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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Myrtle Turtle asks "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"

Today I am delighted to introduce a guest blogger, Myrtle Turtle.
Myrtle is a friend of mine who will tickle your funny bone with a humorous tale of how she could not keep her kids in their own beds! Please enjoy!

When Pinky asked me to write as guest blogger on her Pinky Poinker, Tales from the Mother of Teenagers blog, I was a bit hesitant. After all Pinky had five teenagers, all in close succession, and her journey into motherhood could only be described as a wild, hilarious, ride. Definitely an interesting read. Mine was positively tame (possibly boring) with only two offspring and a hiatus of five years between. But no matter how many children you have, there will always be some obstacle to overcome or hilarious moment to recall!
Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
After much procrastinating I finally took the plunge and had my first child at 30. Tyrone was a good baby and kid. He was toilet trained by 2 ½ years, he did not suck on a boob, bottle, dummy or fingers after 12 months; he had no unhealthy fixations to his toys, blankets or penis. And he never plastered himself with poo or picked his nose and ate the findings. An angel child …expect for one minor flaw. He would not sleep in his own bed…he preferred ours. Now many child rearing experts would say that was entirely his parents’ fault for allowing this to happen. But I can argue that it was not our fault. And here are my three excuses.
1. I went back to work when Tyrone was three months. His daycare mother believed in long afternoon naps so she could watch her soap operas and subsequently when we got him home Tyrone never seemed tired and it was so difficult to get him to go to sleep at reasonable hour. 
2. When Tyrone was two, we sold our house and began building a new home. In the meantime we rented a small Queenslander from a friend and stored all our furniture in the sleepout and second bedroom. This meant Tyrone’s cot was placed in our room and we slept on a mattress on the floor. Of course, knowing we were in the same room as him, Tyrone decided our mattress on the floor looked like much more fun than his cot. So every night he would wake up and push his chubby arms through the rails of the cot pleading to join us. As working parents it didn’t take much for us to give in. I reasoned that this arrangement was only until we moved into our new home. 
3. We moved into the new house on Boxing Day. The Christmas of 93 was the hottest on record. We hadn’t bargained for this as we had not air-conditioned the place. In those days we thought it was a luxury though nowadays we consider it a necessity. We had planned to save up for it. After two sleepless nights hubby Glen could stand it no longer. He went down to Chandlers (local Appliance Store) and stood in line (with receipt in hand) along with what seemed like most of the Townsville population to collect his air-conditioner from the back of a truck. They didn’t even have time to unload the stock as the demand was that high. So with only one bedroom air-conditioned we could not allow our baby to swelter in his cot while we enjoyed a cool night’s sleep. And that’s how Tyrone permanently ended up in our bed. 
By the time Tyrone was four we had managed to install air-conditioning to all the bedrooms and the lounge. I suggested to Tyrone he might want to sleep in his own room for a change? “It’s not fair!” he cried indignantly “You and Dad are big people and you can sleep together. “Why do I have to sleep by myself? I’m only small and I get scared”. Damn that kid’s logic! 
When Tyrone was five, I had completely forgotten the pain of childbirth and had another one. Marigold was a whopping 9lb 3oz. 

 Tyrone was quite independent by then and extremely useful. Although he was disappointed that the new baby was a girl, he was very interested in the baby’s toilette. He would fetch and carry things and test the bathwater for me, but he did have a rather morbid curiosity of the contents of her nappy. “Let me look! Let me look!” he yelled one day when I had Marigold on the change table. “No…go away” I said, thinking his interest in her poo was unhealthy. “Well…that’s not fair”, he grumbled crossly “You can look, why can’t I?” Damn that kid’s logic!
I had explained to Tyrone that now we had Marigold, he would have to sleep in his own bed because there would not be enough room for him. He considered this very carefully and looked at the bonnie baby taking up every inch of her bouncer and reluctantly agreed. He slept in his own bed from then on without protest.
Unfortunately I cannot offer any excuse for why I let Marigold take Tyrone’s place in the parental bed. I took a full 12 months maternity and was basically lazy. I would get up her to feed her in the middle of the night and could not be bothered to put her back in her cot. Marigold had firmly established her sleeping pozzie bang in the middle of our bed. We tried again when she was three to wean her back to her own room. We would put her to bed in her room and she would wake up and trot back into our bed. Marigold didn’t use logic like Tyrone, she would just scream and scream. 

The battle raged on for many weeks until one fateful night. Marigold got up in the middle of the night and went into Tyrone’s room crying that she wanted her toys. Like any normal brother he growled back at her “Get out of my room”. He then heard her toddle down the hallway and to his horror unlock the front door and walk outside. He jumped up and raced into our room yelling “Marigold’s gone outside”. Glen and I bolted upright and then dashed out into the night. Marigold had not gone far. She had actually pushed up one of the garage roller doors which in those days we kept unlocked…we don’t do that now. 

 Now one would think that she is safe enough in the garage. But not in our garage! We used our double garage for storage. It was filled with tools and junk. One of Tyrone’s little mates had suggested to us “If you got rid of all that stuff, you could put your cars in there”. Boy we wished we had that night! It was quite a dangerous place to be walking into in total darkness. Luckily Glen managed to grab her just before she banged into any heavy objects. “I want my toys!” she wailed. That was the first and last night Marigold walked in her sleep. 

 We placed her straight back into our bed where she slept soundly (and possibly smugly). Her parents on the other hand lay there staring blankly into the darkness imagining all the possible horrors that could have befallen their little princess. The next day Glen placed a safety chain on the door and we gave up the bed battle. Our hearts were no longer into it. 
We thanked Tyrone profusely for saving his little sister. He replied scornfully “You would have killed me if I hadn’t said something”. Damn that kid’s logic!
We did however managed to encourage Marigold to sleep on a mattress in our room and by the age of 8 she decided sleeping with her parents was not at all cool. Now she is making up for those 8 years. Her bedroom looks like something out of Home Beautiful while our bedroom looks like the before shot from any DIY reality TV show! Now a teenager, Marigold retires to her bedroom and flat screen TV about 8.30 pm along with laptop, smart phone and iPad. On weekends and holidays she does not emerge until noon.
“You have spoilt her”, mentions Tyrone occasionally. Damn that kid’s logic!