My wife and I have been together for 13 wonderful years. We’ve certainly had our share of ups and downs in that time, but I’d say we’ve been pretty good at working things out. I’m not a person who can just take naps on a whim, so it’s never really occurred to me to lay down on a couch for a nap. I’ve also never gotten to the point of being so mad at my wife, that I would leave the room to go spend the night on the couch. I’m sure there have been times when she has wanted me on the couch but I am pretty good at talking my way out of trouble, even if just for a comfortable night’s sleep in my own bed.
All that has changed recently, since my children have decided that our bed is usually more comfortable than theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and thoroughly enjoy spending time with them, it’s just that men have a special bond with their sleep time and when something comes between us and our sleep comfort level, adjustments need to be made. I can’t speak on behalf of women, it just seems like they have an easier time dealing with lack of sleep.
It all started a few nights ago when my son, Lucas, was dealing with a bit of a cough/fever. He’d been in to our room before but usually only showed up at around 4:30-5:00am, after we’d had a relatively good night’s sleep. This time, however, it was 1:00am and he didn’t look overly tired.
Have you ever been ready for bed, when all of a sudden, some infomercial or show about (bed) bugs comes on and you not only have trouble getting to sleep, but you also wake up every few minutes because you keep feeling something touching you? That’s what this experience was like for me. Every 30 seconds he was tossing, turning and mumbling, scratching up my back with his toes as he did the Homer Simpson 360 spin walk in the bed. Each time I thought it was over, the cycle started all over again, until he finally asked to go downstairs and watch TV….at 2:30 in the morning.
Looking back on the situation, I don’t know what part of my brain I was using when I decided that the best course of action here, would be for me to go sleep on the couch in the living room. I’m guessing it was my selfish side that decided to leave my wife in charge of the un-sleepy boy situation, while Daddy went down to get his much needed man rest. After all, it was a Saturday night and Daddies need all the energy they can get in order to give their undivided attention to the football game on Sunday (or in this case, the NHL All-Star Game), while Mommy takes care of the little ones.
In the end, I learned a couple lessons from this adventure.
First, most couches are uncomfortable by design and are not meant for sleeping on, mine is no exception. I took about an hour and a half to fall asleep and tossed and turned all night.
Second, sometimes kids just need to have their parents with them, whether they can sleep or not. They can’t always express the reasons why they don’t want to be in their own beds, so it’s best to just stick it out with them. I felt bad the next day about leaving him to toss and turn alone, he doesn’t remember but I still feel bad.
Third and most importantly, my wife has learned that it is, in fact, possible for me to sleep on the couch and has decided that it should be utilized more often…