Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sleeping Logistics with Toddlers....

Last night was the first night I slept in the marital bed for two weeks.

We just got back from Maui, where we enjoyed two glorious weeks. Things have changed. Not here, but on vacation.

How do you parents work it when you travel with your kids?

I slept with The Dictator for two weeks, while The Fiance slept in a cot. I know. I know. But we could not figure out the logistics of sleeping in a hotel room, with The Dictator.

I remember being a kid and traveling with my parents and my three brothers. We all shared one room. That's right. Six of us somehow managed to share a hotel room. And we're all still alive.

My parents would bring sleeping bags. I would sleep with my mother in one bed. My dad would share a bed with one of my brothers and two of my other brothers would sleep in sleeping bags.

I remember being put to sleep and my parents hanging out in the washroom, reading until they were ready to go to bed.

I've always been an awful sleeper. Seriously. I used to sleep walk.

Once, my father found me after I turned on all the lights on in the house and was making myself a bowl of cereal at 2 a.m. I was, like, nine. I told him, in my sleep, that I didn't want to be late for school.

I also used to wake up and jump up and down on the bed in the middle of the night, in my sleep. I also thrash around. A lot. I swear, the fiance has the bruises to prove it.

Once, on one of our road trips with my entire family (the six of us in a hotel room thing) I kicked my mother so hard in the middle of the night, that she kicked me right back. And it hurt.

After that, when we went on vacation, I slept on a sleeping bag on the floor.

Anyway. The way our room was set up in Maui was there were two rooms. One with the big bed, and the other room had a table, couch, and, um, cot.

The fiance and I like to go out for dinner on vacations. Nice dinner. And by nice, I mean I have dessert. You know, leisurely dinners, where we don't eat at 4:45 p.m. in front of the television like we do at home.

So we'd get a sitter to come almost every night so we could go for dinner. But the way to room was set up was that the entrance went into the room with the cot.

Obviously, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is NEVER TO WAKE THE CHILD. She couldn't take the cot because when we walked in, she'd wake up. Plus, a gal needs to watch American Idol. And The Dictator was going to bed at 6:30 p.m.

So, The Dictator was put to sleep in the bed, where we could close the door, and we could come into the room without watching her and I could watch American Idol. And because the most important thing is NEVER TO WAKE the child, I'd sleep with her and the poor fiance had to sleep in the tiny cot.

I told him he could sleep with The Dictator, and I'd take the cot, but he refused.

"I slept ok, but not great," I'd tell him in the morning. "She always wants to share my pillow with me and she peed all over the bed!"

Then The Fiance would give me a look and say, "I slept in a cot!" And, he's not a small guy either. So I couldn't really complain that much about sleeping in a wet pee bed with two inches of space. I mean, at least I was in a real bed.

We got in at 1 a.m. last night. I slept with The fiance. It was nice to have my own pillow. It was nice not to wake up in a puddle of pee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOrry, but there's something more than slightly unhealthy about that arrangement. I am never sleeping on a cot. Nev.Er.

3:51 PM

Anonymous Heather said...

Adjoining rooms. That has been our answer since our first child was 3 months old. The kids are now 12 and 6 and its still...adjoining rooms.

6:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We bought a pack-n-play so our eight-month-old could sleep by himself, but every night he ended up in our bed, anyway, baby urine and all.

7:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're back! Hooray. I missed ya.
And, I totally hear you about sleeping. Lately Matt goes to bed with me. But, you know what works? My husband moves him and then goes to bed with me. This is successful till he wakes up with a nightmare and comes running back to the bed and my husband gets sent to the couch.
That sucks about the pee though. The hotel must have loved you :)

10:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this sounds oh so familiar, with the exception that big daddy refuses to sleep on a cot or the sofa, so the three of us often crowd into a queen sized bed.
not fun.
it's like sharing the bed with a 21 pound rabid animal..
It's a miracle that couples ever have a second child.
how is it ever possible?

2:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>It's a miracle that couples ever have a >second child. how is it ever possible?

By not (ever. very rarely, at least) bringing the kidlet into your own bed.

Easy, peasy. Just make it a rule.

6:25 PM

Blogger Terri said...

I found your blog on Mommytales...

I had to tell you that your title cracks me up!! Great name!! Isn't it the truth...

I'll be back to read more!

11:06 PM

Blogger Terri said...

it was MommyDiaryTales! :-)

11:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you able to move the cot into the bedroom next to the bed? That would have been ideal...
P.S. - Glad you're back! :-)

10:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For extended trips, we now prefer to rent a house or a villa to ourselves...aside from solving the sleeping issues you described, it also the addresses the need for our own fridge and kitchen for the snacks, juiceboxes, cheesesticks, milk bottles, etc. Something to consider for the next time.

1:45 PM

Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I have two year old twins and the only way we can all get sleep while travelling is to get one big king sized bed and all four of us cuddle up.

2:20 PM

Anonymous mother of the Pants in the Family said...

Hi Rebecca - really glad you're back! and Maui - lovely.....

We've travelled a lot with the Pants in the Family, and to tell you the truth, sometimes we get 2 double beds, and she sleeps with me and hubby gets his own bed - cuz he's a light sleeper. And the other travel times we'd either get a pack'n play or a cot that would be in the same room as the beds.

It works, sometimes she still ends up in bed with us, but sometimes just being able to talk to her or touch her was all she needed to go back to sleep.

And, the last time we got a babysitter (my cousin) so we could enjoy a night out in Toronto, we arrived back at our hotel room. The Pants had unpacked all of our luggage (as only a 3 year old can) and made the babysitter stay in bed and pretend to be a baby.....

oh, we can laugh at it now!

3:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you're back.

3:49 PM

Blogger Haley-O said...

You're not alone, Rebecca. When we went away over the holidays, the monkey and I slept together, and the hubby slept in the other bed. We used the crib as a barrier so she wouldn't fall off the bed!

7:54 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

Last time we took a family holiday where we were in a hotel room (which admittedly was a LONG time ago), we got a KING bed and the bunny slept in between us! I think that would still work now at 22 months, but not too sure :)

6:02 AM

Blogger simplymom said...

Two large beds, two rooms, a door, with a child lock and a white noise maker if neccessary. This makes for great nights sleep for everyone. Its worth it to get a door between you and kids its the only way to travel.

7:38 PM

Anonymous Mom101 said...

Cot mattress in the bathtub?

8:21 PM

Anonymous Peter said...

Every night my twin Lads start out in their own beds, then around 9:00 they end up sleeping with me, then around midnight when I get up to go to my night job, they shift to my wife's bed. I'm sure it's all very unhealthy.

8:52 AM

Blogger hautemama said...

You are an excellent mother!!

Kids will naturally grow out of sleeping with their parents, (especially boys) enjoy it while it lasts!!!

3:39 PM

Blogger Jennifer said...

Vacation? You mean, go on an airplane with a toddler? WHAT?!!!

1:32 PM


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