the elephant in the bed

I have a confession to make. It is not a rant or a complaint. It is what it is. There is an elephant that sleeps in our bed. Not just any elephant. This elephant is approximately 32 pounds and just over 2 years old. This elephant has a very specific pattern. He naps for 3+ hours each day starting anywhere from 2 to 4 pm and does not like to go to bed until his parents are turning in for the night somewhere between 10:30 and midnight.

That is when the fun begins. What do you expect when you choose to go to bed with an elephant? Yes. A choice. For now at least. It starts with a story, followed by another and sometimes another. Then it is followed by cuddles. Who would not want to cuddle one. However, this loving mutual affection progresses to tossing and turning by the elephant much like what one might suspect from a cat given a ball of yarn to play with in your bed. But this is not playtime. Oh no. This is bedtime.

This behaviour is a nightly occurrence. Quite often I have fallen asleep before the elephant, who then takes great liberties in lying across my head or kicking me in the head. Sometimes my husband is able to move the elephant into his cage (did I say cage? I meant crib) when he turns in for the night only to have him return at some unknown hour before the alarm sounds for the start of the next day. Sometimes the elephant stays in the bed for the whole night. Lucky elephant.

Its effects are far reaching. It means no me-time after the other 3 elephants have willfully turned in for the night because unlike the lucky elephant, those 3 have school the next day. It also means no we-time either. Sorry honey.

Don’t get me wrong. I love elephants like every other person. In fact, I not only have a few carefully adourning our home but I also have an entire board on Pinterest devoted to Elephant Love. I am also not asking for help or advice as I am sure there is lots to give. I am also a good listener.

You see, I happen to have quite a bit of experience with elephants. With four elephants, ranging in age from 2 to 14,  that just about makes me a bit of a parental oracle. When it comes to sleep I have seen it all and parented to suit. We used the Ferber method with our first. Worshipped our second when he started sleeping through the night solo at 2 months. Then we turned into sleep nazis when our third tried to wear the pants again.

Be careful what you wish for. My husband warned me when we talked about having more elephants what it would do to our sleep. Would I change it for the world? No. For a night? Yes. The elephant in the bed has no idea what we are capable of. His days are numbered. A threat you ponder? Not at all. Just saying.

ps – I used the word elephant 20 times (if I include the title and mention just now). But no one is counting. Remember, this is not a rant.

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