For the past four nights in a row, Catie has woken up somewhere around 3 or 4 a.m., and climbed into bed with us. She isn’t asking for milk or a diaper change or anything, she just scurries her tiny self in between me and Dave and settles herself in. The other night she didn’t even announce that she had come into the room, I just felt her hand on my calf as she hoisted herself up onto the bed. Then she plopped her head on the pillow next to mine, wrapped her little arm around my neck, and said “Bwanket!” I pulled the covers up over her and she went straight to sleep.
Here’s the thing: I know it’s a bad idea to let your toddler sleep in bed with you. I know. If we give her an inch, she’ll take a mile; she’ll never sleep in her own bed for the rest of her life, blah blah blah… But you know, I’m finding it difficult to be a hard-liner on this issue. For one thing, she really isn’t disrupting my sleep that badly. Sure, it takes a few minutes for me to readjust myself around her and go back to sleep, but it isn’t like she’s keeping me awake for hours in the middle of the night.
The other thing is that I’m pretty sure I know the reason why this has suddenly become a trend. She’s not an oblivious little baby anymore, she’s noticing all the boxes around the house. And we’ve been talking to her about how we’re going to move to a new house. I keep telling her how someday soon, we’re going to move to a new house, but it’ll be fun because Mommy & Daddy will be there with her, and the kitty-cats will be there, and all of her toys and books will be there too. Way to make it sound easy and harmless, right?
Um, not so much, as it turns out. Last Thursday, I had to pick her up from daycare and then go to the new house to meet up with Dave and our realtor for the house inspection. When I picked her up, I told her we were going to our new house. We walked in, and she said, “My toys?” She searched the whole house, and when she saw that her toys weren’t there, she was more than a little distraught. Oops. Way to clarify things, Mom. I tried to explain that her toys were still at our old house because we haven’t moved yet, but I think I just confused her even more.
So my theory is that the sleep interruptions have a lot to do with the fact that she’s feeling a little insecure and stressed out. And yes, I suppose I could be harsher about it, and do the SuperNanny technique of returning her to her own bed, no matter how many times she tries to climb in bed with us. But I feel bad for her, so I’m taking the easy way out. I’m also pretty sure that this behavior will start up again after we move, so I don’t see the point in going all Sleep Nazi now, only to have to do it all over again in a month.
Besides, I can’t say that I hate waking up with this right next to me.
Sure, I miss having a pillow to myself, but eh, I think I can manage this for a little while.