rather familiar with these five stages of cosleeping. Are you ready? We hope you're not tired. We forgot to mention that cosleeping usually means . . . not sleeping. At least for the parents!
Stage 1: The Plea
Your kid(s) will be at your heels, begging to go in your bed. No matter how much you say no or attempt to make their beds look attractive, your kids laugh in the face of your attempts. Your efforts to make sleeping in their own beds look appealing are a waste of time. You find yourself wondering if you are too tired to argue, or if you have enough gumption to keep saying no and redirecting your kids. You will bribe them and most likely, if your bribe works at all, it will only work until around midnight. When the clock strikes 12, your child will be at your bedside, poking you in the ribs until you wake up.
Stage 2: Surrender
Finally, you surrender. You allow said child or children into the bed and as soon as one little toe is in that bed, you find yourself losing all of the covers and space on the bed. You wonder how your small child could take up so much room. You try to squish yourself into a pretzel, and you feel more uncomfortable by the minute.
Stage 3: The Balancing Act
It was one thing to lose most of the bed to your partner, but now you have lost all room and are positioned on one tiny inch near the edge of the bed. You spend most of the night practicing core strength moves to be sure you don't fall off the bed. The other part of the night is spent trying to shove your kids into smaller spots so you might be able to sleep. Funny, you're exhausted and wide awake and your kiddos are like rocks, impossible to move. You are surprised that 30 or 40 pounds of body can be so difficult to budge even one inch. You wish you had had more willpower and said no! But then . . .
Stage 4: The Legs in the Back
You're really hating life. You've got legs in your back and arms over your face. Your children have sprawled all over you like you are a piece of furniture. You're pretty sure someone kicked you in the breast and the vagina. Seems like cruel punishment for giving birth to those kiddos. How ungrateful!
Stage 5: The Zombie Walk
In the morning, your kids wake up refreshed and recharged. They look like they've had a spa weekend and you? You look like you spent the night sleeping in Times Square. You look worse than you've ever looked and the sound of your kids' voices and the dog's bark or the cat's meow grates on your last nerves. Not even an espresso can bring you back to life. You feel like an extra on The Walking Dead.