As we spent a few nights in a hotel last week, and did a bit of "sleeping around" so that I think that at some point during the four-night trip, every one of us was in the bed for some portion of the night with every other member of the family.
It is amazing how different the girls are in how they sleep.
In order to provide a community service and help clarify the behavior of school-age children, I have given each of their sleep positions names. I am not sure if they are clinically or scientifically standardized names, but they are the ones I made up.
Suzie is a flopper-burrower. Because the very second you are in the bed next to her and the light turns off, she will pick up the nearest leg and flop it on to of you with a giant thud. It is as if her leg is linked to the switch on the bedside lamp. She thumps that leg over to insure that you will not move. Then as she drifts off to sleep, she moves from flopping phase to the burrowing phase. She will start with her non-flopped foot and, like a jack hammer, slowly and repeatedly drive it under your leg. Once she has secured that initial sliver of an opening, she will then start to use her hands and start tunneling with her hands as if she is trying to break out of prison. She will chisel and expand some space under your head or neck or chest and then once she has the channel established will begin to fill it in with her hands, arms, torso, head, and the stuffed animals she has in the bed under you.
Being in the bed with Suzie can leave you a little black and blue.
Kenzo is a flipper-slugger. She will, with out warning or provocation, casually flip over and and as she re-settles will let her arm come crashing down on top of you. It is like roller coaster. Chug chug chug up to the top and then Whammo! using the full force of a sleepy dead-arm and gravity to let that arm catapult up and then come careening down on the unsuspecting. She has also evidently spent much time sharpening her elbows to the point where they are like ice picks. These are lethal weapons, designed to maintain as much free space as possible from night-time interlopers into her sleep-space. The night I was with her, I spent much time cowering at the edge of the bed, hiding behind the wall of pillows I built as a final line of defense.
Mabel sleeps like a mouse statue. She is a tiny little person, cuddled up in a tiny little ball, and does not move for the entire night. Not one bit. A tiny little up and down of her chest to be sure that she is breathing, but other than that she could be made of stone. She just builds a burrow, surrounds herself with about eight tiny stuffed dogs, and hunkers down for the duration. Oh, she also uses a five-foot-long stuffed dog as a blanket, so that is a bit unsettling.
So one out of three ain’t bad…