Monday, October 6, 2008

He's afraid to get out of his crib now, for fear that I'll take it apart again.

I just escaped another arial attack. Haha can really fly, especially when propelled out of a crib by an angry toddler. While I made it out alive, I'm now being subjected to the seemingly endless drone of the air raid sirens known as Christopher's Bedtime Protest.

This is just another "event" in my son's quest for independence. It all started about a month or so ago....maybe two....when he started protesting having his diaper changed. From there we moved on to a boycott of clothing, pants in particular. Now we've moved onto jammies. Or the lack thereof. Little Mr. Troy has decided that pajamas are not cool. Rather than argue with him or force him, kicking and screaming, into them, we now have lengthy discussions concerning what he would like to wear to bed.

"This one?" (Shaking head.) "How about this one?" ( "uh uh.") And on and on until we finally give in and ask, " Okay! what do you want to wear?" Tim and I are both equally guilty of giving in, although we both agree it's more a matter of choosing our battles. In so doing, we've created quite a handsome little sleeper. After bathtime, while I'm in my room readying Jacob for bed, Christopher will come romping through the door in a polo shirt and his sweats to say his prayers and kiss me goodnight. He is, by far, the most fashion-conscious member of the family these days.

As we continue towards greater independence and "big boy-ness," bedtime has become more and more of an issue. Right now, for example, he's standing in his crib screaming bloody murder. The neighbors must think we're just awful parents. And, I'll admit, it's nights like these when you really do wonder if maybe they're right.

This has been one of my overriding concerns when looking forward to the time when I'll no longer have the comfort (and control) of the crib. Almost immediately upon discovering my pregnancy with Jacob, I began to plan for The Switch. I figured that we'd buy a bed for Christopher, set it up in his room, and then GRADUALLY work our way from the crib to the bed. It was going to involve lots of time. Lots of patience. Lots of discussion. And did I mention lots of time?

Well, apparently a certain member of this family forgot the plan last week in the midst of her fever-induced sleep deprived state.

That cold really got the best of Christopher. I've never seen him so "off." Three nights of camping out on the floor downstairs with an endless supply of Daddy Snuggles and Caillou episodes would create a conflict in any little boy, I suppose. Who would want to go back to the jail cell of his crib after all of that fun, even if it was in the midst of a fever, runny nose, and achy body? So, for the entire next week, bedtime was a tremendous fight. Unfortunately, I misread the protests as being discontent with the crib / readiness for the bed, rather than discontent with the crib because it's just no fun.

Thus, the following course of events:

Friday morning I converted the crib. We didn't ease into anything. The crib came apart and the boy was THRILLED! You'd think I'd built a jungle gym right there in the middle of his room. We spent the latter part of the morning across the street at our Parish Festival, wearing out the little one. My thought? "He'll be exhausted! I AM GENIUS SUPER MOMMY!"

That afternoon we walked into the house, ate a quick lunch and could barely keep ourselves downstairs for the thrill of naptime with no walls. He went straight upstairs! He accepted the diaper change! He climbed onto his bed! He even let me leave the room without protest!

I spent the next HOUR downstairs ON THE VERGE OF TEARS as I heard him walking around in his room. Talking. Climbing. Sliding. Opening and closing his door (thank GOD for the baby gate!) "Mammaaa....Daddyyyy...."

I was convinced that, not only was he not going to take that day's nap, but that he would NEVER NAP AGAIN. I'd done more than ruin my son's crib - I'd ruined his naptime. And, almost more importantly, I'd ruined MY naptime.

Tim told me to get over myself and relax.

Not long after that I went upstairs to peek. There was my little boy, sound asleep on the floor in front of his bed. For two! whole! hours! My confidence restored, I went on with my day.

Friday night was exactly the same. He slept the ENTIRE NIGHT on the floor.

When he woke up on Saturday morning and climbed into his bed to play, I figured all would be well. He's a little mixed up right now, but he'll figure it out. I figured that until he wouldn't nap on Saturday afternoon. I went on figuring that while I was up with him until 11:30 on Saturday night. But that night, as I lay next to my son on the floor focusing only on how sore I'd be in the morning, I thought to myself that maybe I should have just given up right then and rebuilt the crib in the dark.

Anyway. All of that to say that my little two year old boy is not ready for the freedom and excitement of the toddler bed. And neither is his mommy. So we're back to the crib, at least for a little while. Back to the safety and security of sleeping behind bars, if you will.

I'm not admitting defeat - I've been defeated by nothing (except our horribly carpeted floor which, hopefully, will be replaced soon). I'm just admitting to what, deep down, I knew all along. I was rushing a process that can't be rushed. Forcing my little boy to be a little too big, a little too fast.

We'll give it some time, and then we'll try again. When we do, you can bet we'll do it right. We will bring home his real bed and start from scratch. We'll take our time. We'll discuss. we'll practice. And did I mention that we'll move slooowwwly? But I have to say - if switching to a bed means I'll be losing my naptime, then you can bet he'll be in that crib until he's ten.

1 comment:

Anita said...

very cute....Do NOT mess with Mommy's nap time!!!