Positions in Bed

Last night was the eighth or ninth time I did my favorite position in bed. It’s sort of new even though I did it once back in college. And it seems to work well for both people. Yup, sleeping head to toe works well in many situations, but especially in our home “infirmary” (the guestroom) when one of my little girls is sick.

When my kids were smaller and got sick, I slept with them face-to-face in the playroom or they climbed into bed with me and my husband. This year, with the Fear of Flu, I wanted to be near Sammy to monitor how she was doing, basically giving up my bill of health when it dawned on me that I should put my pillow at her feet. I also opened the window every so often to air out the Flu Room. That system worked pretty well, and has been a keeper ever since!

One of the first times I ever had to worry about positions in bed was when my sister and I were little and we’d have a “spend the night party” in her room. I have no idea how old I was, but the two of us fit in her little twin bed. The only problem was that Amy would not tolerate my alleged tooting problem. So she made me sleep with my face toward her which insured that my butt was facing the outside of the bed in case of toots. That was a win-win situation for our little sleepover, and twice we were so clever that we faked being “still asleep” on Sunday morning so that our parents didn’t make us get up and go to church.

You have to be pretty intimate with someone to deal with (or acknowledge) a tooting in bed problem. I just recently in my late thirties learned what a “dutch oven” is, thanks to the Diary of a Whimpy Kid movie (which was hilarious in MHO.) And even more recently experienced it on our family trip to New York. I won’t say which kid was sleeping with me or who was the guilty party, but we laughed even harder at our real life dutch oven than the one in the movie. Memories get made in odd ways sometimes.

As I said, my first head-to-toe arrangement was back in college. I was out of town and went to visit an old boyfriend while I was in the city. He had a new girlfriend and I had a new boyfriend, so it was nice being able to catch up just as friends. He went through the trouble of borrowing an air mattress and a pump, but with a leak in the mattress, it would not inflate. He offered to sleep on the linoleum floor and let me have the bed, but we finally decided to sleep head to toe. It was perfect. Our new platonic relationship was a success and with our position there was no awkwardness or worry of which way to face my head. The next day we were able to sight see with our new friendship still intact.

The strangest bed position I ever experienced was four to a bed in a sofa bed! With multiple roommates from St. Simons Island, we took many weekend trips down there in college. But one of the times we must’ve taken our entire doom room hall. So many of us were together that we had to double and triple up in our sleeping arrangements. The main problem for me was that Karla’s sofa bed linens were made so tight that we couldn’t undo the sheets to slide in from the side of the bed. Each of the four of us had to climb to the top of the bed and then shimmy in, like tucking ourselves into an envelope. I’m pretty sure I now know what a straight jacket feels like. That night there was no worry over head position or under-the-sheet gas because that bed was so tight no one could move until we reversed our shimmy out of the bed toward the waft of Karla’s dad’s scrambled eggs the next morning.

So far this school year I must’ve slept head-to-toe with one of my children at least a half dozen times. I may not be a June Cleaver whose love language is cooking for her children, but I do love nursing them back to health. I pretty much put everything else on hold and tend to whatever it is that they need whether it is a cup of juice, water with ice cubes, or just company. Sure, I start to feel cooped up and wonder if I have their germs too after living in my PJs for a day (or five! Damn that flu season!) But when they are so sweet and still and pathetic from their poor little germs, it’s like life gets paused so I can see their sweet baby faces without any sass and without them running away onto the next busy part of their elementary aged day.

Ellie had stomach funk yesterday, so I tended to her all throughout the day, clocking out of the infirmary here and there to go sneak in a cup of coffee and a show for myself while she binged on Bunk’d and Stuck in the Middle and various other Disney “people shows” (non-animated.) Of course I joined her for Alvin and the Chipmunks; it’s one of my faves. Or maybe I just like the chance or excuse to lay around and watch T.V. Or maybe I like listening to find out where Ellie gets some of her sayings. Infirmary Days are a chance to get free snuggles and be reminded of what doing nothing feels like which is sometimes very needed. Not to sound too much like the Dos Equis man, but… I don’t always sleep with my children, but when they are sick, it’s head-to-toe!

Advice to the Bride: Don’t Get Divorced over Corn Chowder and Disney World

Yesterday I co-hosted a beautiful wedding shower for one of my best and most long-time friends. (We’ve known each other a short 39 years!) We sipped on mimosas and chatted together, some of us “kids” connecting with the mom-village from our neighborhood where we grew up. Everybody looked the same as they did thirty years ago, aside from hair length or highlights. And the ladies’ voices rang the same, bringing back memories of those moms selflessly serving us rambunctious kids for well over a decade: “Want some water?” Or shouting to one of the pack: “Brad! Lis!” Insert name here who needed to head home/straighten up/be nice/answer mom’s question-or the landline phone call! Or calling to their kids “Time for dinner!” Except for Mrs. Neville who rang a bell for dinner time. We were all jealous of that.

While we caught up on who lived where and nibbled on pimento cheese and learned what job changes occurred, it was all smiles and non-stop chatter. Then the Advice to the Bride cards were passed around. A hush fell over the crowd. Except for an under-my-breath “shit!” I didn’t know what advice to give. “I thought I was going to get divorced over corn chowder and Disney World!” I told Cindy, who I hadn’t seen since I celebrated my 21st birthday with the Bride-to-be, Katie, in Birmingham.

I’ve been married almost fifteen years, but the two most repetitive arguments in our house involve 1) Dinner and 2) Vacation.

I know I’ve heard of people who love to cook, but I loathe it. My husband and I like opposite foods, which works well in restaurants because I can order the chicken and still get a bite of his hamburger. But at home he wants rice while I want mashed potatoes; he wants chicken while I want pork chops; he wants spaghetti and meatballs while I want spaghetti and meat sauce. Growing up my family had favorite meals: spaghetti night, pork chops and mashed potatoes night, taco night… We do not have any favorite meal nights in our family now.

As I said I can’t stand cooking (just another chore but with a culminating reward of loving comments such as “chicken again?!” “I hate this.” “Ew.” Not to mention the pre-meal conversation about “What’s for dinner” and the additional commentary on what should and should not be on the menu.) But I do love food. And I love the way the Pinterest photos make food look so delicious that my mouth waters and I literally feel warmer staring at that photo of a pot of corn chowder on a cold December day. So I got inspired one winter day and went to the store then threw all of my ingredients into the crock pot and counted down the hours till I could eat my corn chowder! I knew my kids wouldn’t eat it, but there was pasta and marinara sauce in the fridge and I wasn’t caring what my husband ate. My mission was to enjoy my homemade corn chowder that night! Around 4:45 p.m. the Hubs came home, saw the crock pot on the counter, then looked me in the eye and said, “Wanna get a babysitter and go out to eat tonight?” Steam was simultaneously spouting out of the crock pot and my ears. While I silently counted to ten before I screamed or slammed a cabinet door, something in the waaaaaaay back of my mind told me that getting divorced over corn chowder didn’t truly make a lot of sense.

We just returned from a wonderful spring break trip in New York City. It was magical; it was bliss! But my husband’s magical place, like many others, is Disney World. I don’t hate Disney World; I just don’t consider it a “vacation” and I need a solid six years or so before I don my next magic band. My husband wants to take a family vacation to Disney every year and I want to not take a family vacation to Disney every year. I love to travel and I always have, but to me, traveling means things like going somewhere far away or a place I’ve never been, or share a favorite place with my kids. To me, it does not mean stand in line and listen to my children fuss then ride a ride that we just rode last year which I remember very clearly. So arguing over how much money should be spent or not spent on various travel locations plays a big part in our marriage. How can I give advice to my friend on how to plan vacations with her soon-to-be-husband when I haven’t even figured that out myself?! Katie and I used to have a great way of making decisions together. We’d be sitting around bored in her playroom, trying to figure out what to do next. Then she’d say, “Ok, you think of three things you want to do and I’ll think of three things I want to do and then we’ll go from there!” After my “ride bikes, roller skate, play Life” and her “ride bikes, go to the playground, jump on the trampoline,” we’d have a winner and go jump on our bikes. Easy peasy!

I managed to write something somewhat sweet and a little bit sassy on the advice card. I read the other cards, too and saw I wasn’t the only sassy one. (“Hope he plays golf and has his own hobbies!”) Later on as Amy P. and I cleared Lisa’s pretty vases off of my sister’s beautiful dining room table the thought occurred to me that if we can maintain friendships for decades and decades, a marriage just needs the same ingredients as these life-long friendships. So cheers, Katie, to love, sass, fun, compromise, and laughs!

And guess what? I didn’t cook dinner last night and seems the hubs was fine with his bowl of cereal and yogurt.