Last night, my husband rolled over in bed and eyed me curiously. I could almost see him pondering how to get a yes out of me.
"So," David started casually, "do you think Alex would stay on his side of the bed while you're gone? If I let him sleep with me?"
"No," I responded. Still, I worried that wasn't clear enough.
You see, we've co-slept with our son on occasion. David has seen me cradle Alex in my arms and soothe him to sleep, eventually falling asleep myself. The key there is that Alex always sleeps in my arms. He is not allowed to roam the bed.
On the occasions that Alex has woken moments before me, he's been known to try to dive off the bed while he is still half asleep. I know this because I'm awakened by him lunging out of my arms. So he has to sleep in my arms to avoid harm. David needs to know there is a method to my madness. Happily Paying The High Price Of Co-Sleeping
This knowledge is especially pertinent because I'm going to Nashville, alone, for a chance to meet some friends. David will be left alone with Alex for three days.
It's not that he can't take care of him. I know he's a wonderful, loving, competent father.
It's just that I'm smart enough to know that, while the mom's away, the boys will play. So I need to be clear on which games are not acceptable.
The having too much chocolate game? Fine, I won't be there.
The staying up a little too late game? Fine, you deal with it.
The Daddy-Alex sleepover game with special toddler-freedom option? Not OK.
I begin to expound to David the reasons that it's not safe for Alex to sleep in our bed with an entire side to himself. David smirks and rolls his eyes.
"Geez. I asked so I'd know. I don't need an entire lecture," he explains to me.
Well, no, he probably doesn't need a lecture. But I need to give it. I need to say these words to let myself feel a little safer. You see, I'm having a little trouble letting go. I should be thrilled about this trip. In many ways I am. But I am also fighting the almost irresistible urge to leave David detailed instructions on everything from how to dress Alex to what it means when he says "Dada." Why I Take Time Off From My Family
Luckily for the boys, I do realize that it's mildly insane to explain that Dada means Dada.
I'm surprised by how viscerally I feel this separation. The urge to be alone and without a butt to wipe for a few days is overwhelming. But the thought of not being able to peek in on my little boy at night or hear his sweet laugh? Makes my heart ache before the trip has even begun.
Plus, I can't lie to you. I am a little anxious about just how much chocolate David might feed him.
This is a valid concern; I've seen David eat chocolate in his sleep.
David ponders what I've told him about the co-sleeping. He agrees that it really wouldn't be a safe option and should be reserved for when Alex is sick. He agrees Alex should spend the nights in his crib, which David calls his "baby cage."
I turn off the light and snuggle in to sleep.
David murmurs one last thing to me before falling asleep himself.
"Maybe if I can turn our entire bed into a cage, it would be safe for him."
Perhaps I need to stay home.