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The Most Dangerous Place in the House

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Guest blogger Lenore Moritz: Because, like most parents, I am well aware of the commonly known "hidden dangers" in a home, I had a childproof latch installed on the knife drawer and a gate bolted to the top of the stairs long before my first baby could crawl. But one unexpectedly dangerous place silently awaited discovery. That place was my child's bed.

kids bedroom
Let me qualify that: My child's bed, when he's sleeping in it, becomes a treacherous place not for him, but for me and my husband. We're not exposed to this "danger zone" very often, because we don't do communal bed at our house. But on the occasion that my 4-year-old needs a little extra nighttime comfort due to a bad dream or illness, we go to his bed and lie with him until he falls asleep.

And so it was, on a recent night when my son was feverish and I found myself lying with him to give him a little extra comfort, that I experienced just how futile -- and hazardous -- it is to attempt to get some rest next to a sleeping 4-year-old. The only way I can describe the situation is that it was as if I was lying next to a thrashing fish, a fish who'd just been pulled out of the water and was flopping all over the deck of a boat. There were arms and legs everywhere. In an effort to avoid having my eye poked or getting kneed in the stomach, I found myself protectively covering my body with my arms at various moments during the night.

It would have been kind of endearing and amusing had it not been 2 AM. Of course, losing sleep so your child can rest easier is simply a sacrifice of parenting, and it's not something to complain about. It's kind of like that movie "Fight Club": "The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club." That's parenting, right? You do not talk about the sacrifices; you make them and feel grateful that you have someone to make them for.

It doesn't, however, mean that I can't be a little grouchy in the morning from getting just 26 minutes of sleep the previous night. Even the "Fight Club" guys couldn't hide their black eyes ....

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