Some of you are about to gasp in horror at my detached and neglectful parenting.  Others will congratulate me in complete awe of my remarkably inspiring accomplishment.

Are you ready?  Here it is.

I made it 4 years and 364 days without ever sleeping in one of my children’s beds or ever having one of them sleep in mine.

And now I know why.

3:30 AM Sunday Morning: Chris and I jumped up at the jarring sounds of screaming and crying and “I NEED TO THROW UP!!!!”

Although those words can bring terror on a parent’s soul quicker than finding out that your daughter is aware of who Justin Bieber is, it IS a nice parenting milestone when your kid recognizes the need to puke before they find themselves satiating said need.

(Ali does not, yet, know who he is.  I quiz her every now and then just to make sure.  I live in dread of the days when I can’t get “Oh Baby, baby baby..OHHH” out of my head.)

My middle of the night horror was compounded by recalling the fact that Ali’s birthday was the next day. My mind began reeling with all of the plans that would have to be cancelled, family that would have to be called, and food that would go uneaten as I sprinted to attempt to aim the vomit into an appropriate receptacle.

As I began re-planning our weekend on the bathroom floor, Ali stood, screaming and crying, as she hunched over the toilet.

“My tummy hurts SOOO bad!!!”

Nothing happened, besides the inordinate amount of screaming and moaning.

Cue irrational fears of appendicitis.  Or intestinal blockage.  Or some rare and unheard of stomach disease that causes unending feelings of impending puke.

My compassion for her and my guilt over her sickness on the eve of her fifth birthday clouded my judgment.

“Would you like for me to sleep in your bed with you?”

“Yes, please!”

I positioned a trash can on her side of the bed, retrieved my pillow and wedged myself between her and the wall.

Then I remembered that she was still using my childhood mattress.

As she moaned, I rubbed her back and felt my own back seize up in pain from the obviously expired mattress.  I began wondering where you could buy a mattress at four in the morning…

After an hour of moaning and writhing, she finally began the descent into Vomiting Hades.

Wipe up child.  Wipe out child’s hair (no point in washing it yet).  Change trash bag.  Wipe up vomit that missed the mark.  Remove horrific trash bag before the odor makes me do the same.  Get child comfortable back in bed.  Try to find room for myself in same tiny bed.

I waited until Ali had been snoring for about a half an hour.  I had been lying as still as possible and as uncomfortably as a Honey Badger beneath a pile of Crimson.

I very gingerly crawled over Ali and escaped to my own bed.  With a refreshed sigh of contentment, I sank into the comfort of my own mattress, which made me feel more guilty about the horrible quality of Ali’s.  Must remedy soon.

Right as I dozed off, crying commenced.

More vomit?  OhPleaseNo.

I jumped up and sprinted into her room.

“Do you need to throw up again?”

“No! (sob) I missed you (sob) because you said you would (sniff sniff) sleep with me!”

“I’m so sorry.  I couldn’t get comfortable and you were asleep.  Did I hurt your feelings?”

“YES!! (shame-heaping-sob) You hurt my feelings.  (sooooob) I NEED you to sleep with me – I feel really bad!!”

Now triply Guilt-stricken – by sickness, by her birthday, and by her irreparably damaged feelings, I retrieved my pillow, told Chris to get some good sleep so I that could sleep the entire next day, and headed back to my incarceration of discomfort.

Somehow I managed to doze off despite my state of being squeezed into a space that only an eight year old girl could fit in.  And I am positive that it was no coincidence that I dreamed that I was Christian Siriano.

But sleep didn’t last long.

Knee to the pelvic bone.

I readjusted to escape from the violence.  My right arm was stretched out above my head in a zero-blood-flow position as there was no room for it anywhere else.


Slap to the face.

I moved further.  My back was halfway on her bed and halfway atop the pile of stuffed animals that filled the hole between her bed and the wall.  Meanwhile, she had at least two miles between her and the other side of the bed.


Elbow to the rib cage.

I finally gave up on sleep.  I lay there thinking that this must be what it feels like to be in a toothpick press.  Do they make toothpicks in a press? Ooh – those pirate sword toothpicks are cool.  I wonder if this is what it feels like to sleep on a Pirate Ship bunk? No…they had hammocks – that would be much more comfortable.

I peered through the doorframe.  I could see daylight, but it was faint.  It must be around six in the morning.

I contemplated my escape.

I leaned forward.  Ali leaned up, eyes still closed.

I leaned back.  Ali leaned back.

I leaned forward.  She leaned up and looked at me.

I whispered, “I’m going to see what time it is.  I’ll be back.”

She laid back down.

I headed into my room, where Chris was sitting in a chair.  I looked at the clock.

9:48 AM.


Apparently, I sleep while compacted better than I think I do.

Epilogue: Ali is completely better, except for missing her birthday and all.  A makeup birthday is in the works.  No one else has caught Ali’s scurvy yet, but my Zofran and Ponytail are awaiting me – just in case.

39 thoughts on “‘Twas The Night Before Her Birthday…

  1. For this reason….Nora has a trundle bed! We feel your misery, she climbs into our bed at least once a week in the middle of the night claiming ‘bad dreams’. Future children has been endangered with many knobby knees to the groin and mommy loves the foot to the back.

    1. We actually do have a trundle bed – but it had no sheets on it, I was too tired to figure out where the sheets were and make it up, AND I was seriously afraid of getting puked on in the middle of the night, if I were to be right below the sicky. However, I still think it would have been a better idea.

  2. Be very thankful you have not been hit with “Beiber fever” yet! My just turned 5 year old knows who he is through some friends at her preschool (although she calls him Justin Beaver, which is marginally cute :) ). I’m trying to discourage talk about him, I will gladly keep her in the princess phase for a while longer.

  3. You’re not alone. We have made it 5 years, 21 days and still going without Jenna getting into our bed or vise versa (with the exception of being in a tent camping). That was the one habit John and I agreed NEVER to start. Congrats on it taking you this long before you had to cave.

    PS. I have a confession as well…. I have made it (gasp) 5 years 21 days without having Jenna puke on or around me. Im not talking about spitup as a baby, but true vomit. She has only ever had a stomach bug once in her life, but she was with my MIL while I was working.

  4. Short of falling asleep while nursing, neither of the kids has ever slept in my bed. Ever. And I’ve never slept in one of theirs. That is one of the things I’ve been very firm on. Any time I’ve ever had to share a bed with someone (other than my husband, because he’s well trained at this point) they kick the crap out of me while they’re blissfully asleep. Of course now that I’ve said this, someone will probably crawl up in my bed tonight.

    So sorry Ali had to feel horrible and miss her birthday. :( I hope nobody else gets it, and the makeup party goes well!

  5. So funny! Only because I can relate! My daughter is a puker and oh. She usually gets her dad to deal with it because he is much better than I am. While I have never slept in her bed, I have had her visit my bed almost nightly. And being too lazy to get up and bring her to bed, I usually just let her crawl over and sleep between us. She would curl up in the tightest ball and just wedge herself under you to sleep. Too many chiropractor visits later, I simply sent her back to her own bed. And if she is sick, she gets to sleep on the comforter on the floor in my room. Stay away from me! :)

  6. The BEST line you’ve ever put on your blog: I had been lying as still as possible and as uncomfortably as a Honey Badger beneath a pile of Crimson.

  7. Saturday night I took my last load of laundry out of the dryer at 245am (I started at 630pm!) and went upstairs to get ready for bed. I checked on the older child and kicked the cat out of her room. Went into the younger child’s room to check on her. I kicked the cat on her and sniffed. That unmistakable smell. I looked at her asleep on the top bunk. There was a pile of vomit beside her, vomit on her face, vomit on her hair… What followed was another round of vomiting, a 4am bath, a bout of 6am vomiting in my bed, then finally: sleep.
    I was thankful a few months ago when I realised the 7yr old knew when she was going to be sick. Ally is ahead of my 5yr old. At least you can be thankful for that!

  8. My son has a full-size bed with a better mattress than we have in our room! I end up falling asleep with him after we read bedtime stories every night, then go crawl back in my own bed.

    Roll Tide!!!

  9. Oh how I long for the day when my kids can tell me they need to throw up BEFORE they do it. We usually have very mild symptoms, “my head hurts” and then boom. Explosive vomit all over the place. Ugh. Thankfully they don’t get sick like that too often. Hope you guys have a great time doing the make-up birthday!

  10. I know the feeling! Sorry for the spoiled plans!! Glad your daughter is better. I hope you don’t mind that I laughed at the post :) Too funny and familiar :)

  11. The BEST part of parenting was having my kids sleep in my bed. I miss that time. I loved to gaze on their angelic faces and give them kisses. They were all sweet and warm. sigh My husband also loved it. maybe not as much as me since we only had a double bed, two babies between us, and he had to learn to sleep half off the bed. The rest of us were quite comfortable.

  12. My apologies to Ali (poor baby), but that was funny. I know it’s not funny to you…it will be….someday. Like the time my son threw up CHILI from the TOP BUNK of his bed (no trash can…all over the top bunk, bottom bunk, carpet). Wait–that’s not even funny now 10 years later!

  13. Poor Ali and you! Good job about the sleeping thing! I have gone 3 years, 2 months, and 13 days without sharing a bed with a child or witnessing vomiting. I think I have trained Ella well. I will ask her if I can lay in bed with her for a minute and she says I have to lay in my own bed.

  14. My girls LOVE climbing into bed with me when they get up in the morning. It’s super sweet and snuggling for about 3 seconds, and then I start having major claustrophobia hit from being smushed between them. And any additional sleep is totally a lost cause at that point.

  15. Applause here! We have made it one year and counting with Landon not sleeping in our bed, whew. We plan to keep this trend up as long as humanly possible! Poor Ali, I bet she was devastated about having to reschedule her party :( But probably enjoyed the extra attention after all… just not the throwing up part!

  16. I hope she is better and that no one else gets sick. I’d love to say my boys never sleep in our bed, but …I was so good with my oldest (who turns 5 next week). He only occasionally wakes up and comes to our room. My 3 1/2 year old is a different story. In his lifetime, there have probably been fewer than 50 nights he hasn’t ended up in our bed. The rule is he must start off in his bed but can come to ours in the middle of the night. Although a large part of me literally aches FROM his being in the bed, my heart aches when I think of him (my baby!) not being my baby anymore. The paradox of motherhood, I guess!

    1. Too true. I’m going through that aching with weaning Noah. I wanted Ali to grow out of the baby phase and get on to the cute toddler phase…but not Noah!! The thought of being completely done with that phase of my life…FOREVER…is killing me.

  17. oh no!!! sad day about the no-birthday-party-vomit-day. Glad she’s better!
    and I know it was a rough night, but…your stories make me laugh. :)

  18. Oh I hope Ali is feeling better! Poor girl. I can never sleep with my son. I’m battered and bruised by the time we get up. Oh and ‘Honey Badger beneath a pile of Crimson’? Best line ever. :)

  19. Poor Ali, what a terrible way to celebrate your 5th birthday!
    I’m with you on the not sleeping with the kids thing, I think we’ve done it twice, and that was 2 times too many ;)

  20. Whoa! I still co-sleep with my baby.. (better than waking up for a million hunger cries a night) but I never thought of the change from cute cuddlying to wrestlemania!! hmmm.. got to think ..

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