Saturday, May 15, 2010

Father Pushed to the Edge

When I discussed the title of this blog with my wife, she didn't like the description of my being pushed to the edge.  She got the joke I was making of being pushed to the edge of the bed, but she didn't like the implication of the more metaphorical meaning of being pushed to the edge.  Though she didn't say it, I assume she meant that she didn't like the implication or believe that I was being pushed to the edge my parenting ability, patience, or sanity.  Somehow our children were too trying.  There are moments when the first two are probably true, but no more than other parents.  So why did I choose that description (besides I think it's a funny and have a bad sense of humor)?

First the funny part of the description.  We co-sleep with our youngest, so there is always at least three in the adult bed.  But most nights, sometime after midnight or one a.m., one of the twins, M. comes into bed and wants to snuggle with me.  He wants to share a pillow and covers.  It's very cute.  And because he is having some challenges adjusting to losing so much attention, as most children with new siblings do, I don't want to tell him that, "Yes, in addition to having to give up so much time and losing some priority status to your brother during the day, we're going to make you sleep somewhere else while your new brother snuggles all night with us."  So, we let him come to bed with us. 

This is going somewhere, I swear. If you know anything about children in adult beds, they manage sleep sideways, take all the covers and pillows, and make funny noises and movements when they sleep, and want to cuddle all at the same time.  It's either adorable or maddening.  In our case, it's both.    So, every night, I'm pushed to the edge of our bed, literally, as I try and create space for myself to sleep.  Fortunately we sidecarred a crib with intent of our youngest sleeping in it.  He doesn't.  I do.  Well, more acurately I often end up half in the bed and half in the crib.  On rare occasion, I end up nearly totally in the crib (as much as I can fit), and M. follows me right in.  That is the story of the origin of the description on this blog.  If you've made this far, please read a little further. 

How else am I pushed to the edge?  What less literal meaning is there to the blog description?  Though there are times I feel pushed to the edge by my family, parents who claim otherwise are either lying or. . .well. . . I should say are highly unusual.  So why am I pushed to the edge?  I'm pushed to the edge of my comfort zone -- founded on beliefs and expectations borne of observation, mass media, and armchair parenting -- by what I've read and learned from less-well known, but often more reputable sources.  I often feel the weight of society pushing against some of the decisions my family has made about parenting. I know some of the ideas I will examine here will probably offend some readers.  Coming to these conclusions has not been easy for me, and I can imagine some of the topics here or my beliefs may offend some.  So, I simply ask readers to have an open mind and realize that there are different ways to raise a family, and that, if I can get gushy for a minute, the prime ingredient is unconditional love.  All things sprout from there. 

So, I've been pushed to the edge.  By my own doing and by society.  Let's see if I can work my way back.


  1. I really don't know how you do it. My daughter is 7 and unless my husband is going to get her when he comes to bed, I just absolutely don't like sleeping with her. She snores, kicks and leaves me on balled up on the edge.

    I do love snuggling with her at first, but once we're both asleep, I just can't do it. Hats off to you Jacob!!

  2. I just don't know how you all do it. Last summer my niece spent time with us while my sister went on a business trip.

    We were going to place her in a bedroom on the second floor, but I felt sorry for her sleeping upstairs all alone. Her eyes widened she got the news that she wasn't going be to sleeping with us.

    I know what you talk about kids pulling on your heart strings.

    So we went upstairs and made a mini slumber party. Little Sage is a 40 pound 6 year old that's solid to the touch, and when she gave me a foot to the nose, and I nearly passed out! After a few hours of shifting around in the bed, avoiding her unexpected bops, I gave up and snuck back downstairs.

    I felt guilty leaving her up there all alone, but I couldn'r endure it.

    The next day we tried something different. We allowed her to fall asleep in our bed, and then took her upstairs. The next morning, we entered the family room only to find her nestled on the couch snoring.

    For the rest of the week, we would all get together and read from the books that I had borrowed from the library. We'd each read a page and, afer two books we decided that we would all engage in some silent reading. We played relaxing music, and pulled out the sofa bed in the family room, and there she slept for the remainder of her stay- happily I may add.

    A friend's parent had the same issue. All their 3 kids wanting to sleep them, but that wasn't going to happen. What the dad did do, after much prodding, is allow all the 3 kids to bring their own sleeping bag and sleep on the bedroom floor.

    After a while, the kids realized that it was
    more comfortable sleeping in their own bed.

    Too bad, it took a little longer than expected. It wasn't until the first grandchild was born, until the parents knew it was time.

  3. This was just the right thing to read tonight, on so many levels. Thanks.

    I'm sure you know you're not alone, but just know that Tomas has been sleeping "the crack" for some time now. "the crack" is that space between the twin bed and our queen that he ends up in most nights as I crowd him out of the bed to make room for J, and as A takes up space, as only a child can, on her twin. Kids have a way of taking over every space they can find, including all the space in your heart :)

  4. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog! I am new to parenting and I can't wait to find your "offensive" parenting technics! So far you're a co-sleeper who talks about brain development and the importance of allowing children to make decisions! I think I will really like, or at least be interested by, what you have to say. I just wish you had direct links to the juicy stuff as I don't have much time for blog reading these days. I understand your wife's apprehension. I would feel the same way if my husband were to title a blog this way, but if it is a comfort to her it could not be clearer that you are in love with your family.