When I was somewhere over five years old but probably before I was ten, my bed was in a long narrow upstairs room. I had a Betsy Wetsy doll which I really liked. I had clothes to fit this little doll and I could feed it a bottle of water and it would wet its diaper. This was fascinating fun.
I would take Betsy to bed with me at night and lovingly tuck her in beside me. In the morning, I would always find Betsy out on the floor. I knew I had her tucked in beside me when I went to sleep but during the night I had somehow knocked her out of the bed. I remember feeling bad about this. What kind of mother knocks the baby out of the bed? As I tucked Betsy in each night, I would vow to myself that I be very careful and keep her safely in bed. And each morning, I would find her on the floor beside my bed. Eventually I gave up taking Betsy to bed with me, but I don’t remember when that was.
When I was grown up and had my own real, live baby, and remembered how I’d always flung Betsy out of my bed, I was a little concerned when my first baby needed to be in bed with me. Would I sleep soundly and maybe hurt her? But there was no need to worry. The motherly instinct kicked in and I was always partially aware of the baby’s presence beside me when the need came for my little one to be in bed with me. I never flung any of my babies out of bed when I fell asleep. (Contented sigh!)