I have always had a hard time time with change. If you were to ask anyone that has know me most of my life, they would tell you that this is something that I have struggled with since childhood. The biggest change in my life was when our daughter finally came home from the NICU @ two months old. For as excited as I was about becoming a Mom, there was a part of me that feared it. After being just my husband, dog and I for so long, we had gotten comfortable with our lifestyle and had no clue how much having a child would impact life as we knew it. Despite many a sleepless night and what seemed like permanent insomnia (on my part), we made it through the transition from NICU to living together as a family.
Our daughter's life revolves around transitions right now and this is just the beginning of most of them. Right now, we are attempting to transition her from a crib to toddler bed. This is a frightening but necessary step for all of us because said toddler is VERY TALL for her age. This of course means that she is a bit like a superhero--meaning that she is able to leap over crib rails in a single bound ! We have only witnessed one episode of this leaping at home. I remember the day well. I was downstairs having my morning cup of ambition when I heard a loud thump from our daughter's room. This loud thump was followed by some crying and screaming. I raced upstairs to see what was going on and right there in front of me sitting on the floor was my precious baby girl who was obviously scared. It didn't take long to figure out what had happened. She had climbed out of her crib and in the process fell. Thank God she didn't get hurt ! She has not (as far as we know)climbed out of said crib at home again since that fateful day a few months ago.
Take note that I said we haven't seen this at HOME again which of course means that she is very comfortable attempting this feat elsewhere. Last weekend, we were at my parents' house for the weekend. When we arrived on Friday evening, our toddler was asleep. We carefully carried her to the crib and put her in. She slept for awhile without issue. Suddenly, we heard loud crying which sounded as though she had woken up and was deciding to go to sleep again. At least that's what we thought at first. My husband went to investigate. It didn't take him too long to figure out that our little spiderwoman had escaped the confines of her crib. He found her sitting at the top of the stairs sobbing and for a few minutes, she was inconsolable. It had been decided, there was no way that this child was going to sleep in that crib, that night. We knew that if we put her back in the crib, she would perform her trick for us again. We decided that the only way she was going to sleep was to sleep with us (not a regular practice in our household at all). I am happy to report after she settled in to bed, she finally fell asleep. Being the brave soul that I am, I moved her back to the crib once she was asleep so we could actually sleep without fear of rolling over on her.
The next day, my Mom and I decided to investigate the crib escape further and found out that my precious baby girl had used the aid of a pillow and a slightly tilted mattress to make her plan a reality. I have to say that I am very proud of my child for using her problem solving skills in such a creative way. That's the teacher in me. Maybe we have a child on our hands that will be a great Engineer or Scientist one day? Who knows... The point of this whole story is that at this particular moment in time, it hit us like a ton of bricks that our daughter would indeed need to make the HUGE transition to a toddler bed much sooner than we anticipated.
After reading our parenting books, talking to other parents and doing some on-line detective work, we decided that the best place to start would be to shop for a bed with toddler in tow. So, the next day we went bed shopping and bought her a white toddler bed to match the other furniture in her room. Taking my cues from many parenting experts, I decided that our daughter should pick out her new comforter set. She picked out what she wanted and we proceeded to set the bed up right next to the crib. She loves her bed ON HER TERMS which means that she will only stay in the bed if we are present in her room and IF she has her 4 baby dolls, Elmo, 3 teddy bears, several books, a blanket and last but not least, a full sized pillow. She is a very strong willed child
We have started to try to put her in her toddler bed just for naps. She's great about staying in it for about 5 minutes then we will hear things drop on the floor,some screaming and SUDDENLY without warning, SILENCE. When we have checked the baby monitor to see if she has actually made it to bed, she usually hasn't. We usually try to quietly creep up the stairs (in case she actually is asleep) and open her bedroom door. Much to our relief, she is usually asleep on the carpet by the door. We decided long ago that we should just leave her where she is because we KNOW that she will wake up as soon as we even try to move her the slightest bit.
There is a part of me that is very sad about this transition because it means that our baby isn't such a baby anymore. We are all growing together and it is the best feeling in the world. We are so blessed to have such an incredible child in our lives and couldn't imagine our life any other way than it is right now-- transitions and all.