Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Covered Up

All of my children sleep like they are wrestling with an alligator all. night. long. They can be sound asleep, and yet their limbs are twisting and turning and kicking and flailing - it's like sleeping with a turbine. Their sleep habits are one of the primary reasons we opted out of the family bed. They still come in the room, but they know they have a special little pallet on the floor right next to us. Sounds harsh, but if you've ever been kicked in the teeth at 2:00 AM, I know you're on board with me.

When the children moved out of their cribs and into twin beds, I used to spend a lot of time making the bed with cute sheets and pretty blankets. But in the morning, I would come in to find the sheets knotted and twisted and pulled out from the bottom of the mattress. They were so tangled, it looked like the kids had been trying to make a rope out of sheets to escape the tyranny of their parents. I was re-making the whole bed every single morning, and I was not feeling it.

When the kids got old enough to make their own beds, we still had the same problem. They could only get so far before they needed an extra set of adult hands to lift the mattress so they could tuck the sheets in all over again. It was a drag.

Then one day, Older Girl said to me, Mom, just don't put the top sheet on. I don't really like it anyway and you won't have to come in and help me tuck it back in.

Every responsible, prim-and-proper fiber in my being recoiled. No TOP SHEET? Are you kidding? Who sleeps without a top sheet? What separates us from the animals if we forgo the top sheet? Agggghgh . . .

But I was hugely pregnant with Baby Girl at the time, and I was so tired and sweaty just climbing the stairs that my brain completely overrode my ideal of the Top Sheet. I let her take the top sheet off, and she made her bed with no assistance. We've never looked back.

I came to find out that lots of people - decent, respectable people - let their children sleep without top sheets. I would timidly mention the kids' incomplete bedding, and my friends would nod and say, Oh yeah, we got rid of the Top Sheet years ago. Best thing we ever did.

So there you have it - no top sheets for the kids. It's cooler in the summer, I throw an extra blankie on top of them in the winter, and I get to walk up the stairs in the morning and see a bed made without me laying a hand on it. All of that works for me.

(For more tips, check out Rocks in my Dryer every Wednesday)


  1. We use sleeping bags - eliminates the top sheet, and the kids (even the one year old) can make their own beds.

    Now, if I could just keep my kids from stripping the BOTTOM sheet, I'd be in business (they - more than one of them - claim they like the way the mattress feels.)

  2. No one in our house, including grownups, uses a top sheet. We all have blankets and it works just fine for us. So glad you were able to let go. :)

  3. When I was a kid, I didn't use a top sheet either. I think I was in college (and had a matching sheet set) before I got into the habit of using them. But as a little kid, I liked my soft blanket next to me. It would probably be smart if I did the same thing for the kids now, since my kids also scramble the beds beyond recognition!

  4. If I could convince my husband that we can get rid of the top sheet, then I would really be happy!

    Isn't it a happy feeling when the kids make their own beds? It's almost better than chocolate.......almost.

  5. WOW!!! I couldn't even imagine life without the top sheet... the boogieman surely would have eaten me! I can't sleep without my top sheet... I even take one with me when I travel (even when I travel with a sleeping bag). When my sis and I share a bed on vacation, we bring an extra so we don't have to fight over who gets more of the top sheet. I like to "make the bed" over myself and get the top sheet all straightened before I get out.

    Speaking of the top sheet... nighty night!

  6. Does that mean you wash the blankie every week?

  7. I grew up without top sheets also, now I can't live without one. My kids like their top sheets. To make bed-making easier, we just tuck the bedding in at the bottom, so all they have to do is pull everything back up to the top every morning.

  8. This is such a good idea- I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner! Love your blog by the way :).

  9. Smart minds think alike ~ My mom has made each one of my sons a special blanket that they use.

    5 boys in the bed can get a bit crowded, too. LOL!

  10. Great idea! I'm sitting here thinking about how much money that would save on sheets, too! The whole set is often costly!

    A tip for you - I think it is Flylady that recommends layering your fitted sheets. When you take one off, there is a clean one ready to go under it. While I haven't tried it personally, the idea is definitely intriguing!

  11. We have done this unintentionally. Their topsheets are lying wadded up on their closet floors.

  12. I hate topsheets, as a rule of thumb - if I have one I don't tuck it in and I can't stand something tight tucked around my feet.

    My grandmother used to have those big old fashioned duvets...which buttoned INTO a "sheet" that was like a sack. that would work for me too.

    First time I was in Germany, one of the hotels way stayed in used that method, and my first thought was "Grammy!"


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