My husband and I have a problem … in the bedroom. When it first began, we tried to ignore it. We’d wake up beside one another each day, grouchy and ornery, mumbling our discontent with the situation under our breath as we went through the motions of our morning routine. Sure, both of us were losing sleep over it, but it was infrequent and certainly not a cause for alarm.
Over time, the situation worsened; we couldn’t defeat this thing between us, small as it was, and we have finally reached the point where we are arguing with each other over which one of us should spend the night on the couch.
It all began innocuously enough. Upon sliding between the sheets at the end of a long day, my foot met a furry lump, recoiling in horror from this creature unknown, I leaped from bed, and threw back the sheets to find it was only a fuzzy, stuffed gorilla. On another occasion my husband crawled into our bed to a crunching noise. A sound that, upon inspection, turned out to be a school of goldfish crackers left behind by an inconsiderate third party.
Shortly thereafter, we began finding wet spots in our bed. (Get your mind out of the gutter. I said we have a problem.) The spots smelled faintly of soured milk, and we’d often find an upturned Diego sippy cup nearby. While the toys and the crumbs and the spilled milk were an inconvenience, it was a problem easily fixed with an extra load of laundry and some late night bed-making. Not so bad, we thought. That’s when the nocturnal visits began.
Climbing over us with knife-like knees and elbows, bruising internal organs and threatening to pop our full bladders with misplaced footsteps, into the space between us they settled together. Bitter adversaries by day, our son and daughter have joined forces by night and, thus far, we are powerless against their crusade to end slumber.
At first I chased them back up the stairs, pulling the blanket from our bed, they’d retreat, furiously stomping up the carpeted steps. Only, no sooner had I drifted off again, shivering beneath the thin sheet that remained, than I would awaken to a tiny face, mere inches from my own, whispering through the darkness.
“Mom! Psst! Mom! Mom! Mommy!”
“Oh, good. You’re awake. I want to watch Sponge Bob. Also, it’s dark outside.”
Out of pure exhaustion, my husband and I made a terrible mistake. We negotiated with the terrorists. We agreed to let them sleep in our bed if they would lie still, be quiet, let us be. Please, anything you want for the chance to close our eyes until the alarm goes off in two hours. That was all the encouragement they needed. Children can detect weakness, you know.
They have since launched a full-scale attack and takeover of our bed, kicking and flailing, tossing and turning, at least one of them appears each night to assault us with not only flying appendages, but a barrage of questions.
“How is soap made? Do dinosaurs have bellybuttons? If Goofy and Pluto are both dogs, how come only one of them talks?”
We have a bed bud infestation, folks, a terrible one and we are going on three weeks now of limited and tormented sleep.
Please send help in the form of your strongest cup of coffee and your best advice for the re-institution of our ‘No Kids Allowed’ bedroom policy.
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