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The Good Mother


Remember how, when your baby was nearing the six-nine month age range, you started to see the light at the end of your bleary, sleep-deprived nights?

You were certain that, anytime soon, that baby would sleep through the night.

I am still waiting for that moment with Kaleb.

That kid. He's never slept well. He tosses and turns, sits up and talks. He folds himself into crazy positions. He falls off the bed. He sleeppeepeedances if I'm not careful. He has nightmares (although he can never tell me about them because he's forgotten them by morning). He likes fleece or minky blankets—only. He kicks his covers off because he's too sweaty and then wakes up because he's freezing.

Yes, the kid is nearly six years old. Yes, I know he is far too old to sneak into my bed at 3:24 a.m. because he needs a snuggle. And yes, it's fairly hard to lug a 55-pound nearly-six-year-old back into his bed at 4:17 a.m. when you wake up with your arm asleep (because he's been using it as a pillow) and a bruise on your __________ [thigh, calf, shoulder, chin, hip] from where he's been digging in his heel.

I know. But he was sneaking. As soon as I woke up and realized he'd sneaked  into my bed, I'd haul him back into his.

Cue back pain.

Two weeks ago, when the pain was especially bad, I sat him down for a talk. I explained that he is old enough to sleep all night in his very own bed, and that I don't sleep very well when he crowds into mine, but mostly I needed him to know that it made my back hurt even worse when I had to carry him back into his bed. He took this discussion very seriously and promised he wouldn't sneak into my bed anymore. He told me he wanted my back to feel better so he'd help me by not sneaking into my bed.

Of course, he never promised he wouldn't wake up at 4:28 in the morning, either. Our new routine is this: when he wakes up, he wakes me up. I follow him back into his room, tuck him back into his bed, give him a hug and a kiss, and go back to my bed. He, fortified by my (albiet brief) physical affection, goes back to sleep. (This happens once a night.)

It's still not sleeping all night, but it's much, much closer.

Here's the sweet thing. Last night when I tucked him back in, I asked him if he was warm enough. He grabbed my arm and hugged it. "My coveys make me warm on the outside, Momma," he said. "But you make me warm on the inside."

It's so cute it almost makes up for the fact that I haven't slept through the night for six years.


Monika Wright

That comment almost makes up, but it would make a layout your son will treasure one day.


Aw! That's sweet!

Wow! Kaleb and Nicky really are kindred spirits. Not because Nicky says sweet things like that but because he has the same sleep issues. Nicky has to sleep with fleece blankets but they can't have knots in them. For this reason, he sleeps with unfinished cuts of fabric. So much tossing and turning and talking and dancing.... ugh...


OH that is so sweet! I'm at that 6-9 month stage, but not expecting all the way through quit yet... He wakes up because he is wet, or has to pee.

Pat Passamonte

Hi Amy,
My granddaughter is just a touch older than Kaleb I think, she'll be 7 in October. When she would spend the night, she would always sleep part of the night in the daybed in our den, then come climb in with Nana and Papa for 1/2 the night, crowding and kicking us till we got up! The last 3 times she has spent the night with us, she stayed in the daybed all night and guess what? I miss being crowded and kicked.

My daughter was like Kaleb as for sleeping though. The kid saw Johnny Carson a lot more often than I did!

Enjoy these moments, they pass so quickly (I know, it doesn't seem like that now, does it? :)) Have a great day.


That is really, really sweet. But I still need my momma sleep! It allows me to appreciate the sweet things they do during the day - when I want to see them:)



Pamela K.

I think our sons are related. My son (who is now in high school), did the exact same thing. He'll be getting his driver's license soon, then he'll keep me up half the night for quite another reason. (I'll try to erase that thought from my mind as I get ready for bed tonight). :-P

Chris S.

Awww - Kaleb's comment warmed my insides. I'm right there with you on the sleepless nights. My son recently showed a visitor his chart where he gets stickers if he stays in his bed all night. He proudly exclaimed how he'll get a big toy when the chart is full. Problem is there are 30 spaces and only two have stickers and he's had the chart for a loooong time.


You have no idea how many times I have wished we had a trundle bed underneath the master bed...


What a sweet boy! Trevor is going through a similar stint (with Bryce he didn't sleep through the night until 7 - yikes) where he needs me to come lie with him repeatedly through the night. I have tried everything (putting a bedroll next to my bed, sleeping in Sean's bed most of the night, walking him back to bed and rubbing his back). He hasn't had any sweet words though ... so it just feels like struggle.

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