There’s No Sleep in Cosleeping With a 9-Year-Old

Hiding Her FaceBy the time your children are old enough to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you’d expect sleep would have returned to your life. No more screaming newborn means a chance to wake up refreshed and eager to start the day, right?

I’m here to burst your “one day sleep will come” bubble. Don’t hate the messenger; you were bound to figure it out one sleepless night anyway.
But I might as well just rip off the Band-Aid. Consider this my “we’re all in this together” story:

With her father out at an event the other night, my 9-year-old saw a rare chance to sneak her way into my bed, and set up residence on his pillow. I wish I had a good reason for this, but aside from the fact that she saw I had space to spread my legs and arms for once, I’ve got nothing.

I thought sleeping with a newborn was hard. You’re terrified of rolling over them, you’re woken up every hour or so for feedings, and it’s all topped off with a hearty helping of “what the heck am I doing?”

Then, I thought sleeping with a toddler was hard. If it wasn’t middle-of-the-night wailing over swollen gums it was waking up to a toe in your nose as their little bodies turn like the hands on the clock as the hours pass by.

I was right on both accounts. And totally wrong.

There’s nothing like sleeping with a 9-year-old. By which I mean it does not happen.

They talk as they’re settling into your bed. They talk as you’re reading yourself to sleep. They talk as you’re turning off the light. They talk as you’re telling them to stop talking. And then, just as you’re drifting off, they stage whisper, “are you still awake?” And when you make the mistake of grunting that you were almost asleep, they see an invitation to talk some more.

Eventually they will get it all out of their system, and you will start to drift off the dreamland, where a genie awaits with three wishes and a bonus offer of college tuition for up to eight years, and then the movement starts.

Herds of elephants shake the mattress less than 9-year-olds “getting comfortable.”

Herds of elephants during an earthquake.

Herds of elephants during an earthquake who happened to be being chased by a pack of poachers.

And then they fall asleep.

And all is good and right and wonderful because your baby is 9, and she still wants to sleep with you, even though the tween years beckon, and you are really rather embarrassing for walking in their general vicinity in the grocery store.

And then they start snoring …


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