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Sunday, March 18, 2012


Nap time around here has it's usual routine that goes almost exactly the same every single day. We put the boys in their cribs, sing a calming song, tell them it's time to sleep, and close the door behind us. Then Marc and I sit in the quiet living room and talk briefly about our plans for the rest of the day while we listen to the boys in the background giggling and babbling and laughing some more. There are times when we can't help but laugh just at the sound of their squeals of delight, and wish so much we could sneak a peek of what exactly is going on in there. Eventually they settle down and fall asleep, but sometimes that can take up to an hour.

Well, this past Thursday I was enjoying listening to their joyful noises and wondering at what point I should go in to remind them it was time to sleep, when all of a sudden I hear a frantic scream from Ben that clearly required an urgent response. I rushed into their dark room to see the shadow of Ben's body hanging from the front of the crib, so I flipped the light on to see that he was hanging upside down on the outside of the crib, his legs wrapped in and around the crib slats with his ankles interlocked around the top bar, and his hands gripping the slats near the bottom, hanging on for dear life.

I'm still not sure if he purposely wrapped his feet the way he did to keep himself from falling or if that was done by accident. Either way it scared me good, while at the same time kind of made me want to laugh in disbelief. The urge to laugh only increased as I was carefully getting Ben untwisted from the crib slats, when I looked down to my side to see Hugh's concerned expression and realizing that he had climbed out of his crib successfully at some point before this emergency happened. (The sides on Hugh's crib are slightly lower and a bit easier to climb out of, but still came as a shock that he'd attempted and succeeded.)

Okay, so with the next baby on the way we had already been talking and thinking about the next transitions and sleeping arrangements for the boys, but I was clearly expecting to be able to make those decisions calmly and according to our time line rather than being forced into a decision and a situation I wasn't quite ready for.

And, it made me think - "is this something, as a parent, I should just get used to now?" - because I get the feeling that things like growing up and making transitions through stages in life are most likely going to happen much differently and much more chaotically than the way my OCD-perfectionistic-leaning-little-head would like them to go. And, really, I guess that's okay... I just need to prep myself better to expect that to be the case.

So, we spent part of our Saturday afternoon looking at big boy beds and trundle beds and bunk beds and got lots of information, without any final decisions yet. I think eventually we'll probably do the bunk bed thing, but I look at my little Hugh (who just turned 22 months yesterday) and find it so hard to imagine putting my little baby in a big boy bed already, not to mention the idea of putting Ben on the top of a bunk bed at this point. So, bunk beds eventually, but not quite yet! Even as I write this I can't keep my head from shaking in disbelief.

I'm finding these kinds of transitions to be hard to face head on. I kind of want to just pretend like their attempts to escape their cribs was just a fluke thing and they will be fine in their cribs for another few months until I decide they aren't my babies anymore and they're ready to move up, goshdarnit!

But I know I need to let them take the lead and show me when they're ready for change and opportunities to grow. I don't want to limit them or hold them back, even with something as insignificant as a bed. It's my job to provide a safe environment and a soft place to land as they make those changes and start to grow up. I just can't believe there are moments of growing up that seem to happen overnight. And, really, I get the feeling this is nothing compared to what's to come! Heaven, help me!


Rachel Doyle said...

Oh I know how you feel -- my girls were 24 and 14 months when our third came along. I felt terrible putting the oldest in the big bed - but she loved it and my 14 month old decided it wasn't going to be in a crib either- so i went from 2 in a crib to no one in the crib for several months before baby three came along. It was so weird, hard, and wonderful all at the same time. By 17 months my third wanted nothing to do with his crib and was out of it. He wanted to be big like his sisters. Good luck -- bunk beds are the way to go. Brynn was just barely 3 when she went to the top bunk - scary but not so bad since most have built in rails now.

Kelly said...

Hee, hee, hee. Classic. For what it's worth, I take my kid's mattress out of the crib and put it on the floor until I have a bed for them. I consider toddler beds a waste of money. Natalie's still sleeping this way because I haven't decided on our ultimate arrangement yet.

The next step, of course, is when they learn to open their bedroom doors. I found a cool safety latch for that which leaves the door open 1 inch, which I prefer so that I can hear them better at night.

Anyway, I loved the story. Funny boys. And they looked so innocent on Sunday.

JessicaP said...

Ha! Boys! We are totally into the trundle bed. I love not worrying about a fall from the top bunk. That being said, my 5 year old would LOVE himself a bunk bed. Transitions are a darned bittersweet thing.

Heffalump said...

You should get a bunk bed with a trundle, and let one of the boys sleep in the trundle until you are ready to move Ben up to the top bunk.

KieraAnne said...

We've generally moved our kids into a "big kid" toddler bed when they're around two years old. This has also generally coincided to a new baby arriving. Although we keep our babies in a cradle for the first few months before moving to the crib, I didn't want our two year olds to feel like we were kicking them out of their bed to make room for the baby. So I've tried to transition them so they have a few months of the crib being put away before it's brought back out for baby. We just recently got bunk beds for our four and six year old. Any younger than that and I would be worried about them falling or getting stuck or something. We were lucky enough to have people give us two toddler beds at various points so we've been able to keep our kids in a toddler bed from ages 2-4 years. This has been nice as I've worried about them falling out of a twin bed which can be a little too high off the ground for squirmy sleepers. Good luck! :)

Tim, Annie, Jack said...

At least they didnt do there daredevil tricks the week before your due date or something...I guess they gave you fair warning. Can't wait to find out how they like sleeping in a "big boy bed." Miss those fun boys. (oh and good job being quick to respond to Ben's screams, sounds like you were just in time!)
J jumped out of his crib at 21 months, fell out of a his twin bed twice (i put his crib mattress next to his bed) and has been safe and sound twin bed sleeper since. I remember the stress though:) miss you.

Allred Fam said...

Yes- it's weird when the oldest is finally "old enough" to go to a big boy bed. BUT for us, I let them stay in the crib for as long as possible, and just kept the side down so they could climb in/out in safely because they're going to do it anyway. Last thing- for US- hate bunk beds with a passion! They are really hard to find with enough space for the bottom person (and for a parent to go sit on the bed and say goodnight) without being cramped inside there. It can be crazy when the top person is sick and needs to get down quickly for bathroom, etc. OR crazy if they need to throw up and do it over the edge- onto both beds and splashing all over the room. AND they are a nightmare to change sheets! I got rid of bunk beds when I had the chance and will never go back. Just my opinion- some more factors to think about when you make the decision for yourself- although I know plenty of people who do bunk beds....


Marc and Megan said...

I never know if I leave a comment on my own post how many of you will come back to see it... BUT, I just wanted to thank you all for the additional advice and tips and support!! I've really appreciated hearing your experiences! Thank you!!!