Monday, November 12, 2012

Things to do in the Bedroom

I lost control of my bedroom a long time ago.  I had always had a TV in my bedroom.  The TV to me is like counting a thousand sheep.  Turn it on, and I’ll instantly fall asleep.  When Tammi asks me what movie I want to watch, my response is always the same.

Who cares, I’ll be asleep in 20 minutes anyway.

Only when I got married, I was told in no uncertain terms, that there would not be a TV in the bedroom.  As Tammi explained, ‘The bedroom is only meant for two things, and one of them is not watching TV.’

Oh how times have changed…

About three months ago, Glenn began what I’m calling, “Operation Infiltrate Daddy’s Bed.”  He has used every tactic in the book, and he is a very stealthy operative. 

“Mommy, I’m lonely.  Mommy, I’m scared.  Mommy, I've peed my bed.”

Seriously Glenn, did you just piss your pants, so you would be allowed in, as you call it, “mommy-daddy’s bed?”  Maybe not, but kids are smart.  I wouldn't put it past him. 

So, I took up defensive perimeter and began to strike back when I had the opportunity.  I rallied the troops, I hooted and hollered.  This is not one of the two things meant for our bedroom.  Furthermore, I just don’t sleep as well.  It isn't about the boy. It’s about ME…right???  No.  After about a week of gaining ground and getting him back into his own bed he pulled out the A-bomb.

“Mommy, can I cuddle with you?”

I was done for. 

There was no way Tammi would, or could, resist her son, snuggling up to her and rubbing her arm as she started to fall back asleep.  Meanwhile, my portion of our king-size bed became smaller and smaller.  The only rule he had was that he had to go to sleep in his own bed.  So after he would sleep for a couple of hours, he would wake up and climb into our bed.  I've tried positive reinforcement, and we have seen some good results.  Whenever he slept the whole night in his bed, I would tell him what a big boy he was when he woke up. 

Still, determined not to give up, I turned Jackson against Glenn. 

As I explained to Tammi, when Grant wakes up in the middle of the night, it disrupts Jackson’s sleep.  He is now used to his brother being in the room with him. When he wakes up, Jackson will go back to sleep, if Glenn is in the room. Otherwise, it takes about 30 minutes to get him back down.  Thirty minutes at 1 or 2 not okay.  That maneuver allowed me to recapture some vital, tactical ground.

I explained to Glenn that the only reason he was allowed to get into mommy-daddy’s bed was if he was scared.  This bought me a couple of weeks, and I was even able to get him to go back to his own bed a couple of times.  At one point, I even went so far as to spray his entire room with a special monster repellent (also known as Fabreeze). I mean His. Entire. Room.  He made me open every drawer and spray inside.  But, at least, I had won the battle for the night, and he went back to bed.

But now the little bastard (that’s right I just called my own son a bastard) has learned to lie. 

“Glenn, why are you out of your bed?”

“Because... I’m scared…yeah, scared that’s it.”

I do get it though.  Last night, as I went into my bedroom, Glenn woke up enough to tell me that he loved me.  Or this morning when we were talking, he explained there was a pig in our room last night. 

“Yeah daddy there was a little pig in your room, it went ‘Snore…Snore” all night.

“Was the pig on mommy’s side or daddy’s side of the bed?”

“Both, it was very loud.”

So, for now, the war rages on. 

It is a war I feel I cannot win, but, like the British, I will fight on.  Perhaps, when Jackson gets out of his crib, I will have to concede, but that day is not today.  I only know this — the bedroom is only for two things, and one of them is cuddling with a toddler.

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