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Sleeping Pill. Part Two.


I'm going to pick up where I left off (five years ago.)

Five years ago, when Adèle was just two, I was struggling with the wish to continue co-sleeping with her and the little voice inside me that told me it was time for her to move on. That voice may have also been my husband, but sometimes in marriage you ignore the needs of your spouse. I'm not saying it's right. It just happens.

Right before a pandemic became a thing we all needed to carry, we had had a serious discussion about finally moving her back into her own bedroom. I had even set up a small TV for me to watch in there as I planned to transition her by sleeping with her in the "big girl bed." I brought all my night time toiletries and vitamins and anti-anxiety prescriptions with me and tucked them away in a drawer on my side of the bed in her room. We would stay this way for a little while until she was ready for me to leave.

And then, sometime in early March, I put her and my son on the bus for the last time this school year. We had two last teacher conferences where we were told they were both thriving and had lovely friends. They were great readers! We said goodbye and picked up a Chromebook. I googled home-school schedules. I googled "cases by country." Then, I googled "cases by State." I called my doctor for a refill of my medication and my Amazon order list was full of multi-vitamins, and wet-wipes, and nose saline, and elderberry gummies.

My small business just stopped (temporarily) as a wave of fear and uncertainty washed over all of us.

It all just stopped, really. Everything normal and comforting I had known. All the things I was used to in my daily life were turned upside down as one never-ending snow day placed our family of four within the same walls week after week.

Five years ago, I called Adèle my "sleeping pill." I started doing that because having her near me brought a sense of calm and quiet. (As a small aside, we began bed-sharing when she suffered from several febrile seizures in her crib before the age of one.)

It's so hard to let go of something that was from *before.* Before all the change and before my son cried in his room and my daughter was palpably lonely for friends. Before. When I felt like a good Mom. 

Around April, I asked my husband if it would be okay to put a pin in working to transition her to sleeping in her own room. I needed our old space. And I needed HIM, too. I needed *before.* 

So, now she is seven and we are in the middle of *this* and she is still in our bed. Taking up room, needing an arm to rest her head on. Five years later...here we are, sleeping unchanged as everything still feels like it's unraveling. The same. 

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  • Janine Manley