The average American family has two kids. My family has two kids. Theoretically we should fit just fine in the average hotel room.

Three weeks ago, we rented a charming house in Sonoma for a post-holiday getaway. It had 2 bedrooms, each with a queen size bed. My husband and I took one, and---as we've done about a million times before---put our kids Avery (9) and Max (6) in the other.

Here is a brief transcript from that night:

Avery: Don't touch me! Ow! Mommy! Max kicked me!
Max: I didn't! You touched me.
Avery: You're lying!
Max: (tearfully) No I'm not!
Me: Go to sleep now or I'm canceling both your birthdays.
Avery: My birthday was three weeks ago.
Me: No! More! Talking!
(extremely brief silence)
Avery: Mommeee! Max keeps touching me.
Me: Shhhhhh.
Avery: (shrieking) Now Max is kicking off the blankets! I'm freezing!
Max: (sobbing) But I'm HOT!
Avery: Can I just sleep on the floor? Please?
Me: No!

My husband and I were perplexed (not to mention totally furious). Obviously we didn't expect our kids to sleep together on vacation forever, but we thought we had a few more years. Apparently not.

The next weekend we were off to San Francisco to review a hotel for my website. Not willing to risk a repeat performance of Sonoma, we decided to divide and conquer. I would sleep with my son; my husband would sleep with my daughter. Crisis would be averted.

Here is a picture of my son taken the following morning. Sweet, right?

Wrong.

I have never had a worse night's sleep in my life. His feet were all over me. I tried pushing him away. I tried rolling him over. I tried building a pillow barricade between us. Nothing worked. Also, he kicked the covers off of us all night long. Around 3am, I gave up trying to cling to the blanket and swaddled myself in it like a burrito instead. Finally, he kicked, elbowed, and head-butted me all night long.

No wonder my daughter hates sleeping with him.

I don't know how we're going to handle hotel sleeping arrangements in the future, but I have exactly two weeks to figure it out. Should I force my husband to sleep with him? Request a roll away? Take a sleeping pill? Just stay home? I'd be grateful for your advice.

Jamie Pearson is a freelance writer, mother of two, and publisher of the family travel website Travel Savvy Mom. She prefers to sleep alone.

Views: 108

Tags: tmfc, tmtravel

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Comment by Bridget Smith on January 17, 2009 at 1:12am
We bring Coleman twin blow up camp mattresses and sleeping bags. With three kids its really the only solution.
Comment by cheri Reeburgh on January 15, 2009 at 9:17pm
We call my 5 year old a clock because he moves every second, all night long! We did a hotel one time, when he was three. Now we always do condos with at least one bedroom and a wall so the kids can be on the other side.
Comment by StilettoDiva on January 15, 2009 at 12:24pm
I am speechless. I work in a hotel and I do not even know what to suggest!
Comment by JaneECR on January 15, 2009 at 12:23pm
I just can't work out why hotels can't offer alternatives to bedding arrangements. Think how many families travel. They could offer (cheaper) adjoining rooms, more beds in one room, more useful room layouts. Even more room for trundles. Drives me nutty.
Comment by AmyAnne on January 14, 2009 at 10:26pm
The Velociraptor!!! ROFL!! THAT is MY daughter! I am so frightened of her inhumanly sharp toenails that I refuse to sleep with her! AND I totally feel for her little sister when we make them sleep together, I just don't have enough sympathy to take her place. Hey, they are kids, they NEED to suffer so they have stories to tell later.

I have no solution for you TravelSavvyMom. I am in IT right now with 9, 5 & 1 y/o. I will resort to drugging myself and I can only jump for joy if they sneeze even once or look like they have a rash - benadryl is my friend!!!
Comment by TravelSavvyMom on January 14, 2009 at 8:05pm
Oh my God Lea! Your comment just reminded me that we used to call my daughter "the velociraptor". I had totally forgotten about being slashed by her toenails. So, the good news is, we can all forget this stuff eventually...
Comment by Lea Curtes-Swenson on January 14, 2009 at 7:14pm
Jamie, hilarious post! I'm just glad I'm not the only one with a perpendicular sleeper! :) My six-year-old daughter is a thrasher (with sharp little toenails)... and from what they tell me, I was a thrasher, too. It's genetic! It doesn't help that I also have a "thing" about pillows (ridiculously particular, and hotels never have the "right" kind) -- but having to sleep with my offspring on a trip makes it all... too awful. Nothing like a fifty-pound dead-lift in the middle of the night, just to free up a few inches for yourself. Jamie, I have no answers... but you have my deepest sympathy!
Comment by Kristen Andrews: Featured Contributor of Style on January 14, 2009 at 2:59pm
my son manages to take up an entire king size bed. Once you are a parent you never sleep again, how true.
Comment by Shari on January 14, 2009 at 12:20pm
LOL - this is the #1 reason why I hate traveling. It's not the cost, time change, food, or hectic schedules - my 2 kids are more resilient than I am and they do great. But, when the sun sets, I consider either sleeping in a "sumo suit" or resigning myself to a sleepless night. We play musical beds all night: Daughter joins us because son is "wrastling alligators". Spouse joins son because daughter sleeps perpendicular to everyone else. Son joins daughter and I because "Daddy snores". I end up with spouse around 4...in the other bed. Not sure I can offer more than sympathy, but we always travel with two fleece blankets ("sleeping sacks") w/the sides sewn up because it seems to keep the thrashing down to a minimum and gives them a sense of their own space. My husband (one of 12 kids) spent his whole childhood sleeping on the floor w/his siblings when traveling and he doesn't seem any worse for the experience.
Comment by Lyn Mettler on January 14, 2009 at 10:25am
My 5yo is just like that. It's like sleeping with an octopus! Head or feet in your back, sideways on the bed, etc. Geesh, how do these kids sleep at night? I vote you bring a blowup mattress and put one on there :)

 

 

 

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