Co-sleeping with Jaws
by Christina Seronello
Once upon a time, there was a mom. Like many moms, she was frequently exhausted. There are many methods for dealing with exhaustion. Take a day off work and sleep while your child is at daycare. Take a weekend day off and have your spouse watch the child. Take a week and fly to Mars, hoping nobody notices you’re gone. One of this mom’s main methods for dealing with her exhaustion was the oft-debated tactic of “co-sleeping”, or sleeping in the same bed as her child. Co-sleeping, for the uninitiated, is akin to walking a tightrope, or slaying a dragon with a letter opener, but more common. It’s possible. If you’re brave, you can do it. If you’re smart, you can do it well.
Back to our mom.
One night, this mom was tired. She was very tired. She’d had a long day at work, she’d had nightmares the night before, and she just wanted some sleep. Now, everyone says “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but for any mother who actually tries to do this it generally goes out the window by the time the babe is about two months old. There are just too many things to do that you don’t want your child’s help with. But when you’re really tired, you have to do something drastic. So she decided, in an unprecedented moment of brilliance, to actually go to sleep when she went to bed with her 8 month old son at 8:00pm. So she did. And it worked out well. For one hour.
At 8:00pm, she placed her son on the opposite side of her pillow, and they both slept. At 9:00pm, she woke with her little one attached to her face. Picture this: you’re sleeping peacefully. You open your eyes. There are another pair of eyes, right in front of yours! There is a mouth… open, and stuck on your nose. This is how our mom awoke. Startled, she pulled away. Jaws The Child held still, and as soon as she blinked he crept closer, so now he was on top of her.
Our heroic Mom lifted her child and placed him back in his spot. She soothed the little fusses this created, and went back to sleep on her side. One hour later, she again awoke to her little one in her face. This time his lips were on hers. Sleep kisses, perhaps? Or something more sinister… perhaps we’ll never know.
This continued, all night. At 6:00am, she awoke hanging half off the bed while holding her son in place with one arm. It first occurred to her that perhaps the bed railing needed to go back up. It next occurred to her that sleeping like that is painful! It finally occurred to her that her child has an uncanny knack for knowing when she’s not paying attention, and he goes on the ATTACK!