Mommy In The Middle

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6:25a.m. my alarm sounds irritatingly from its perch above my pillow. My eyes, still adjusted to the darkness, scan the perimeter of my space, trying to take in the layout of everyone’s positions. Everyone- as in my husband and youngest child who’s about to turn four tomorrow, not as in some strange rgy of people who sleep in my bed. It’s the very first thing I do upon waking, without fail. I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way of this last-kid-first-time-cosleeping arrangement, I got shafted. I am the one who sleeps in the middle of our bed… NOT the little one, as you would automatically assume.

Before my eyes can even focus in the faint morning light each day, I’m forced to make sense of my surroundings with the incoherency of sleep still lingering in my head. My husband is to my right, closest to the wall. He is deep in sleep, as he only just crawled into bed with the littlene and I, a few hours prior. His work schedule keeps him gone until the wee hours of the morning, or night, depending on how you look at it… long past last call for the bars. His chest is almost completely still as every muscle in his body is totally relaxed in a REM cycle. The only sound coming from him is the harsh snore reverberating every now and again when his rolls onto his back. Or his uninhibited releasing of gas, in which case the smell is cause for alarm more than the disruption of the silence.

To my left, but more like attached to my left side, is my fourth, and last, child. My daughter, Stinx Majinx. She earned her nickname from Daddy because she’s a sassy little stinker who jinxed us with her presence, despite being on Depo Provera to prevent pregnancy. Being sure she was the last baby we would have indefinitely, made me savor every moment with her more passionately than I did with her siblings; having done this motherhood thing three times prior, I knew better than to let time slip away from us. Ultimately, mine and my husband’s desire to keep Stinx close to us won out and we became co-sleepers.

My mornings are rough on my body these days, but I have a system in place to see me through without disaster from the time I wake until I see the kids off to school. It is no longer a piece of cake to roll out of bed when my spine is a crumbling disaster. Especially when I’m sandwiched between two of the five loves of my life. That’s where the perimeter scan comes into play. I have to figure out where everyone’s bodies are positioned and then plot my method of escape route best suited for my stiff, uncoordinated movement. Stinx is so sensitive to me being next to her, it’s almost impossible to make a clean getaway, no matter how well I think I’ve plotted.

With her turning four, I know the time has come to start easing her into her own bed, in her sister’s room. Our co-sleeping journey is on its last lag of the journey and it’s all so very bittersweet. Being shafted to the middle so I can never wake up alone has been the best part of any morning routine I have ever had and I’m really going to miss it when it’s over. Take this advice from the very first thing I have done every morning for four years now, all you new parents out there, and remember to savor every bit of their lives… even when they steal your covers, jam their little feets under your ribcage to keep close all night, and press their face with rancid milk breath against yours as they hog your pillow. There will come a day when you no longer need to scan the perimeter of your bed to find an escape and you’ll wish you had drank it all in.

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Day 9 prompt: What is the very first thing you do every morning after you hit “snooze” on your alarm clock. #NaBloPoMo #NaBloPoMo2015

By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom

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