An open letter to my minions

Dear children,

Let me preface this by saying how much I love you. My life got a little better on the days each of you were born. I have relished every moment with you so far; every nose-bleed and poopey diaper and science project. You are my whole world.

Got it?

Good.

Stay the fuck out of my room, already. I know that you ache for me when we're apart, and I miss your precious little faces, too. But dears, from 9 pm until 7:30 am I am not momma. I am donut-eating-tea-drinking-tv-watching woman. My shift ENDS at 9.

I realize that I have created this problem by allowing you to sleep with me when you were little. But you're old enough to know something...I did that for me. I am totally incapable of walking anywhere at 4 in the morning, let alone into a nursery to pick up a 7 pound human. You slept with me so that I could nurse you at any hour without stubbing/breaking/decapitating something. And none of you did it past age 1. I can't remember what I did a year ago, let alone 9 years ago. There's no WAY you remember sleeping with me.

I know that I have a nice, big, cozy new bed and that no mortal can resist a little nappy-poo in it, but I slept on a concrete slab with the same bedding set on top of it for 9 1/2 years straight so that you could have legos and happy meals and skateboards and nice, cushy mattresses with soft, fluffy blankets. It's momma's turn now. And I spent a small chuck of your college money on that new bed and the one and only thing that seems to assuage my guilt over that is a good nights' sleep.

And remember that tall guy who smells good and pays the bills? Yeah, he sleeps in the bed with me. You know that drawer in the desk in my room that you're not allowed to go into because daddy's things are in it, cleverly hidden under some burnable CD's and a few cables? The same reason you can't see that stuff is the very same reason you cannot come into my room at 2:43 in the morning when the door is closed. I promise you, whatever nightmare you were having will be greatly increased if you open that door. Besides, that door is only closed every second full moon following 3 1/2 days exactly of rain showers when the moon is in the second house before a golf tournament. Isn't not all the time. You'll manage.

The thing here, kids, is that momma cannot sleep if you are anywhere near her. Jesus Christ could drive a Mack truck into my room blasting Kanye West and momma would keep on dreaming of unicorns and Johnny Depp, but if you so much as scratch your nose, I am wide awake and googling leprosy. Momma needs her sleep. Momma is a very, very ugly woman when she is tired. And you people sleep like you're auditioning for Cirque De Soleil. It's not gymnastics class; it's rest.

No, little darlings, not just one of you can climb into my bed. If 1of3 gets in, 2of3 senses that his monster-guard is missing and wakes up and climbs in. 3of3 then senses that someone in the world is being paid attention to instead of her, and then it's with the screaming and the kicking and the popsicle requests.

I love you guys, I really do, but the getting into bed with mom has to stop. You have your own beds. They're nice beds. They smell like you. You also have a very comfortable couch with an exquisite blanket your grandmother knitted on it. Sleep there. Or learn how to brew a pot of coffee.

Your lovin',

Mom.