This past weekend, my sister and I coordinated a wedding in North Mississippi and I was thrilled to get to see all of my family. We stayed at my parent’s house and Amberly brought her 3 youngest littles with her. I ADORE MY NEPHEWS AND NIECES. They are my life. I want to kiss them all day, cuddle them all day, and spoil them rotten. Henry is my middle 5 year old nephew, and he wanted to “definitely” sleep with WhitWhit. Well, WhitWhit loves the cuddles so I was more than excited to have him with me. But… what they don’t tell you in Aunt School is that your visions of sweet cuddling and unicorn dreams are… let’s just say… NOT REAL. So for any of you who are contemplating some cuddles with little ones you love and need some direction, or for any moms out there who are snickering at my naive dreams of peaceful sleep and want a laugh… here’s my guide to Sleeping with a 5 Year Old….
- Sleep Wars 2018. Before you even get in bed, you can bet that when the words “It’s time to get ready for bed” come out of your mouth, you can count on the whining, the crying, the “BUT I’M NOT TIREDs,” or the “PLEASE JUST 5 MORE MINUTES” statements. Just wait it out– the tiny human is surprisingly strong and persuasive– but you’re stronger, I believe in you!
- The Sleep Aids. Is it just me or has the number of items gone up that are required for a child to sleep? I MAY have had a teddy bear. We’re talking these days we gotta have a teddy bear, a rabbit lovey, 3 puppies, a light saber, and whatever toy they’ve loved in the last 30 minutes. In your brain, you’ll be thinking, “Where am I gonna sleep?” And you should be. Because don’t even try to take a few of those items out of the bed after they fall asleep, because THEY WILL KNOW. I don’t know how… but THEY KNOW.
- The Tickle Box. Once they’re settled in with their 87 animals, it’s like clockwork– you’ll say something *not* funny and they start to think you’re Eddie Murphy. I mean EVERYTHING makes them die with the giggles. Remember, even though you love the giggles, be careful during this stage because it’s a slippery slope– one too many giggles and then they’re UP again and bouncing off the walls.
- The “Every Random Question Anyone Could Ever Ask That Will Completely Throw You Off Guard and Have No Idea How To Answer” game. It never fails, after you get them to take a breath and calm down, the wheels in that little brain start churning and you get things like…Who will I marry? Why did Trixie (my dog) have to die? Well, do dogs go to heaven with Jesus? Is 2+2 four? Why can’t MY face unlock your phone? How can Jesus REALLY hold the WHOLE world in His hands? And my personal favorite so far…. If Uncle D is your husband, why do you call him honey? Hmm. I don’t know kid, good q.
- The Sleepy Magic trick. If you’re struggling answering the questions or getting them to stop, pull out my mom’s pro move…. the tickle rub. Or that’s what we used to call it. Take those nails and start a slow and steady rub on the arms, the back, the tummy and watch those eyes get heavier and heavier. If you’ve still not gotten them quite in the twilight zone– go for the jugular– head and hair. Works every time.
- The Body Heat. Success!! Hallelujah, they’re asleep. Right? WRONG. When you slip into that nice comfy bed, they sense you. And that little body will gravitate toward you like a bug to light. You will be shocked at how a tiny human can produce so much HEAT. You’ll think.. surely they’re sick… this has got to be a fever. Nope. Those sweet cuddles will turn into sucking their hot, sweaty body so close to you that you’ll feel like you’re in the Sahara. Just take my advice… before you climb in, ditch a layer of covers, and turn the ceiling fan on high, you’ll thank me later.
- The Unintentional Violence. Even if you successfully get the hot little human and all his belongings on “his” side of the bed (aka 3/4 of the whole thing), just know it won’t last long. You, not only, won’t ever forget he’s there, but you’ll be reminded by a barrage of constant ABUSE. Kicks, punches, head butts, a 3ft nothing turned sideways with tiny feet in your back and stomach, the half asleep cries/whines/complete sentences, major drool, and kid snoring. OH, and don’t forget bed wetting IS A THING. Don’t take those little manipulators at their word when tell you “I don’t have to go” when you try to force them before bed. STAND YOUR GROUND. WATCH IT HAPPEN. Trust me. If you’re thinking you should invest in some full waterproof combat body gear, you’re probably right.
- The Alarm. And just when you’ve recovered from the beating you’ve taken for hours, and finally dozed off to sleep… when the sun’s awake– THEY’RE AWAKE.
And last but not least…
- The Love. After all this, prepare yourself to soak up every second of the snuggles, the goodnight prayers, the giggles, the sounds, and the precious innocence of that sleeping angel. Don’t be surprised if your heart physically bursts when they look up at you with those precious eyes and say “I love you WhitWhit. Oh AND I love cuddling with you.” Okay baby boy…. take all my money, all my heart, all my cuddles, all my love, and I can’t help but be excited and ready for Sleep Wars to start all the way over tomorrow <3
Let me know if you’ve ever had the privilege of sharing a bed with a 5 year old. Tell us your experience in the comments! Happy Monday everybody!
Love, Whit <3