I’m Taking Back My Bed

My bed is phenomenally comfortable.  After countless nights getting a better night’s sleep in hotel beds than in my own home, I spent some time and money and created a little slice of heaven I like to call MY BEDROOM.  Yes, my husband lives and sleeps here, too, but let’s be serious.  He could sleep on a hardwood floor and be content.  This bed was for me.  I bought a beautiful iron frame, added a Sleep Number mattress (I’m a 45), and topped it all off with soft, cool white cotton sheets, tons of pillows in crisp white pillowcases, and a fluffy white down comforter, which we use even in the summer.  The deep red satin curtains block out the light, and the whirring of the fan not only lulls me to sleep, but keeps a nice breeze flowing over me as I rest in peaceful slumber…

I’m sorry, I nodded off for a moment.  I’m back.

Here’s the problem with having the most comfortable bed in the house.  Almost everyone wants to sleep there. The cat spends half his life snuggled up somewhere on the bed, and the second my little fan clicks on, he wiggles in front of my face, bogarting the air stream.  My daughter, thankfully, prefers her own bedtime real estate, so even the scariest nightmare won’t make her try to wiggle into bed with us.  My son, however, thinks it is his God-given right to sleep in our bed.

He has two techniques that he employs to weasel in where he should not be.  The first is to say that he cannot fall asleep in his own bed because it’s too hot.  In his defense, our upstairs AC unit does a horrible job of keeping the kids’ side of the house as cool as our side of the house.  But it’s not exactly sweltering, and he does have a ceiling fan.  When we see that we are simply not going to win the battle, we allow him to fall asleep in our bed hours before we need it, and then we carry him to his bed later.  His second technique is to wake up during the night and quietly walk over to our room.  When he does this, we usually don’t even realize he’s there until the morning.  However, there are plenty of nights when he does wake us up and continues to keep us awake by tossing and turning, throwing a leg across us, tugging on our hair like a lovey. It has Got. To. Stop.

I’ve done what I can to make his bed as cozy as mine from the handmade pillow and comforter (that’s right, I sewed him puppy bedding just like he wanted) to the fan I bought for him that makes the same whirring sound and blows air gloriously across his bed.  While he agrees with all the logic his five year old mind can muster that his bedroom is now sleep-worthy, he still is fighting the good fight.  So last weekend I created a rewards chart. I’m not a big fan of bribery, but there comes a time when a mom has to say enough is enough.  SLEEP IN YOUR OWN BED!

The reward? A new game for Wii.

The hurdle? Five nights without leaving his room before 7:00 a.m.  Did I mention we bought him a clock?

So far the “Wii Sleep in Our Own Beds!” chart is going well, and he’s already talking about the fact that if five nights will earn him one Wii game, then ten nights will earn him two.  Somehow even in his sleep deprived state he’s great with math.  At this point I’m ready to put every Nintendo employee’s child through college if that’s what it takes to get my nighttime sanctuary back.  Hopefully it won’t come to that, but it’s time to do something.

I’m taking back my bed.

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  • I totally could have written this post! Except my daughter is 4 & doesn’t play wii. She has a freakin magical Disney princess bedroom COMPLETE with a fan to make her slumber just as awesome as possible, yet nothing is better than my bed! I think you might be on to something with the chart. I wonder if she’d do it for Polly pockets?? Worth a shot!

  • Suzanne

    LOL, I love this! I am fighting the same battle with my daughter, whom I call the midnight creeper 🙂 So far our rewards chart had not worked 🙁 This week we were up to three good nights, but last night changed that. Back to day or should I say night one again…

  • I love that idea!! We have a Wii and it might just be a good peice of motivation for my kids. I want my bed back too!

  • Oh, I hear you loud and clear! Our two eldest used to do it and it got to the point where my husband and I were getting no sleep! So I resorted to this book that I blogged about here>> http://chroniclescamera.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-love-richard-ferber-yes-i-confess-i.html
    It totally worked! I have to pull it out again because we now have our almost 2 year old waking at about 3am crying and only settling when asleep in our bed and our 4 1/2 year old waking around the same time saying he wants to get up and play, rather than sleep!

  • SunRae

    whoo hoo – you go girl(mom)!

  • Lindsay

    We had this problem until we got the Kura mini loft beds from IKEA. All three of the older ones have them now and we have far less night time visitation. We think the having to climb down the latter thing makes getting out of bed less enjoyable.

  • The reward charts are often a good solution especially when the reward is something the child really, really wants! Good for for taking back your bed and for also working with your son to make sure his bed is a nice comfy place for him as well. I’m sure he appreciates it!

  • I can’t say enough positive things about getting a good night’s sleep in your own bedroom sanctuary. Good bed + good sheets + good rest = happy mama, for sure! Hope the chart works it’s magic!

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