It's only taken the guts of 17 months to reach this point. Co-sleeping is what it's referred to when your little one is snuggled into the middle of the family bed. He started off in a sort of satellite cot which was tied to my side of the mothership and after he'd fed, it was my job to slide him back in there. This was very like bomb-disposal, the trickiest part was the final move, removing my arm from under the gentling ticking (sorry) snuffling form. Eventually, having achieved a lamentable 40% success rate in getting him back into the pod asleep we reached a point it was easier if he'd just stay put and put he's stayed.
This was grand and there is little in life that is lovelier than having your little one burp solemnly, thud his head into your chest, then fall asleep laying warm in your arms gently breathing with intermittent heart-melting mini-snores. He does however, get bigger, heavier and more eccentric in his sleeping habits, while his mother and I sleep in a roughly east west orientation our offspring seems to favour a north south axis, which might come in handy one day if we're ever lost in the wilderness but is not all that great when you're at the dancing feet end of the compass. In another development, which I am sure will serve him well in later life on Bolivian buses, Trans-Siberian trains and Singaporean cargo ships, he can fall asleep in the most unusual and uncomfortable positions, one of his favourite's being; while planking across his dad's neck.
The other factor that led to bedexit was the embarrassment felt by his parents when it became apparent that everyone else who was left in charge of him at bed time seemed to be able to just pop him in his cot. "Ah, you get him to sleep alright?" we asked of the babysitter on return "No bother, he pointed upstairs cause he wanted to go to bed" came the reply on the last occasion and there he was quietly snuffling with his teddy in his cot.
To be fair one of the biggest reasons for the delay to bedexit was us, the move to his cot in his own room is another little rung on his growing up ladder and like when he recently stopped saying 'brum-brum' and started saying 'car' you say goodbye to an era and a little magical fairy thuds out of a tree in your heart.
The fateful evening came and I stayed in the single bed in his room next to his cot to keep him company. I have a fierce Irish sentimental streak a mile wide and two deep and lying there I felt like the main woman in "The Fields of Anthery". He looked soulfully out at me from between the bars and it was like he was being sent to a prison colony and what was worse was I was the one doing the deporting. Saying that, he drifted off to sleep in no time and I haven't had so much unbroken slumber in an age. Ni' night all.