For the Record

I do not understand how it is that all three of my children are incapable of sleeping with a sheet.

And by that, I don’t mean that they kick off their blankets and sleep in the open air, which might make sense – too hot maybe, or tossing and turning.

No, I mean that every night I tuck them in, heads on the pillow, a sheet and a comforter pulled up to their chin. And then, by morning, there is a balled up sheet at the bottom of the bed, while the comforter remains pulled up.

So somehow, they are kicking the sheet alone down to the bottom of the bed, while keeping the blanket. I cannot imagine the kind of sleep gymnastics that must be required to make this happen. The contortion required. And if one kid did it, I’d think, okay, they sleep weird, but all three do it, like it’s some kind of genetic quirk that Sir Monkeypants and I have cursed upon all our descendents.

I used to think they’d figure it out eventually, but the Captain is now twelve and still the sheet bunching is going on, so lately I’ve started a solid campaign to teach the three of them what a sheet is for, and why I would like them to use one, and how to use one. Repeat: I am teaching my children HOW TO USE A SHEET.

When the kids were little, my friend Izabela once commented on how the most surprising thing about parenthood is the way you have to teach them every little thing, and even stuff that you’d think would be blatantly obvious, or easily picked up by imitation, or just native to the human race, turns out to be taught. She was so right. “Hey kids – here’s how your bed works. Next week we’ll talk about how to sit in chairs without squirming around or tilting them so far you fall over, and how to work a washcloth.”


8 thoughts on “For the Record

  1. What I would like to know is: how is it that YOUR children are living parallel lives to mine? Every. Single. Day. I see their sheet bunched all the way at the bottom of the bed, and the comforter…not. Exasperation is my thing about the sheet, so in a way I’m glad I’m not alone in this.

    Honestly, I am thisclose to removing the sheet completely. Partly because it bothers me that they can’t sleep with a sheet like a normal person (but it doesn’t bother them), and partly because they don’t make their bed and I feel inclined to at least straighten their bedding before I tuck them in at night. BUT the contortions I must go through to get the sheet which is bunched waaaayyy back into the corner and half off the bed back into ‘normal’ position is not pleasant for me.


    Seriously. This parenting thing is making me shake my head and roll my eyes.

    Next up, since you are blogging and I am not: kindly write me a post about endless repetition. Because that is one thing I am doing all the everloving day long: repeat myself.

    argh. 🙂

    1. I thought we were the only ones! I should have guessed your kids would have the same problem. It’s really like they are living in parallel worlds. As for repetition – I KNOW. Don’t you feel like you could just put about 15 phrases on a recorded loop and then leave the house for the day, and your kids would never know the difference? GAH.

  2. Amen. Our situation is not as bad as yours, but it is still a recurring problem. Related: they have yet to figure out how to turn over in bed without taking everything with them, so in short order they are sleeping with sheets and comforters completely wrapped around them. Argh.

    I do insist that they make their beds every day though. They continually ask why and I don’t have a good answer, but I still insist, and they do it.

    1. We’ve kind of given up on bedmaking, although I feel guilty whenever I go past their rooms and see the mess. I still pull up the sheet faithfully as I’m putting them to bed. Sucker for punishment, I guess!

  3. Oh, this is a constant frustration and wonder for me too. Both of mine did it, and I’ve talked to other parents who experience the same thing. What is with a whole generation of children who kick off sheets? Maybe those of us who came before were always cold at night in under-heated houses so we needed the warmth? I don’t know, but I feel your pain.

  4. I am a very neat sleeper, which is in stark contrast to my husband. Every morning you’ll find me on my side of the bed, with the sheet pulled up and tidily folded over the top of the duvet. The overhang of the duvet on the side and bottom of the bed is “just so”.

    My husband’s share of the sheet is bunched at the bottom of the bed, the duvet is twisted all over the place and he’s half in and half out of the covers, with a limb flung over the side of the bed for good measure. For awhile there, we stopped sharing a top sheet altogether and would instead make the bed with two top sheets, one for each of us.

    Our oldest did the same with his sheet and the youngest has never had a top sheetl. I often wondered if it’s because as babies and perhaps even toddlers, we didn’t use a top sheet, so they’ve grown used to doing without. I think when they toss and turn in the night, the sheet just becomes one more thing to straighten and pull around themselves, so why bother.

    Frankly, I have to wonder why I’m even trying to figure it out – LOL! I did actually stop bothering with a top sheet on the big boy’s bed and he prefers that . . . except in the winter when he does prefer to start out the night with flannel above and beneath him.

  5. Show them the science of dust mites. When you read about what’s in the bed, you get very on board with having the cleanest thing in the bed closest to your skin. (I’m doubting you wash the comforter every week.)

    Although in an effort to convince Mr.Chatty that we should change our sheets every week, I tried the science route, but he just shrugged his shoulders and said there are far worse things we touch all day long.

    Touché, Chatty. Touché…

Comments are closed.