Ed and I are going to the Gorey Fete next week and if there’s a bonny baby competition, we’ll probably not enter Sonny as he’s just had a very distressing haircut and now his head looks even wonkier. However, should there be a ‘terrible parenting’ competition, I think we could win it.
Here’s why:1) Sometimes we realise that we absolutely have to bath Sonny today, because his last bath was 3 days ago;
2) When Sonny decides that the day is going to start at 5.30am, we drag the duvet through the house and put him in front of Disney junior with a rusk and a beaker of milk, then go back to sleep for an hour on the couch;
3) On the evenings that Sonny decides he’s not going to eat the wholemeal pasta, vegetables and tomato sauce that we’ve cooked for him, we give in and give him mashed banana and peanut butter;
4) Sometimes I’m so shattered that I can’t even manage a 3 minute bedtime story, and more or less launch Sonny from the living room to the bedroom when the clock hits 6.59pm
5) We agree with, endorse and practice the ‘3 second rule’;Dark, dark confessions indeed, but no darker than the one I’m about to share.
6) Forgive me father, mothers, grandparents and aunties, for I have sinned. I am part of that underground network of undesirable parenting misfits. Because at my house, we COSLEEP.
When Ed mentioned this to a friend recently, he may as well have produced a samurai sword from above his head, swished it into the air and announced that he was going to cut off his friend’s arms and legs, for fun. The friend recoiled in horror, blood leaving his face, sweat leaking from his head.
‘You can’t do that!” he semi-screamed, as Ed bought the aforementioned and entirely metaphorical samurai knife down upon his friends trembling body. ‘It’s. Just. WEIRD’!
Back on planet earth, I know that we are not the only parents who (shhh) cosleep. For those that know, and those who are interested, here is a comprehensive summary of some of the best questions we get asked if ever we accidentally let the cat out of the sleeping bag:
Q: Isn’t Sonny clingy?A: No, but he’s very affectionate and likes a cuddle. Just like all kids.
Q: Isn’t it dangerous? There is so much research that sayss it is
A: ..And there is also so much research that says it isn’t. The danger seems to come when a parent is drunk or smokes. Neither of us smoke, and I can’t drink more than a small egg-cup full of shandy, and when Ed is drunk he goes on the couch because he snores like a chesty donkey.
Q: How are you going to get him out of the bed?
A: By putting him in his own bed when we feel like we’ve had enough.
Q: But you’ll never get him out of the bed!?
A: Of course we will. It will be another transition period, like moving them from the moses basket to their own cot at 6 months, or weaning, or separation anxiety, or teething.
Q: But he’ll never want to leave the family bed?!
A: I struggle to see him as a 40 year old man sleeping in a bed with me and his Dad. But if that’s what he wants to do, then fine.
Q: (favorite one) When do you ever get time to make baby number 2?A: Never. Absolutely never ever. Because as everyone knows, baby making practice can only ever happen at nighttime. In fact before the sun sets, Ed and I are like negative magnets, completely unable to be near each other. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve merely passed him in the hallway and gone crashing into the bookcase because of Ed’s repellant electrons.
The truth is, I absolutely love sleeping next to the human I made. We sleep so much better- subject to the occasional kick to the solar plexus- and in the mornings when he wakes up, he crawls over to me (we bought a big bed), puts his head on my chest and goes back to sleep. It’s wonderful and I love it. When he’s all grown up and gone, I will never get to do that again. The thought already makes me sad if I give it too much attention. So for now, he’s staying in with us. If he’s still here when he’s 40, we’ll just get a bigger bed.
And if my borderline defensive ramblings haven’t been convincing enough, here are some links and stats: