Sleeping with the enemy

You know what’s probably really good exercise for a mom? Sneaking out of a toddler bed six times in one night. Slowly lifting one’s head from her sleeping daughter’s pillow, raising chest to the ceiling, wiggling arm out from under said child, keeping that core steady, holding a side plank position while taking a deep breath. Next lower legs to the floor, contracting abs so that feet do not make a sound as they make contact with the rug. Push through the heels, working those glutes as you come to a stand. Walk slowly to your own bed.

Do not fall asleep. Listen for over-anxious child to wake again and pitter patter into your room. This takes about twenty minutes. Pretend to be asleep when you hear your name, “Mommy”. Get out of bed. Take child firmly by the hand and bring her back to her own bed. Deliver quiet reassurance, followed by threats, pleas of desperation.  Stretch out next to child and wait ten minutes or so to hear heavy breathing, while making a mental list of things to use as bribes. Then, repeat exercise described above, alternating turns with partner to ensure maximum workout time for both parents.