Recently, on a dark and dreary night when no one seemed to be able to fall asleep as my 23-month-old daughter hacked up a lung due to a nasty cough that just wouldn't go away, my wife and I decided to bring her to bed. Now, this was not the first time our daughter had been in bed with us, as we like to watch Saturday morning cartoons in bed as a family, but it was the first time, since the age of three months, that our daughter had seen the inside of our room after 7:30 in the evening. And no, this isn't because we're against Co-sleeping, it's just that we never found the practice necessary or preferable to having our daughter sleep in her own room.
For one, our daughter is a great sleeper; sleeping (on average) 8 hours a night since the day she was born (to be honest, we used to have to wake her up for her bottles). And two, with two dogs already claiming whatever space is left over on the bed, there wasn't much room for her anyway. So at three months (don't quote me on that, it might have been four) we switched her from a bassinet that used to sit next to my wife's side of the bed and moved her in to a crib... in her own room.
I mean, if I'm being honest, we did go to the expense of setting up a nursery for her with a crib, a change table, and a rocking chair, (not to mention three expensive coats of paint and a an array of wall decals) so it would have been a shame not to use it, right? And it's not like my daughter enjoys falling asleep on or near others either. She's never done it with anyone; not me; not her mother; not anyone. It's just not her style. She likes a nice warm bucket or car seat or her own bed. That's it. And I'm sure if she could articulate as to why, it would have something to do with her dislike of Daddy's nose breathing or the nasty noises that Mommy's stomach makes.
So, really, what the hell were we thinking? Who would take a kid who had slept alone for most of her life and bring her to bed? It must have been a moment of weakness on my part, but I just couldn't take the thought of my little girl being left alone in her dark room to hack out what sounded like the worst, wettest ball of phlegm ever. So, with my wife in agreement, I brought her to bed.
I carried her sick, lethargic little body and placed it in bed right in between me and her mom. We pulled the covers over her feet, made sure she was comfortable, held her close and attempted to go back to bed.
Didn't last long, and not due to her coughing either. It seems as sick as a child is, that doesn't stop them from having a sense of humor. And boy, does my daughter have a "sick" sense of humor.
"Daddy?" She said, staring at me. "Hi!" (a devilish smile on her face).
"Hi D.D. [her intitials]," I said softly. " Go to bed."
"Daddy?" She said again. "Love you!" A bigger grin than before on her face. "We watch Treehouse [the Canadian verion of Nickelodeon] now?"
"No, sweetie...," my wife said, "we go to bed." Pulling my daughter close to her to keep her from bothering me.
Then I felt a hand caressing the back of my head. I turned, to find my little girl staring at me.
"Hi Daddy!" She said, poking me in the face. "That's Daddy's nose!"
"Yes, that's Daddy's nose sweetie." I laughed. "Now, go to bed..."
"And that's Daddy's ear..." she said, sticking her finger in it.
"Yes. That's Daddy's ear, D.D.... Can we go to bed?"
"No!' She said, emphatically. "Where Clicker? Watch Treehouse!"
Keep in mind, she's also been coughing all over my wife and I this whole time, but oddly, she's showing no other symptoms of being ill.
"No, D.D." my wife shouted, "time for bed!!!"
She again pulled my daughter towards her, laying her down to sleep. My daughter, respectful of her mom, observed a moment of silence, then got bored and started in on the dogs...
"Hi Cash. Hi Cashie. Hi doggy." She said, patting then smacking the poor dog on the head. "Hi Cashie..."
"D.D.!!! Enough! GO TO BED!!!" I said, gritting my teeth. The situation beginning to wear on me.
Another moment of silence.
"Daddy?" She whispered, an angelic look on her face: "Dora and Diego?"
"No." I laughed, my frustration won over by her sheer cuteness.
"No. Dora and Diego, D.D. Now go to bed! Please."
I turned my back to her, thinking maybe, just maybe she finally got it. A soft sigh from behind me, and I think, finally, we're ready to go to bed.
But, no, she starts up again.
"Doggy farted." She whispered, laughing uncontrollably (it was actually Daddy, but what does she know?).
And that was it. She went back in her room; left to cough, laugh, whine, and fart to her heart's content. And that was the last time (for a very long time) that our daughter will be sleeping in our bed. In our experience, some experiences just aren't meant to be shared. And some children, no matter how sick, just don't care to go to sleep as long as there is a TV, dogs, or most importantly, parents in the room.
But I'll give the kid this... she is damn cute, even if she is the devil, and doesn't necessarily need to be right next to me to mess with my head.
"Daddy?" She screamed from her room.
"Yes D.D. ???" I answered.
"I love you too! Now SHHHHH!!!!"
"SHHHH!!!" She repeated, over and over again. "(Laughing) Daddy funny. "
I told my wife we should have put her room in the basement.
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