Friday, July 9, 2010

Night One: The Big Boy Bed

Children grow too fast don't they? 

My son has been trying to climb into his crib for days so my husband put together the new toddler bed last night.  It was in our living room and the Tater Tot went cuckoo when he saw his new "big boy bed."  He took every single stuffed animal he owns and piled them high on the bed and then he nestled himself amongst his favorites.  He sat in this cozy little nest and spent the morning watching his favorite television shows.  I was feeling pretty excited that the boy liked his new bed and I figured this meant that he'd easily transition to napping and sleeping in it. 

I was wrong.

We went to a playdate today and he was busy the entire time we were out.  I knew he was tired.  He even said he was tired.  So I moved his crib to the other side of his room and I put the new bed in the vacant space.  He put all of his favorite toys back in the bed and I expected him to go to sleep.

He. Would. Not. Sleep.

I didn't even make it to our living room before he opened his bedroom door and danced out.  Yes, he was dancing.  DANCING!

I returned him to his bed and reminded him that big boys sleep in their beds.  He kept saying that he was tired, but he would not lie down long enough to fall asleep.  He tried to get me to lie down on the floor beside his bed.  For a few reasons, I would not oblige.

I don't like to turn everyday events (like dining, toileting, or sleeping) into battlegrounds, so I decided that he could just skip the nap today.  He was fine with that solution.  Until around 6:30 pm, when he told me he was tired.  I fed him dinner, bathed him, and put him back in the new bed.

He. Would. Not. Sleep.

I asked if he wanted to go back to sleeping in the baby crib.  He said he did not.  I asked if he was tired.  He answered that he was tired.  I asked if he wanted to sleep in his new big boy bed.  He would lie down for a few seconds and pop back up.   I began to sing his special bedtime song while I rubbed his back.  I thought for sure that he would drift off to sleep. 

He. Would. Not. Sleep.

He ultimately ended up back in the living room.  He pointed at the television and I reminded him that he should be in bed and we don't watch his programs when he should be sleeping.  Fox News isn't exactly the most entertaining programming for a toddler, so he began to pull out books and toys.  I reminded him that Mama was off-duty for the night because he should be in bed so that meant he would have to put away every single toy he dragged out.  He tested me on a book and I told him that Mama would keep the book if he didn't put it back where it belonged.  He put away the book.

He ran to his room and pulled out his favorite stuffies (Elmo - of course! - and Curly Squirrel) and a beloved burpie.  He tossed them on the floor in the living room.  I told him that he was not going to sleep on the floor and that big boys sleep in their beds. 

He. Melted. Down.  BIG TIME!

I asked again if he was tired and he repeated that he was.  I asked if he'd like to snuggle with Mama before going to sleep in his bed.  He said that he would.  I sat on the floor beside his bed and cuddled him for about a minute.  I gently helped him to his bed and covered him with his new Elmo blanket. 

He was quietly sucking his thumb and clutching at me with his other hand.  I rubbed his back and let him know that it's okay to be nervous about growing up.  I told him that it can be scary, but that Mama and Daddy are always here for him if he needs help.  I added that I expected him to stay in his bed and go to sleep.  He loosened his grip and I pulled away, but didn't leave just yet.  I continued to rub his back and leaned over to give him kisses on his sweet face.  I let him know that he can call out for us if he needs to go potty or if he is afraid.  I repeated that I expect him to stay in his bed.  I stood up, lovingly brushed his hair behind his ear, and I walked out of his bedroom.  I shut the door.

And he started crying.

I walked to the dining room, shut the pocket door, and listed to the monitor.  I was sure that this was going to be another ill-fated attempt.  I had somewhat resigned myself to a nearly sleepless night of nocturnal back & forth.

He cried for less than two minutes.  I don't know if he left his bed, but he never opened his door.  I haven't heard a peep since then.

Was it really this easy?  Dare I hope that I will find him in his big boy bed come morning?  I'm cautiously optimistic.

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