Co-Sleeping With An Air Co-nditioner

by Shari on July 24, 2011

Cosleeping
Once upon a time, I believed in co-sleeping.

Nestled in the bed with my man and Baby Pistol, all was right with the world.

Oh, and the pugs were there too, did I mention that?

It was a bit tight, but Pistol was a petite 6-pounder, Chandy was at her still-able-to-fly-in-an-airline-approved-carrier-under-the-seat weight, Schilling was a puppy and Hubs slept peacefully because he was certain that he had only one child to put through college because the fertility experts said I’d had only one good egg.

But the Pistol got bigger. And Chandy got fatter. And Schilling got older. And the fertility experts got wronger. And Hubs got thrashier.

Because I got pregnant.

By the time I was eight months along, the co-sleeping thing had lost more charm than an aging liposucked debutante. And one night the co-sleepers pushed me so far to the edge of the bed and my sanity that I took my pillow and slept on the floor.

As I lay there with my enormous gut splayed out and pre-Letter Boy attempting to tap dance because why the hell not since he was only separated from the hardwood floor by the deli-meat-thin membrane of my abdomen, I had this thought:

“Never again.

And I meant it. The very next day I re-introduced the pugs to the couch, got a book about letting your child “cry it out”, read the entire thing in a day and kicked Pistol to the crib. I let my husband stay. He paid for the mattress, after all.

And I never looked back, becoming such a vehement spokesperson for separate beds that my friends were afraid to admit when they even cuddled their kids at bedtime. I was like the Motion Picture Production Code for mommies, “You can sit on the bed, but one foot must remain on the floor at all times!”

Except now the global warming thing is messing with my resolve.

We live in an old, old brownstone with mile-high ceilings and cracks in the floors and walls. It is impossible to heat in the wintertime so we walk around with Snuglis surgically attached to our bodies. And the summertime? Arconditioner Schwarzenegger couldn’t cool this monster down. According to my friend, who works at a air conditioning service and repair Round Rock company – it’s because of the brownstone bricks the house is made of, since it’s a little over a 100 years old and I assume they weren’t thinking about air conditioning back in the day they were making it.

We have one and half air conditioners. A pretty good one in my son’s bedroom and a wimpy one in my daughter’s bedroom that basically only keeps one from becoming a puddle in the sheets. We tried putting one in our bedroom, but it’s such an oddly shaped space that nothing worked. So when it’s really hot, like polar ice cap melting hot, we are reduced to sleeping with our kids. (My husband and I take turns in the “good” room, where it’s nice and cool but then you do have to sleep with The Boy with Ten Feet and One Thousand Whines.)

Friday night it was 103 degrees at 9pm. And we had houseguests. Which meant that our family of six (number includes two fat, hot pugs) slept in the “good” room. In one double bed. Hubs gave up after ten minutes and retired to the floor on a camping mat.

That left the five of us shifting and grunting into various Pick Up Sticksian formations.

My children both suffer from some sort of Reverse Feng Shui Syndrome; they simple cannot lie vertically with their heads on the pillows. They have to be horizontal or criss-cross or loop-di-loop which is fine for them because they fit on the bed in any direction.

I, on the other hand, only fit in the missionary position.

This unfortunate predilection forced me to lie across two small rumps and eight paws. Not comfy.

Then I tried lying across the top of the mattress on the unused pillows. Nope, never have been able to have my feet hanging off because of the underbed monster. Not comfy. Kept searching through tips at thesleepguide.org.

I tried the S shape, threading my body in and out of the human/pug maze. So incredibly not comfy.

By this point, I’m sweating so much that I might as well abandon the “good” room entirely and go sleep in the nuclear reactor that is my own bedroom. Instead, I slip myself into the drinking-straw-width slot that remains between my childrens’ head/feet and the wall on the side of the bed.

And as I slowly sink into the crack between bed and wall, I contemplate a few things.

First, I don’t ever remember a nighttime temperature over 100 degrees, which means that all those aerosol cans of Aquanet I used in high school did not make the ozone layer happy.

Secondly, that if I fell asleep and sank all the way down into the crack and suffocated, my body would be well preserved by the nice chilly temperature in the “good” room.

And third, the fact that my co-sleeping “Never again” lasted almost six years, which is a pretty good record for me since most of my other “Never again“‘s (i.e., letting them talk me into ice cream sandwiches and Bugles for dinner) only made it a few months.

Oh, and that “co-sleeping” is an inaccurate term because it implies that both parties sleep. Uh huh.

 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra July 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Dusty…the thought of you crammed between the wall and the mattress bring back the memories of whence and hence we first met, with the stories of the pugs collars tangled in your red mane.
In other words, this is the kind of post I fell drop dead over you for.
LOVE IT.

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utterlychaotic July 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Yeah… I had that moment. I bought a king-size bed. Because it was clear someone would have to go….and it was NOT about to be me! However, in the interest of full disclosure, I must state that the mattress outlasted the matress.

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utterlychaotic July 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

that would be “outlasted the marriage” …..and I can’t even balme auto-correct!

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Lady Jennie July 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

This was just so full of humor and brilliance that I can only leave this generic comment. Otherwise I’d end up writing a comment post.

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dusty earth mother July 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

Thanks, Lady Jennie. And CONGRATULATIONS on being a BlogHer Voice of the Year in the Visuals category!!! Everyone go visit Jennies award-winner! http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://aladyinfrance.com/2011/06/09/laduree-macarons/

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Kimberly July 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hilarious! I go through something similar almost every night. My husband and I have two kids, four dogs, and two cats, plus we are currently fostering five kittens… All 15 bodies were piled onto our bed last night.
Have you ever read “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood? The illustrations always made me laugh when I was a kid; now, they ring true.

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dusty earth mother July 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

Oh, Kimberly, have you ever taken a picture of your bedtime routine? I think that would have to be an award winner.

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Jana@AnAttitudeAdjustment July 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I don’t know how you can handle no air conditioner at night. This is why I may be considered a princess. I need my sleep, and I need an air conditioner when I sleep, and I can sleep with no more than one person (my husband), and even sleeping with him is less comfortable than a queen bed to myself so I can spread out. I’ll say it again–you are a sport. I can probably learn from you. What is your magic trick?

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Jenners July 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I cannot even IMAGINE you trying to survive in the heat that has been around lately. Perhaps you should buy 10 fans and surround yourself with them all blasting on high?????
I “co-sleep” with my son on vacations when we have two double beds and it is miserable. He has that same crazy sleeping sickness … it is painful. Fortunately I snore and get my revenge that way. Hee hee hee.
By the way, I’m just back from vacation and catching up on your blog but I’m only going to leave one comment or I’ll slowly go insane.

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dusty earth mother July 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Welcome back, JenFligster :-) And Jana, theres no real secret. Im just a commoner.

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Cindi Hartman July 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I can empathize, and not just because I dined in the “cold” room with you and your family. :-)
We don’t have central air in our home, and we also have the high ceilings. And carpeting, not floors. The temperature in the house is always a lot warmer than it is outside. For example, according to my computer, the current outside temperature is currently 74. The living room is currently about 89 degrees, down from a high of 92.
“Why don’t you just open a window?” I can hear you think. Ahh, that might be a good idea if we had screens, but we do not. The dogs ate holes in all of them. And we have large colonies of bees outside, happily enjoying our roses, purple sage and various other plants but I’ve no doubt that were not the windows sealed shut, they’d be delighted to come inside and say hi, undoubtedly with their stingers.
We do have two air conditioners. One is in my office, because I work in there all day. I can’t sleep in there, because my office is also the cats’ room and when I attempt to sleep in that room, the cats find it necessary to take turns sleeping on my face, pouncing on my feet, using the futon as a scratching post and otherwise keeping me awake.
The other is in our bedroom. There’s only four of us in the bed: Greg, I and our two Australian Shepherds; Maeve and Dani. That might not seem like too much for a queen-sized bed, but like your kids, one of my Aussies doesn’t do vertical. Dani (the 55 pounder) will only do horizontal, and only at the head of the bed on my pillows, or holding my legs in place like a safety belt. Maeve is perfectly happy to do vertical, but only if her head is at the foot of the bed and her butt is pointed directly at my face. And yes, she often has gas.

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Nancy July 26, 2011 at 7:01 am

Are you ever anything less than hilariously, amazingly funny?
I think not.

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dusty earth mother July 26, 2011 at 8:44 am

Ah my friend, you make me blush :-) So looking forward to seeing you next week in San Diego!

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Kir July 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

HOLY GOOD GAWD it was HOT on the east coast last week..and even with our central AC I was still dying…I give you lots of PROPS for even trying, we would have moved to a Hotel. ;)

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The Flying Chalupa July 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Bugles! I really want bugles right now.
But moving on. Your description of co-sleeping is beyond hilarious. I, too, said no to the co. And haven’t looked back. Except when Chalupa is sick. Or he wakes up at 5:30. Fortunately, summer never really arrives in my neck of the woods.

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double bed October 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm

The perfect bed would be the King Size bed within the biggest size possible. It is very comfortable and wide to sleep on.

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sleep November 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

In the summer, I find it very difficult to sleep because of the humidity. An air-conditioner did the trick. I have no problem sleeping during the winter.

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