“Eight is a lot of legs David” is, for me, one of the most memorable lines from the 2003 romantic comedy ‘Love Actually’. Who knows why it has stuck with for all these years, but last Friday night as I twisted and turned and failed to find sleep, I had to agree that yes, eight is a lot of legs. Too many for one bed.
Number 3 co-sleeps, as they say, with us. This is more born of convenience than anything else. Number 1 and Number 2 each spent their first eight months in this world in a Babybay cot at the side of our bed. We still have the Babybay and Number 3 begins the night in there but from about 11pm he can generally be found in the bed with us. We’re used to it now. Six legs, you see, is a manageable amount.
Last Friday night began like any other but shortly after 1am I was awoken by cries of “Mammy, I’m sick” from Number 1. He’d thrown up. I carried him to the bathroom, where he continued to be sick for another few minutes. Once he’d got it all out of him system, I brought him to our bed and snuggled him in at the foot end before sorting out his bedclothes and getting him a just-in-case basin for bedside the bed.
When I returned to our bedroom a few minutes later, I smiled to myself on seeing Number 1, Number 3 and the Bavarian all sleeping soundly. I even felt a little sorry for Number 2, alone in the boys’ bedroom, and wondered would he be upset on waking in the morning to find he was the only one who didn’t spend the night in the big bed. Congratulating myself on efficiently resolving a (literally) sticky situation, I settled back into bed, naively onfident I would doze off and sleep easily.
You’d think that after almost 7 years of parenthood I’d know better. No matter how I lay, the bed was a sea of legs and feet keeping me from sleep. And so I lay awake with thoughts of octopus and spiders and how they probably don’t have any problem with eight legs. But everything is relative and when you are used to six, eight is a lot of legs.