Mixed Martial Sleep

April 28, 2011

The other night as I tossed and turned chasing a decent night's sleep, I extracted a sharp little elbow from my gut. Which got me thinking about the concept of the family bed. Now, I think folks should be able to sleep however they like and if the family bed is your way, then more power to you. But for me, I just don't see how it would work in my house. No, wait — more accurately, I do see how it would work: Mom would get no sleep for the foreseeable future. I can tell you this based on my most recent adventure in co-sleeping — the family Spring Break trip. I dare not call it a vacation – that implies an above average level of fun plus frivolity and relaxation. And while it was lots of fun, it was more of an exercise in sleep deprivation than a vacation. The reason I'm still yawning is primarily tied to the Greco-Roman wrestling bouts I engage in with La Principessa, when we share a bed during hotel stays. On the first night of our Spring Break trip, I had just drifted off when I was startled. She had flopped her whole body across my waist, pinning me to the mattress. I tried moving her but I couldn't get any leverage. That's when she went all sumo on me: as I nudged, she pushed back like her last yen depended on booting me from the ring. Even though she was sound asleep and snoring like a motorboat. My head hit the nightstand and I gave up– rolled to the ground and looked for an open spot to squeeze into.

Come to think of it, Teen Spirit had his own signature moves. He used to instinctively wriggle until the top of his head was wedged warmly into a corner, pillow, anything – as long as his head could nestle. So when we shared a bed, he'd naturally wedge his head hard up into your armpit. I'd wake up with my arm outstretched in the air, tingling and numb. Sort of pinned in a Half Nelson. At least he was gentle. La Principessa is more of a cage fighter. Another night with her and I felt a sharp yank on my head and realized she had been doing the backstroke all over the bed. She hadjammed the heel of her foot hard into my cheek. The other foot was rotating at the ankle, weaving her toes into my hair. I lost a few strands every time she flexed a foot. Enough already, I cry uncle.

I'm trying to catch up on my zzzs now that Spring Break Is Finally Over. Of course, the Summer Road Trip is right around the corner. To make all those sleepless nights worthwhile, I'm thinking of starting a Traveling Fight Club.

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