no, i don’t mean human fecal matter, but simply the matter of shitty quality kids sheets. you know the ones i mean? with all the latest characters on ’em and stuff? all brightly colored? those ones. why are they so shitty?
it’s like sleeping on polyester or something, the second your cheek makes contact with the pillow, it’s instantly greasy and sweaty. it’s like sleeping in a plastic bag.
why do they make kids sheets so shitty? kids’ skin is so new and soft to begin with and to top it off,i know more than a couple kids who have extreme aversions to certain sensory inputs. ruth is one of them.
i guess you can guess from this post that it’s not really that i care all too much about the quality of my bed linen, really. more likely what i care about is the quality of my sleep. it’s like a mathematical equation. my sleep equals ruth’s sleep minus joel’s sleep. or something. either way, the less sleep ruth gets, the less sleep i get and the more my bitterness grows. it’s all connected, you see. last night, ruth had some new sheets she was all excited about. ariel. you know…as in the little mermaid. and, like a good parent, i thought i would indulge her request to put them on before she slept last might. she’s happy. i’m happy. and everyone goes to sleep.
but, no. as soon as she tucked in she started screaming and threw them off of her, yelling that she didn’t like her ariel bed. now, we live in an urban area, with neighbors less than twenty feet away. and it’s been muggy. so her windows were wide open. and i can tell you that it probably sounded to them like she was yelling in their bedroom. for fifteen minutes. they were nice enough not to come over and demand we quiet down (like that’s possible) or call the police. she finally calmed down enough that i could distinguish what was even bothering her about the sheets. “they’re too sticky!” she said, barely coherent through her mask of tears. i tried to explain it was her body that was sticky, the humidity. but it was no use. then i did what i often find myself doing at times like that, when i’m floundering and casting about for something to do besides yell and dismiss all of her feelings and desires as stupid and pointless, and i put myself in her shoes for a second. and then i ask myself what i would have appreciated done to me in a similar situation by an adult if i was the child. and i came up with, “change the sheets.”
so, no more ariel. no more hello kitty. ruth has plain brown cotton sheets on her bed with a nothing green blanket. she fell asleep soon after that, no longer sticky.
we would do well to take what our kids say seriously. it saves us lots of trouble in the long run. think of how much time i could have saved (in the form of sleep minutes gained) if i had just changed the sheets again right off the bat instead of trying to convince her she was fine, she wasn’t uncomfortable and that she should just be quiet and go to sleep.
i often change my clothes five times in a morning until i feel totally comfortable with what i’m wearing. why should a child be expected to be different?
plus, who could sleep in a plastic bag?