The dark side of co-sleeping

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.01.22 PMTo keep with my “sleep” theme, and because I’m busy tying Christmas loose ends, I will share with you, my little misfits, an anecdote I wrote for a past class assignment. It shares the cons of co-sleeping, and written after being peed on before leaving for school. Despite what the first sentence indicates, I’m still cool with co-sleeping :p

I’m beginning to think co-sleeping with my daughter is a bad idea. This morning, wheels turned after P let me know in her lisp tinted vocabulary,

“Sorry I peed on your bed.”

I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve heard this headache-inducing phrase, that challenges my ears not to transition into selective hearing mode. Knowing there is pee in my bed makes it pretty hard choosing sleep over showering.

“Go change your pants,” I plead, thinking this simple act will undo everything. She goes back into her room, happily talking to herself. My mind mimics the foam of my mattress, soaking it all in.

Her daycare workers suggested she stop wearing Pull-ups so she’ll learn quicker. I nodded, agreeably, genuinely enthused.

Now I’m angry with the fresh-faced workers, I want them to wash my sheets, get my shower started.

My daughter re-enters the room. She is singing the theme from Degrassi, the show we watch before I tuck her under her Strawberry Shortcake blankets, to later find her under my leopard print ones. She has a habit of sneaking into my bed at night, and a habit of peeing in it.

Before I make a decision I need to buy some new sheets.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Go the Fuck to Sleep – A review

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a Number One New York Times Best Seller by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortes.

The book is approximately 20 pages long, half of them are pictures. Every page has a funny poem that pleads for the narrator’s young one to go to bed.

My favourites are:

“The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest. And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep. I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying. Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.”

and

“All the kids from daycare are in dreamland. The froggie has made his last leap. Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom. You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.”

Yeah, P! I know you’re not thirsty, and so does this Mansbach fellow!

Any child’s caregiver can relate to this and giggle, and those who find curse words funny can giggle too. Giggles abound!

I especially enjoy that this book admits that no matter how much you may love your “darling,” they are all still frustrating, lying, mini menaces.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Co-sleeping is cool

PATIENCE NAPPING: Four or five days old and my awesome post-baby belly.

Patience and I have co-slept, sharing a room or bed, the majority of nights since she was born.

I do not regret co-sleeping (edit from 2015 – the future!)

The time spent in the hospital after P’s birth included us sleeping in our own beds side by side, and her taking naps on me. When we got home she would start out sleeping in the basinet beside my bed and end up sleeping on top of me. She was breastfed for the first year so this made it super easy, she’d eat away and I’d sleep.

“Mother-infant co sleeping with breastfeeding is humankind’s oldest and most successful sleeping arrangement,” says professor James J. McKenna, an expert on mother-infant co sleeping,  on the University of Notre Dame website.

Look at her, trying to sleep alone in this cold hard world.

She would sleep in my lap, kneeling toward me with her head on my chest. As I held her close people would say, “That’s the only way she’ll ever nap.” Yet she would nap just fine out of my lap too.

When she graduated to a crib she’d wake up and I would let her cuddle me in my bed. No negative side effects other than we both got to sleep in.

We have our own rooms now and I let her sleep in my bed. Usually, I have her fall asleep in her own bed because I need to finish work up in my own room before turning out the light. When she crawls into my bed later on, I don’t fight it.

I used to pretend I didn’t like her in my bed to avoid judgment from others. I now admit I love it.

I am very busy and the time I have alone with my daughter is cherished.

Living with her grandparents, it is hard to feel like her mom at times, but there’s no one in my room other than P and I. Yes, it sucks that she rolls around in her sleep and I’ve been peed on a couple times, but the benefits outweigh the cons.

Aaaaahhh! Affection!

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

How-to guide on getting young children to nap

Stay here and sleep.
Stay here and sleep.

It’s the afternoon and as much as you enjoy the company of your pre-school offspring it is time they have a nap. As they sleep you can find time to finish that project or get some housework done like the time efficient parent you are. Or you can fall asleep on the couch cradling a devoured tub of ice cream whilst watching teen dramas.

1. Introduce the idea and explain there is only enough time for one more show, game, what have you.

2. Most parent resources say children thrive on routine. Be it singing them that special song before tucking them into their baby blanket or threatening to lock them in the basement with morsels of bread and a tiny bowl of water.

3. Tell them you will check up on them. This will let them know they are safe and loved. Also, there is nothing scarier then the unknown so theoretically they will be too anxious to misbehave and leave their known safe zone.

What if they get out of bed right when Chuck told Blair he loved her and you still have a scoop of Heavenly Hash and no way are you going to be put in a position where you may have to share?

4. Supernanny suggests telling them to go back to bed and kindly guide them their way. The second time is to be the same but in a firmer tone. The third strike is bringing them back to their bed saying nothing.

5. If they still insist on not sleeping out of certainty they are going to miss some extravagant party – and get their sneaky hands on that ice cream- you may try rubbing their back.

6.If they are still rolling around, singing songs or talking to their imaginary friend who is nothing but a bad influence, you may have to let go of seeing how Chuck and Blair’s date went.

By this point you are probably tired and sad. Your spirit has been crushed and your child may be upside down kicking your face.

7. Beg.

8. Pin the merciless youngin’ down, you are bigger than them. If they don’t tire themselves out from fighting they will get bored, left with no other escape but sleep.

9. You have most likely done the same.

10. Sweet dreams!

Kidshealth.org says most children stop napping by five. At this age they will also be bigger and have developed more effective fighting techniques. That being said you should relish naptime now or start resistance training.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Tattoo for Patience

It took me a while to decide what to have tattooed in honour of my best friend.

It was when I was looking at pictures of elephants, they’re my favourite, I decided to have an elephant tattoo.

The pictures where the baby elephant holds the mother’s tail so trustingly in travel appealed to me, and I knew that was what would get.

I chose a design from a book my sister passed on to me, Drop Dead Cute. Among the artwork were pieces by artist Chinatsu Ban.Ban is known for her cute illustrations and draws the sweetest elephants in underpants.

Rick Kemp of Sinful Inflictions then tattooed my choice this past October. When I picked P up from daycare after getting the work done she exploded into laughter. She loves tracing the tattoo with her fingertips from time to time, grinning, “That’s me and my mommy.”


I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com