One of my fondest memories is being at my grandparents house and being asked to go wake up my Grandpa for dinner. (Okay, the FONDEST memory is findng a Three Musketeers bar he had hidden in the freezer and sharing it - but I digress.) I would sneak into the living room, come as close to his ear as possible and scream "Grandpa!" as loud as I could. Now, I'm pretty sure Gramps didn't like it much, but he never complained. I always wondered why Grandpa slept on the couch, even at night. My mother or grandmother told me it was because the stairs were hard for him to get up and down. My preschool brain accepted that, but now I have some suspicions.
Lately, the eight year old has been balking at bedtime. Not begging to stay up, but saying she is too scared to go to sleep. We have tried a full inspection for other-worldy beasties. We have tried analyzing every shadow in the room. We have tried leaving (too many) lights on. We have tried reasoning that with parents, locks, and an alarm system (not to mention weaponry) the chances of anything hurting her is nill. We have even debated the chances of any other person or pet in the house attacking her in her sleep. (She thought the cat and her three year old sister were the biggest threats.) And we have tried incentives:
"If you sleep all night in your own bed, you get a quarter. At the end of the week, whoever has the most quarters gets an extra quarter!"
Alyson: "I don't need money."
And for the good-parent record, we have on occasion let her sleep in our bed when she was scared, we have walked her back to her bed over and over, and we have laid in her room with her until she falls asleep.
All of this has resulted in two potential outcomes. Alyson either gets up and cries at the foot of our bed in the middle of the night, or Alyson goes to sleep on the couch.
Now, I'm no stranger to the couch. I love my couch. It's cozy. It's convenient. And it beckons me at the end of almost everyday. But I'm not a couch potato. The couch is best when the TV is off. There are nights I fall alseep on the couch and have to be badgered back to a real bed. And there are other nights that the comfort of the couch, with my dog beside me and my favorite quilt, trumps anything the king-sized has to offer.
And for the curious, of the nights that Alyson has chosen the couch (or actually the loveseat), I have only been on the couch next to her twice.
So last night, as I lay on the couch with my dog beside me and under one of my favorite blankets with my adorable sleeping Alyson nearby, I got to thinking. Maybe this sofa-psychosis is not just random. Maybe it wasn't the stairs that made Grandpa sleep on the couch. Maybe, just maybe, this is a rare genetic trait passed on from generation to generation. And now it's manifesting early in Alyson!
Or maybe it is a tradition. An unconscious affinity for the couch based on the good memories of my childhood? (Right about now, Jeff is thinking Only my wife could turn sleeping into a tradition.")
Or maybe those with Donohue blood in their veins are just great sofa-choosers! Do we pick the coziest couches? Is there a career in this somewhere? "Let Jennelstiltskin Choose Your Next Sofa"
Whatever the reason behind it, I hope Alyson snaps out of it soon. She has a great room and a comfy bed. And I'm pretty sure the cat misses assaulting her in the night.
(Note to DSS: The cat is a declawed, 7 pound, bundle of love. Honest.)