For the first 32 years of my life I had a stick shoved so far up my ass that I regularly choked on it.
Therefore, when I became pregnant, everyone fully expected that I was going to be an overbearing, uptight, uber-protective asshole.
There were bets. Polls. Whispers. Hand-wringing.
It was warranted (see: stick up ass).
My friends and family were fairly certain that the moment Conley was born that she was going to be inserted in a thick plastic bubble where she'd remain until she was at least 45.
I didn't dispute these concerns. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me.
Fortunately, for Conley, for Tony, for my friends and family, I am anything but a helicopter mom. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely involved in every detail of Conley's life. We practice the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors. We eat dinner together as a family, I put something green on her plate. We paint, we read, we go on walks.
However, I also give her her space, and she gives me mine - usually. We both appreciate some alone time. I introduce her to spinach, brussel sprouts, but I also let her eat Cheetos, M&M's. I take her to the library, but I also let her watch TV.
I will always help her up, but I let her fall down.
I had a child and relaxed.
My first day of relaxing.
I also started sleeping. For most of my life, I was not a good sleeper. Fretful. I could fall asleep in the middle of a Motley Crue concert, but I'd be up in the middle of the night worried that Tommy Lee had spotted me sleeping when doing his solo on the drum coaster. Guilt.
Most college students can easily sleep until mid-afternoon. Not me. Nope, it didn't matter if we threw a raging kegger, and I stayed up until the break of morning. I'd be up a couple hours after the last beer was gone. Vacuuming. Around passed out bodies.
I loved taking early classes and always volunteered to work the earliest shifts available. I did not believe in the snooze button. At alarm's first peep, I popped out of bed, started main lining coffee and buzzed around like a coked up bee.
However, now, now I sleep. Deep, undisturbed sleep. Secure sleep.
Yet, I am still a precious sleeper. I like to lie in bed, head on Tony's chest, while we watch TV or read. I like to cuddle for those first moments that you are in that blissful stage between being awake and being asleep, but then after that I do not want to be touched.
If I had my druthers I would sleep in a giant, custom made bed in a soundproof, light less room that is kept at a constant 68 degrees. I would have 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets that smelled like the outdoors with a splash of bleach, and thunderstorms would play softly throughout the night.
Oh, and I would sleep - alone. Completely alone. After the spooning stage of our evening, I would want Tony to go to his own room. You know, if I had my druthers. And, I certainly would have a very secure lock so that Conley's little acrobatic self could never get in telling me that various parts of her body hurt. She lies.
Needless to say, I do not get the family bed. Co-sleeping. Of all the things in the world I would like to have a co, a sleeper is absolutely not one of them.
I am not being judgmental so please save your rants. As I said, I am precious. Some of the people that I love and respect most in the world are completely down with the family bed and I am completely down with them doing it. My gran and her sisters slept in my great-grandmother's bed anytime they could, and they, there are six of them, still sleep together even when there are other beds available. Within the family, it is referred to as sleeping "Conley style".
When I was younger I slept with my mom, my gran, my great-grandmother, my cousins. I didn't like it. I did it because we didn't have enough beds. When I was a teenager I slept with my girlfriends. I didn't like it. I did it because that is what teenage girls are suppose to do.
I often sleep in the climber position. Stomach, one arm extended, one leg bent. My mom often said, So-so, even in your sleep, you're trying to escape.
Sometimes my mom was dead on. I was trying to escape co-sleeping...and, my life, but that is a different story.
Conley has been in her own bed since she was 12 weeks old. I know...I sound smug, superior. No, not this time, just selfish. I wasn't particularly concerned with rolling over on her. I just wanted one less body in my bed. I have suggested, several times, that Tony start sleeping in the guest room, but he simply acts as if he has gone deaf.
We have also done a great job convincing Conley that her room is not far from Hogwarts...a magical place that is all hers. However, over the past few days she has been determined to sleep with us.
Every night she asks if she can sleep with us. We tell her no. She goes to bed, in her bed, and then inevitably she pops up in the middle of the night, all creepy like, whispering, Mom, my (insert body part here) hurts. Sleeping with you makes it feel better.
Oh, the lies. During the day we have a healthy, running, jumping three year old. In the middle of the night we become parents to a 90 year old with osteoporosis, bad teeth, and constant ear aches.
Depending on how much will she has already drained from me for the day, I either carry her back to her bed, listening to her not-so-compelling argument as to why she should sleep with us, or if I have no fight left, I just scoot over.
On the nights I just scoot over, I want to, well, I just want to off myself.
When I was pregnant, Conley's foot was often wedged in between a couple of my ribs. When she sleeps with us it as if she is trying to fulfill some mystical return to the womb because she inevitably gets her now much larger foot wedged between the same couple of ribs that she did when she was in utero.
She sleeps on top of the covers. Who does that? She talks in her sleep. Crying out for the most random people - her baby cousin Roselyn, Ms. Mac, Punz (Rapunzel). I pray for death.
So, those of you that like getting kicked in the ribs why trying to figure out who the hell Punz is and why your daughter desperately needs him or her at 3:00am, what am I missing?
Screw it, I don't really care. Kid is going back to her bed and I am going the hell back to sleep. Sweet, sound sleep.
Too many Miller Lites
Why would you want to sleep anywhere else?
The kid can sleep anywhere.
Ok, so it isn't all bad.