Friday, August 24, 2007


It's 3:30 in the morning and I've been kicked out of bed.

No, it’s not because of snoring, malodorous gas, or some late-night argument.

I'll explain, but first I'd like you to try something.

Imagine yourself mowing the lawn on a bright, crisp fall afternoon. The breeze keeps your lungs full of fresh, vibrant air, which only adds to the newly-discovered pleasure of wearing underwear designed for the opposite sex (just bear with me, please).

As your mind begins to wander, the lawnmower runs over a chicken carcass someone left laying around. The resulting noise startles you so much that you scream, lose your balance, and fall down.

Your clothing gets caught on the lawnmower somehow and you find yourself no longer wearing enough of it. As you pick yourself up off the ground, you notice your neighbor across the street sprawled on the ground in a heap of helpless laughter.

There was no point to that exercise. I just wanted to see if you’d do it. You sick pervert.

But here's one that does have a point: Imagine yourself in a foreign world where you don't understand anything. The only familiar and comforting presence you've ever known has abandoned you in a cage. You cry out until you’re hoarse, but there's no response.

Eventually you realize there is no point to expressing your needs, and you gradually become a mistrustful cauldron of repressed anxiety, like Rush Limbaugh.

Sadly, this is the reality for many American babies, whose misguided parents think they have to “teach” them to sleep independently, or else... God only knows what horrifying consequences could result if babies didn't learn independence. We would end up raising a generation of sissies!

This is just one of the myths my wife and I decided not to buy into once we started reading up on the increasingly popular trend of “co-sleeping.”

Another myth is that parents unknowingly injure or suffocate their babies. Recent studies have pointed out that this only tends to happen when the parents fall asleep drunk or high (it's a good thing Rush Limbaugh doesn’t have kids).

It's amazing how your sleeping patterns can change. Before our child was born, I slept like a meth-addicted howler monkey. Then I had an infant whose sleep I valued more than life itself because it was so elusive. My wife had to dance her to sleep to really fast music, and then remain with her all night.

(Often, it didn’t matter, because the dog would sneeze or something and we’d be in for another two hours of Brian Setzer Orchestra.)

Anyway, I learned to remain curled up on the edge of the bed without causing the slightest disturbance. Meanwhile, our daughter has gradually developed reasonable sleeping habits, although she sometimes insists on arranging herself lengthwise between her parents, thus forcing me out of bed with her feet.

Some people have told me they could never co-sleep because it would be too disruptive to their intimate relations. I say if your sex life was confined to your bed, it probably wasn’t all that exciting in the first place. And, as you’ve learned today, you can always explore alternative avenues to pleasure while mowing the lawn.

Sure, co-sleeping requires some sacrifices. But waking up to giggles and smiles instead of anguished crying has made it all worthwhile.

1 comment:

Jodi Renshaw said...

From one co-sleeper to another: rock on!