Friday, January 29, 2010

Big Girl Bed

So for the last week or so Evie, our youngest child who is sixteen months old, has been crying at bedtime. We first suspected teething (those eye teeth are a doozie!) but then when she was out of her pack n play which is parked next to her older siblings' bunk bed, she would bee-line for the bottom bunk. She liked to climb in, pull up the covers, reach up to turn on the reading lamp and grab herself a book. It was adorable. It also reminded me that both of the older kids had been transitioned to a big kid bed (in our house this constitutes a mattress on the floor) at about 15 months. Evie is 16 months and I am guessing that she had figured out the discrepancy in sleeping arrangements.
So last night as she bathed with her big sister, I cleared a space and with much effort hauled our old queen mattress out of the playroom and into the kids' shared bedroom. After realising that I was going to have to move more furniture than I intended on moving (Jeremy was with Eli at tumbling class) I got the mattress t lay down. Then discovered that it was longer than a twin, so I had to move more things and turn it around again.
Once it was in place, stinking out enough for a perfect toddler sized sleeping area, I returned to the hallway where I had left the partially collapsed pack n play. Now here is where I started getting choked up. I was puling my baby's blankies and dolls out of the bed that had been her crib since she was born and it hit me that she is growing up. I started asking myself if I did not do this, would I be able to slow down her growing up? Not a rational thought but it crossed my mind. No, of course not I told myself, besides she was so sad about being treated like a baby when her sibs were in their big beds right next to her.
So, we did it. I placed all her lovies on her new bed and went to get her form the bath. She was not sure what to think at first as I tried to get her jammies on while sitting with her on the new bed. It did not take ling though and she climbed right up to Hannah's bed and snuggled down on the pillow. I told her that was Hannah's bed and this was HER bed. She got a proud grin on her face and slowly slid down to her bed and put her head down on her pillow.
After a little bit of exploration in which she discovered she could stand on the edge of Hannah's bed and reach the bottom rung of the top bunk and then arch her head back and say "weeee!!!" just like in tumbling class, we settled in for some stories.
I had to stay with her for a while, rubbing her back, but she drifted off on her own after I left and there were no tears. She is proud of her new bed and her new big girl status.
So while a part of me is still aching at the loss of baby-hood, I feel good about it knowing that she is building her self-esteem and confidence.

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