Love is patient, love is tired

By Mir
June 26, 2008

Every now and then I get on a kick where I insist that the kids make their beds every morning. But in the grand scheme of behavior I feel it’s worth fighting over, I’m not so much a beds-must-be-made kind of person. (Just ask Otto. He makes our bed all the time, except occasionally when he decides to see what will happen if he stops. Here’s what happens: The bed doesn’t get made.)

Oh, don’t get me wrong—if we’re having company, then absolutely, the beds need to be made. I’m lazy but I’m not a HEATHEN.

And while I will often exhort Chickadee to just take a minute to make up her bed, I’m less likely to demand that Monkey do so. This is not due to any sort of gender or age inequality, but because Chickadee’s bed is unfettered on both sides (easy) while Monkey’s bed is against a wall (hard) and also an elevated “captain’s” bed, which means it’s particularly difficult for a small boy to get around for things like sheet-smoothing.

The sinister truth of the matter, however, is that I vastly prefer it when Monkey leaves his bed unmade.

My darling son sleeps in a heap of tangled bedspread, the top sheet—no matter how I’ve tried to anchor it upwards for his use—shoved down to the bottom of the bed. More often than not, he’ll curl into the corner against the wall, in positions that look so uncomfortable it took me YEARS to realize that I needn’t rearrange him when I find him that way. If I would let him sleep in a tiny box, I believe he would enjoy that immensely. And so I have given up on worrying about how he sleeps.

Since moving to Georgia, Monkey has developed a new ritual. You have to understand that when you have a kid who is ALL ABOUT rituals that it is generally not charming and cute, but largely worrisome and exhausting. But this particular ritual never fails to make me laugh.

When Monkey gets out of bed in the morning, what he leaves behind looks like this:

Pulling back the bedspread, however, reveals this charming surprise:

Hmmm. What is that, you ask? Well, let me hop up onto the bed and pull back the pillow to show you:

It’s Puppy, of course!

Puppy requires a LOT of sleep, you see. And the light bothers his eyes. So after Monkey gets up and dressed he always slides Puppy only halfway under the pillow (“I can’t put ALL OF HIM under there! He would get TOO HOT!”) for his nap.

At bedtime, my job is to pull back the bedspread and act surprised to see Puppy there. “Good morning, Puppy! Time to go to bed!” I’ll tell him, just before groping down underneath the bedspread for that magically disappearing sheet (which can be founded wadded up at the foot of the mattress).

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. This week I hope you know the kind of love shared through rituals (silly or not).


  1. Susan

    Ahhh…what a sweet boy you have.

  2. Smilf

    Aw, this is so cute. :)
    PS – We aren’t bed makers either. I wish we were, but we just aren’t. Hm.

  3. Leandra

    Bubba sleeps the exact.same.way. Bedsheet at the bottom and everything. Half the time I can’t even find him under the pile of covers at the top of the bed. Must be a boy thing.

  4. Bronie

    what a sweet surprise tucked under the pillow! my oldest boy also sleeps in a wad, and i sometimes wonder why i even bother with the top sheet. it gets mangled at the bottom too. oh well, at least he’s destroying his own bed, not mine. :)

  5. dad

    I bet Puppy never keeps him waiting.

  6. Jess

    My daughter does the same thing, only HER puppy (aka Woof Woof) has a multitude of friends.

    Good way to avoid having to worry whether the bed is made? Get a loft bed. The only problem is that, should you actually want it to be made, it’s a pain to make the bed.

  7. Kate

    We just did away with top sheets completely for the kids. I wash their bottom sheets weekly, and their duvet covers every two weeks (I make sure the duvet covers are nice cotton or flannel, so as not to chafe their uh, preshuss-ness).

  8. Aimee

    Aw… sweet puppy!

    I’m not a bed-maker, either. We sort of do a half-assed reconstruction of our bedding in the morning, since our bed’s up against the wall, too.

  9. Beth

    I must join the gang of fesser-uppers…I HATE to make our bed. I smooth the covers before getting in bed, but in the morning? There is no bed-making in our house.

    Also, my son’s preferred place to sleep is completely UNDER everything in his bed…pillow, 3 stuffed animals (one for each of our family members), blanket…and anything else that jumps into bed with him during the night.

  10. The Other Leanne

    Oh, heck, I didn’t start making the bed every day until a year ago. You’re right, in the grand scheme of things it’s not worth fighting over.
    Is the top sheet critical? I still don’t know what purpose it serves, and half the time mine is somewhere I can’t reach it either…because when you have tactile sensitivity issues that sheet can feel like fine-grained sandpaper.
    Thanks for the sweet Puppy pictures.

  11. tammy

    What does that mean to “make a bed”? I do not speak your crazy moon-language.

  12. BethR

    I’m with Kate, we don’t even bother putting top sheets on my son’s bed any more. In fact, he spent his nights on the floor in a heap of blankets for almost a year (no, I’m not kidding) and still does it occasionally, in fact he slept on the floor last night. What, am I going to insist he make up the FLOOR? And my husband gets up after me and he never makes the bed, so I don’t either. We sometimes rearrange it before we go to sleep. It’s sort of like we’re primitive nomads who happen to have a house.

    The Puppy thing is hella cute!

  13. MomCat

    Puppy love….best kind! :)

  14. Kristen

    My cold, black, childless heart just melted. That? was adorable!

  15. Mother of Two..

    We don’t make the bed unless there is company too…
    My aunt used to tell me that you feel like the whole house is clean if the bed is made. I beg to differ… I feel like the whole house is clean if the kitchen is clean… (or if it is actually ALL clean)…

    We also did away with the top sheet for my son. He never used it, I got tired of digging for it. When he gets older, he can have it back. My daughter has hers back now… she is 12…
    Just a thought, you wouldn’t have to hunt for it.

    I think you should find some of those light blinder things people wear at night to keep the light out for puppy… That way he can breathe… dogs gotta have a little air…

    Happy Luv Thursday to you too!

  16. tuney

    So freakin’ sweet! Good thing breathing isn’t puppy’s main issue. Heh. As for the bed making, I read somewhere (was it here?) that making the bed traps moisture and encourages bacterial growth. Leaving it unmade is is BETTER. That right there was good enuff for me! I’m a firm believer in justifying my sloth. WAIT! I mean… well, ok. Yeah. Sloth works.

  17. Wendy

    We did away with top sheets for all three of our kids’ beds. And we never make the beds. All of the kids’ beds are against the wall, and the two little ones have bunk beds which are a pain to make for me, impossible for them. The oldest (12) has a top sheet, but I haven’t seen it for months. I think she sleeps on top of it.

    The puppy thing is absolutely adorable.

    PS, I found your blog about 2 weeks ago and have been reading it from the beginning, I LOVE IT.

  18. Missy

    I am all for the not making of the beds. Jeezzz your just going to get back into them at night. Anyhoo, it kind of drives my husband bonkers. But, this week that it’s better to not make your bed because the dust mites can’t live in the light. HAHA, I don’t know if its true or not, but I’m going with it.

  19. All Adither

    I still sleep with my puppy.

  20. Vane

    I’m feeling like a mean mommy right now, because my daughter has to make her bed before leaving for school every day … and she has been doing that for the past 2 years.

    So … hmm … those pictures of puppy are adorable!!

  21. Shannon

    We gave up the top sheets years ago. The kids hated them, and it wasn’t worth the battle to put them on. They just sleep under throw blankets anyway, so why bother? I pull them out occasionally and ask “who wants it?”, but no one every does. One less thing to worry about!

  22. Em

    That looks like a well loved puppy!

    My son stuffs all of his animals down by his feet because “they are scared”. Project much?

    I love getting into a made bed. I also love how I feel when I eat right and exercise. Somehow, none of that seems to happen though.

  23. jen

    Our boys are a lot alike, two years apart. A has his Puppy, too. Poor Puppy has seen better days, and I often wish A would tuck him into bed and leave him there. But Puppy still goes with us everywhere, though now I insist he stay in the car. Because if Puppy ever got lost, the world.would.end.

  24. jenn

    Yep, add me to the no-top-sheets-for-my-kids mamas. My 4-year-old son sleeps under just a down comforter, no duvet cover (we just throw the comforter in the wash every once in a while.) And we don’t make the beds either. I know, I’m a total slattern.

  25. airportsox

    Aww… I love this post. Hugs to Monkey and Puppy. Happy Love Thursday!

  26. Astrogirl426

    lol thanks for the laugh, Mir – my boy is the same way, he sleeps in these positions that make my back hurt just watching. My favorite is what I call the “frog pose”, where he lies on his stomach but with his knees up to his chest, splayed out – so he looks like a little frog. It also leaves his cute tushy in prime kissing position, which is an added bonus.

    I briefly thought, why not just get rid of the sheet, so that you just have to worry about the blankets being straightened, but then I came to my senses and realized, they’re not HEATHENS. GOD. :)

    Oh, and my mom used to make us make our beds every day, and now I rarely make my bed. So, not sure if it’s worth the effort. But maybe I’m just lazy :).

  27. Megan

    My Male Child sleeps like a spinning top – he just revolves around an axis through the night so at any one moment not only could his feet be on his pillow, his head could be dangling off the side, his arms could be twisted around the headboard (iron) or his legs could be shoved down the side of the mattress. Untangling his gangliness is simply not on so I try not to look in. Also? Not only top sheet but bottom (and sometimes mattress cover) get caught up in his maelstrom and in the morning all the bedding is one gigantic snarl. I do try to get him to unsnarl it simply for my peace of mind because otherwise he would simply sleep on top of the whole mess (or over, under, around and through it) and the thought of that makes me shudder. Sigh. Oh, and our version of Puppy does indeed still share the chaos.

  28. Kristy

    Just a note on the top sheet thing – my brother is now in his late 20’s and still can’t handle a top sheet on his bed…so Monkey may not outgrow it!

  29. barb

    Oh GOOD, mine aren’t the only children who start each night by scrunching the top sheet as far down the bed as possible. All the comments are making me wonder…. why DO I bother to put a top sheet on their beds? Just because that’s how my gramma taught me to do it? She taught me to do hospital corners too and those went by the wayside years ago….

  30. Loth

    My 8 year old shares his bed with a shed-load of cuddly toys. And his dressing gown. His explanation is that if he sleeps with the dressing gown in his bed with him, it is already warm when he comes to put it on in the morning. Faultless logic.

  31. carolyn

    I let my 12 year old do his own packing for band camp, and surprise – no top sheet. Only comforter and bottom sheet. It’s how he prefers to sleep at home too. And bed-making? Not so much around here. It is a battle I chose long ago not to fight. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting into a made up bed, but the FIGHT to get it that way is just not worth it to me, anyway. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

  32. Hazel

    Too cute! That’s exactly what my 3 year old grandson does, also. He will not use a top sheet, so we don’t bother. He has a quilt that he loves to feel against his skin and he uses that. He has a bed full of “lovies” and we have to tuck them all in when he gets out of bed for the day. Oh, he also sleeps with the pillow on top of his head. They are so precious.

  33. jennielynn

    Thank you for the smile. I desperately needed one and my own kids were not cooperating. The little wretches.

  34. StephLove

    Wow. Who knew there were so many top-sheet eschewing kids out there. I have one, too. He sleeps diagonally across the bed with his head at an uncomfortable-looking angle against the bed-rail.

    His sister spilled red paint all over the living room carpet yesterday. Red paint on a white carpet. I scooped up what I could with paper towels and covered the mess with an old sheet so the kids and cats wouldn’t track it around until we can rent a carpet-cleaner this weekend. Maybe we should have used one of my son’s top sheets. It’s not like he’s using them.

  35. sb

    Top sheet, schmop sheet. My kids use a duvet over their comforter and I wash it when I was their sheets. No top sheet.

  36. Mike Golch

    I had a stuffed toy when I was young also except mine is my secret and not to be revealed at all.I took it to bed with me as well.

  37. TEOM

    My Middle is over 6′ 4″ tall and he still sleeps with a polar bear and a lobster!

  38. Audi

    My kids don’t get a top sheet either. They just end up on the floor when I do try to give it to them. Wish I could go without one. Alas I have a waterbed and they seem to think that they must sew the topsheet to the bottom sheet to get them to stay on.

    My daughter sleeps on her bed differently than most. Instead of sleeping with her head at the top and her feet at the bottom. She sleeps sideways. Head and feet hanging over the edge. Atleast once a week she falls out of bed and get angry about it. I have to remind her that if she didn’t sleep they way she did she wouldn’t fall out of bed. Then to add to the mahem both kids have a beloved animal that they sleep with.

  39. Cele

    Oh mi gosh I am so envious. I must make my bed, has to be done daily. I can’t get into bed if it’s not been made. I am anal retentive that way, it’s like an albatros around my neck.

  40. Jan

    If I don’t make the beds, I’m sure that bugs or other such creatures are crawling inside during the day. Can’t help it.

  41. Kenyatta

    Now that is too sweet! I wouldn’t make him make his bed either! That just made me want to hug him and I haven’t seen him,nor do I even know him! That’s pretty cool. And we don’t make our beds either…shame shame

  42. Jeanne

    Happy to say that I’m among the ranks of the “non-bed-makers.”

    And since my kids don’t use their top sheets I just don’t put one on their beds! LOL

    DH once read an article that extolled the virtues of not making ones bed. Apparently leaving the sheets open to the air rather than covering up the bed makes an unappealing environment for dust mites. I think I just found a similar article here:

    See? There is a good reason to be lazy sometimes! ;-)

  43. Holly

    I’m in the minority here, but yes, MOST mornings all the beds get made in our house. The bedrooms are often the only rooms in the house that look NICE all day. And I am teaching my 5 & 8 year old how to do it as a way to learn routine, cleaning up after yourself, and responsibility.

  44. Lori

    I am a heathen – no matter how hard my parents tried, I have never understood why a bed needs to be made. No one goes in my (our) room except to sleep so why should I (we) make my (our) bed. (My hubby doesn’t normally make the bed either)

    There, my secret is out! (Also – kidling #1 is in a loft bed & kidling #2’s bed is a loft bed that is currently on the floor – he’s only 4 – so there is no bedmaking for the kids either.)

  45. joe

    IMO, bedmaking is easy if you allow it to be. no top sheet. toss a quilt over the bed. done. i hate bed making, and growing up it was a nightmare. top sheet, hospital corners, summer or winter blanket, duvet on top of that, decorative afghan at foot of bed, pillow shams, decorative pillows–walking from one side of the bed to the other, over and over…really, i was tired and depressed before the day began. all at mother’s insistance. our rooms were museums and it didn’t even look like kids lived in the house.

    that said, i don’t believe in a total free-for-all. i hate chaos. i prefer consistency when it comes to enforcing rules and i believe in allowing kids to use their rooms. either you enforce bedmaking or you don’t. some parents want the kids’ rooms to be clean EOD, others just have a “no food” rule, others inists on bedmaking only…there are lots of ideas, but having a consistent approach, i think, works really well. another common approach is “shared living areas must be kept neat, but bedrooms are creative and personal spaces.” that way, when people come over, the LR, DR and EIK look great, and you just close the bedroom doors. :)

  46. TNMom

    Little Bear and Puppy must know each other…but Little Bear likes to jump on the bed all day. Makes him tired at night, though.

    Loved it!

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