Little Man no longer sleeps in his crib…or his big boy bed, but I’ll circle back to that last bit. A couple of months ago, maybe a tad before Thanksgiving, he decided to scale his crib walls. We were captivated by the monitor; it was an impressive feat. Considering how tall he is, I’m surprised it took so long for this effort to occur to him.
We’d been worried about this move; how many tales of horror is this event the topic? But, all things considered, the immediate change resulted in an anticipatory fizzle. My general morning routine had been to feed Warrior Queen, exercise as much as possible, and take a shower once I heard the wakeful song of my sweet boy bellowed from his contained mattress.
My son resists change, and had been struggling with halted tears when we told him he would no longer sleep in his crib. We dressed the delivery up all fancy, but he emphatically shook his head. We stopped talking about it once his voice began stuttering tears. But, the night progressed, and my husband and I decided the night time routine would be a joint effort. We discussed it as support for Little Man, but really it was to keep us both sane and calm as we predicted a hellish first night.
Mr. Man saw his big boy bed for the first time, and a huge smile that wrapped his lips around his teeth ensued. He was speechless, engaging in his excited sumo squat that doubles as a funny dance he forgets he is doing in the middle of the action. It’s perfect.
(How can anyone not melt with a smiling toddler doing this while pointing at a bed? Reuters, how did you know?)
That night our son slept without issue, so terribly excited for this milestone. I woke the next morning attempting my typical routine. I heard him scurry, and climbed the stairs to greet him, unsure of what to expect. Little Man opened his door holding the various toys we schlep upstairs before every sleeping experience, wearing nothing but his diaper. He was elated saying, “I climb out all by myself!” Apparently he got naked all by himself too…
The following month yielded mostly uneventful nap and bed times. All was well with the world until illness overcame our house. My sweet boy was very sick, and we spent several nights playing toddler goalkeeper. Every few hours he would knock on our door, which we started closing after he would enter and begin rooting through things…like the toilet. He wanted stories, songs, umpteen kisses and hugs. He was miserable. Even after he recovered, we had to sleep train for the first time since he was eight-months-old.
I’m the disciplinarian, so it took my rather abrupt intervention before we could successfully carrel him into his room…with the door open. I wasn’t about to complain with this new doorway development; he had been taking to camping outside our door all night. He wouldn’t be upset, mind you, but he insisted on choosing where he would spend the night. Often we would find him returned to his room come morning, but such a decision was random and unreliable.
Almost a month after he shirked his special brand of plague, he’s become much better at sleeping in his room. Napping is a bit more of an ordeal, but he usually takes one. The routine for both events will wind their way to a conclusion, but a good ten or fifteen minutes will be spent providing a plethora of “one more” kisses and hugs. Sometimes Little Man is not quite ready to go to sleep, but as long as he isn’t making a fuss, he can do his thing independently in his room. It’s pretty amazing to watch him in the monitor. After he has his fill of playing, my growing boy will return his play things to their designated homes, turn out the light, and greet his peaceful slumber…with the door open.
The big boy bed, however, is more for display these days. Little Man mostly stopped sleeping in it, but his stuffed friends continue to partake. My in-laws purchased a sleeping bag, per our request. It actually looks pretty cozy. My son won’t sleep in it, but often he will sprawl starfish style on top. Sometimes he will set-up camp inside a tent handed down from his cousins’ use from over a decade ago. No earthly notion of the appeal to sleeping on the floor. I imagine it’s a control thing, as is with insisting the door to his room remaining open. I can live with him sleeping on the floor, but I pretend to relinquish to an unobstructed doorway. As soon as he is down for the count, I shut that bad boy.