Dear Annie: What is your opinion on co-sleeping?
My husband, his daughter and I all sleep in the same bed at night, and neither my husband nor I minds a bit.
My husband loves it, saying he knows where both of his beautiful ladies are at night and he doesn’t have to worry. When we want to make love, we wait until his daughter is not in the bed, or we go into the spare bedroom. What do you think? — Pennsylvania
Dear Pennsylvania: We think a lot of this is up to the parents and depends on the age of the child.
Often, pediatricians do not recommend co-sleeping with an infant because of the slight risk that a parent will roll over onto the child. Some older children who co-sleep have difficulty transitioning to their own bed and will demand to sleep with the parents well past puberty. And some children who are developing sexually can transfer inappropriate feelings to a parent when co-sleeping continues past a certain point. (We will assume that neither parent has inappropriate sexual feelings toward the child, although this is also a concern.)
What counts is that both of the parents and the child are comfortable with this arrangement, both parents are responsible about the child’s development, and the set-up does not interfere with marital intimacy.
If you are the stepparent and the biological mother is in the picture, be sure she is in agreement. This is a joint parental decision.
Dear Annie: I’m the proud grandma of two: a young lady of 17 and a 14-year-old Eagle Scout grandson.
The problem is my Lauren Bacall voice. (A nun in the fifth grade nicknamed me “Foghorn.”) My granddaughter deliberately goes out of her way to ignore her grandfather and me because she is embarrassed by how I sound. It doesn’t bother my grandson at all, but my granddaughter has avoided me since the age of five. No kisses, no hugs, no affection at all.
She just graduated from high school. My heart aches, and I cry every day knowing she will continue to hate me. I always have been good to her. I never say no when she asks for something, right up to paying for her 18th birthday gift to parachute for the first time. — A Loving and Lonely Grandma
Dear Grandma: Grandchildren generally are very accepting of their grandparents’ voices, features, habits, etc. We know that some children are acutely embarrassed by any variation of the norm. But even if your voice is grating to her, by the age of 18, your granddaughter should have developed the maturity and tolerance to consider it unimportant compared to her relationship with you. We hope she will learn to value the love you offer, but in the meantime, please accept her limitations and focus your affection on your grandson. Also, if you haven’t had a doctor check your throat, we hope you will. Sometimes, these vocal issues have medical causes that go undiagnosed for years.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to “Venting in Oregon,” who complained about the neighbors’ noisy children. My husband and I, while sitting on our front porch, recently complained that our street is too quiet.
When we moved here 25 years ago, the street was filled with children, ours included. We enjoyed watching boys racing go-carts down the street and children dashing back and forth to one another’s homes. Last year, a garage band around the block blasted their music for an hour in the afternoon each weekday. It was great.
Now it feels like a ghost town. All of our children grew up and moved away, and we are still here. We miss the lively commotion that makes for a family neighborhood. We don’t like all this peace and quiet. — Connecticut
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.