Returning to one of the most crabby inducing issues of parenting, nighttime with little ones… Thing Number 3, my three year old boy, is still sleeping with us every night and we should probably be doing something about it. Things start off very well for him in terms of going to sleep as he does go down pretty efficiently in his own room in his own bed while I sit next to him in a rocking chair. My son is very affectionate and doles out many hugs and kisses before lying down with an endearing smile playing out over his face as he snuggles with his pillow. I don’t mind sitting there so much because he’s usually asleep within ten or fifteen minutes and a few years ago I made the excellent investment of buying a booklight and discovered that this is a great time to find something good to read. Sometimes I find myself sitting there reading (and avoiding any other outstanding chores) far past the time he has drifted off to dreamland. Other times, of course, I fall asleep myself in the chair and awaken in a daze with a hurt neck. It is only later after we’ve all gone to bed that my son decides he needs a little parental supervision. He gets out of his bed and walks down a hallway of creaky wooden floors and appears at our bedside in the wee hours of the night with sighs and low volume whining until we give him a hand to climb up into our bed and situate himself between us. I probably wouldn’t mind this so much aside from a few noteworthy vexations that follow. Once he drifts off to sleep the first thing he does is kick off the blankets and any cover sheets, peeling them away from my sides as well in the process. Then he has a nasty habit of spinning around counterclockwise with his legs and arms all spread out, creating a pinwheel of limbs passing over and striking anyone in the vicinity for the rest of the night. Since it is in the middle of the night sometimes I react to these thumping broadsides of flesh and bone with a shove of my own. Last night he seemed to be spinning at a faster pace than usual or I was just more violent in my reaction to it, but we basically ended up wrestling half the night with me ending up flinging him across the bed on top of his mommy, i.e, my wife. If it wasn’t for that human bulwark, I may have tossed him straight to the ground. Anyhow, when dawn broke and the house awoke, mommy was none too pleased with the way I had been pushing around my son all night. I’m not sure if she was miffed because I’d thrown him on top of her and disturbed her own beauty sleep or because I was sending the wrong message by pushing him away so emphatically. At the least I had lost my patience. It’s hard for me to take responsibility for my actions in a semi-conscious state at four in the morning while getting kicked in the nether regions, but I guess there’s always something to work on.