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Friday, November 16, 2007

When Company Comes Knocking...

...and it's your child.

Here's a topic that I've wanted to discuss for some time now. How does everyone feel about inviting their kids into their bedrooms?

My feeling is that I loovve family bed days. Each and every morning, Elaina wakes up, collects as many toys as she can hold which often includes a general assortment of stuffed animals, books, sippy cup, binkies and if she has a free hand, she'll even drag her own pillow to our room. She quietly climbs into our bed and snuggles against us until we wake up or until she hears Lincoln begin to stir in his bedroom and alerts us that "Lincoln wake up. He needs a bottle."

As much as I am NOT a morning person, I love waking up to my sweet little angel perched up on my pillow and being the very first person I see when I open my eyes. She's the very first thing I touch in the morning and she reminds me what gives me enjoyment in my life. First thing in the morning! In our bedroom. How could anyone not want to experience this?

And about family bed days. Well, I only wish that our two kids would let us stay in bed all day, but when our nanny service has the day off, (like, um... everyday!) someone should probably feed the kids and let the dog out sometime before noon. It really boils down to about 5 - 10 minutes on weekday mornings and no longer than an hour on weekends. I like that Elaina feels comfortable to haul her toys to our room and entertain herself (often in front of the tv) while I am getting ready for work and I can see what she's up to by simply peeking around the corner of the bathroom. Our weekday mornings are generally rushed to get out the door and I long for a Saturday when I can hold my kids close and tight, run my fingers through their hair (or rub a peach fuzzed little head) plant kisses upon their cheeks and relax and watch mindless cartoons with them or pretend we're fishing on a boat and we put life jackets over our jammies so we can catch big fish. (That's pure Elaina.) How can parents choose to miss out on this?

If either of our kids need me, I want to be there before they begin to worry. Before they get scared. Before they puke all over their beds and floor and hallway to get to me. I want my kids to feel secure and loved and know that all of their needs will be met without having to make them known at the top of their lungs. And, let's say that there are other siblings in the house. Is this approach really fair to the kid who is sleeping safe and sound and happily?

Obviously, I'm just too set in what happens to work for my family and makes us happy. Did I happen to make that clear, by chance? My thought is that if you want to teach your kids about respect and boundaries, it's a great lesson, but possibly more relevant in other circumstances. Just in case anyone is brave enough to state some opposition as to why their children aren't invited into their bedrooms, please speak up and win me over to help me see the merits of a closed door policy. Otherwise, let's hear it for Snuggle- Down- Saturday- Mornings- With- Your- Kid- Time!!!

How does everyone else feel about this subject?

(With the exception of Michael Jackson, please.)

8 Welcome Comments:

Giselle said...

We do not have "family bed". My kids have always hated snuggling in our bed...from day one. Seriously...in those first sleepless weeks, I was dying to just nurse in bed so I could sleep...and neither of my kids would do it. Which I don't really mind in the middle of the night, because I have a hard enough time sleeping with Jeff in the bed, much less two other people (have I mentioned my son head bangs himself to sleep?). And I have never liked lounging in bed in the mornings, so it suits me better to go cuddle in a recliner and read books or talk, etc etc in the morning.

However...our room is NOT off limits. Andrew is free to come in and get us, or to yell for us in the middle of the night. We play in there during the day, whatever. I had friends growing up whose parents' bedrooms were off-limits...and it seemed so weird. Like what kind of things went ON in there.

Anyway...we don't do the cuddle in bed in the mornings or nights...much to my relief, but our room is hardly "off-limits".

I'm glad you enjoy it so much! It sounds just delightful. Isn't it nice we all get to make our own rules that fit our own family?

grandma h. said...

While I agree with Giselle, to each his own, I still treasure the memories of those baby-days when you and Greg and your Dad and the dog all cuddled up in bed and we hugged and giggled and dozed. I loved the sweet togetherness. As for the bedroom being off limits, nothing was more important than my family -- not even my sleep or my personal time. Children grow up and grow away all too soon and all you have are the memories of baby years to last you when they are gone. Now I can have all the weekend bedtime that I want. I'm glad that I shared my time with my children when they needed it. Grandma H.

Tracy said...

I LOVE the morning bed snuggles. I do it a little differently though. My kids don't get out of bed without asking first. I know, it sounds harsh, but it started when they first transfered to a big girl bed and we didn't want them wondering out and falling down the stairs or whatever. So, it stuck, but they as soon as they wake up, they are in our bed. The also let us sleep a little longer. I love the snuggles. I am not looking forward to when they are no longer available. We are going to upgrade to a king bed just so we can keep the bed time longer! I haven't ever heard of a room being off limits. Crazy and like Grandma said, they are little such a short time, EMBRACE IT!

Laura said...

I'm enjoying hearing different prospectives of how everyone customizes their own "together time" perfectly suited to their kids.

After writing this, I thought I may have been a little too harsh, like my way is the only way, but I'm loving to see where everyone else has established a sort of middle ground when it comes to their children and an open door policy.

I'm just stirring the pot! What does everyone else think?

Greg said...

Colin's basically locked in his room at night, otherwise he gets up and watches TV.

I try to recreate the family mornings that grandma h mentioned but when I drag him into bed with us and try to get 5 more minutes of sleep, Colin just climbs on us shouting "wake up, it's a yootiful day!" until we get up and fix him breakfast.

It'd be nice, though.

Kate said...

Actually, we get a lot of together time on the couch in the living room. We sprawl in front of noggin, snuggle under a blanket and cuddle. It's my favorite time of day. I smell his little Colin head, cover him with kisses, whisper sweet baby things in his ears and rub his back while listening to him suck his thumb and rub my arm. Greg is right about our bedroom. Colin thinks beds are for butt-bombs.

Aunt Shirley said...

There is nothing wrong with enjoying your "family bed" Kelly was 2 before he slept all night in his own bed!! The time will pass quickly enough, treasure the memories.

Charity said...

I have to agree with you about the family bed. Ali usually creeps into our room about 7:30 am on the weekends and snuggles between us. I love seeing her take her hand and touch her daddy's face gently and whisper "hi Daddy." I makes my heart melt. If she goes back to sleep..great, if not, we turn on Sesame Street or Dora and lay in the bed and cuddle. That is until she decides she needs some "cochet (chocolate) milk" and has to get up.

We even take her naps in my bed. We turn on a movie and snuggle until she falls into her scooby doo world of sleep. She is my heart, she may go wherever she wants to snuggle with me. I know it will not last forever.