The End of an Era.

Until recently, Tori was happy to sleep in her crib. And we were more than happy to let her stay there.

After all, a child sleeping in a crib tends to stay in her crib. She can’t get up and wander around in the middle night, sticking fingers in light sockets and waffles in DVD players.

But when I walked in her room this weekend to find her balanced precariously on the edge of her crib, seconds away from plummeting head first to the floor, I knew the time had come.

We needed to switch Tori to her “big girl bed.”

In order to make it a surprise for Tori, Brian spent his MLK holiday making the transformation (thanks to Ikea-esque parts, it was harder than you’d think).

Then, when Tori and I arrived home, he took his place as hero of the day.

“Tori,” he said. “Come see what daddy did today.”

She looked at me questioningly.

“Go ahead! It’s in your room!”

That did it. Grinning from ear to ear, she bounded up the stairs.

“Mommy! Daddy! I got a big girl bed! I’m all growed up!” she yelled, hopping up and down so fast her feet looked like a hummingbird’s wings.

This is where I expected to feel the first pang. The first slice of oh-my-goodness-my-baby’s-growing-up melancholy. But looking at her smile, I could feel nothing but happiness.

Tori in her big girl bed.

Freedom, at last.

It’s two days and two sleeps later, and I still haven’t felt that twinge. In fact, I don’t feel anything but tired.

Because that big girl bed? The one she was so excited to have? Is apparently awfully hard to stay in.

Every time she wakes up (and that little monkey wakes up a lot), she pads down the hallway, looking for me.

“Mommy, I had a good dream.”

“Mommy, my teeth hurt.”

“Mommy, I can’t find my baby.”

“Mommy, I want to go to the park.”

Then mommy has to get up and escort her back to bed, tuck her in and rub her back. Then, when she looks appropriately sleepy, I can stumble back to my own bed and grab another 45 minutes of sleep before the cycle starts all over again.

It’d be easier to let her sleep with us. But then I’d never get another full night’s sleep, ever again.

So instead I’ll wear a path in the hallway until she gets used to her big girl bed—or at least gets tired enough to stay there for more than a cat nap.

In the long run, I know it’ll be worth it. I know there will come a day when she will wake herself up, take herself downstairs and turn on the TV, letting me have the occasional Saturday morning sleep-in.

But right now, I’d give anything to put that crib wall back up.

14 Comments on The End of an Era.

  1. Rebeccah
    January 18, 2012 at 11:41 am (4 years ago)

    Oh girl, I remember those days. Only mine also involved a newborn, who became the new resident of the crib. Up and down the hall until like you, a path was worn. Hoping she settles in soon. :-)

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:47 am (4 years ago)

      Ahhh. You had a path that was twice as wide! At least I don’t have a new munchkin to worry about…

      Reply
  2. Jen
    January 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm (4 years ago)

    I remember when we transitioned the triplets. My only saving grace was that they couldn’t open door so with their door closed they were stuck in there room but boy did they find some interesting places to sleep…. closet, rocking chair, under the crib.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:46 am (4 years ago)

      Kids are creative, aren’t they? With triplets, you’d have to keep the door closed, that’s for sure!

      Reply
  3. Meagan
    January 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Wil was 18 months old & Sam 13 when we moved them to beds. We put a pressure gate in their bedroom door so they couldn’t get out. Sometimes we’d find them asleep on the floor in front of the gate, but they couldn’t get out. They didn’t like their door closed and having the gate helped us be able to hear them, so it was a good compromise.

    It may take a little time for her to get used to the freedom, but she will eventually and will let you sleep again.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:46 am (4 years ago)

      I know. Patience has never been my strong point, but I’ll try and practice it!

      Reply
  4. Venus
    January 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm (4 years ago)

    I know someday G will get to this point (though I don’t know how… we’re co-sleepers and I sometimes think he’ll sleep with us until he’s 50), but for right now I’m cherishing the snuggles as long as I can, even though we’re also very much in cat-nap-land.

    Thanks for sharing Tori’s milestone with us, I’m so glad it made her smile! And you’re right, it will be worth it!

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am (4 years ago)

      Snuggles are sometimes a good trade off for cat naps. Enjoy it, lady!

      Reply
  5. Las Vegas Mama
    January 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm (4 years ago)

    Yeah there is something so nice about being able to keep control of them once they are in bed LOL! But eventually she will get the hint to stay put. Hang in there!

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am (4 years ago)

      It was nice while it lasted. But at least she’ll still be too young to ask for the car keys for a while yet!

      Reply
  6. Wendy
    January 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm (4 years ago)

    Yep, use a gate at the door. She might stand at it and scream, but at least she can’t keep getting out. And deprived of the multi-night Mommy sightings, she will soon grow tired (ha! a pun) of waking up for no reason.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 19, 2012 at 8:44 am (4 years ago)

      Last night, I threatened to put the gate up if she didn’t stay put, and she did! It may have been an exhaustion-induced fluke, but I’m going to pretend it wasn’t. At least for the next 13 hours or so.

      Reply
  7. ReluctantMomma
    January 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh I remember that feeling so well – it feels like a minute ago that Monster Monkey first slept in his big boy bunk bed. I’ll never forget how strange it was to have another person roaming the halls at night….took some getting used to.

    These days are fleeting even though they seem they will last forever.

    I admire you for not just heaving her into your bed to snuggle. Anyone old enough to eat Pizza in a whole slice is old enough to share my bed…not a good rule but we have King size bed fit for 3 Monkeys and 2 Makers:)

    Love the pic -she is such a sweet pea!

    Reply
  8. andi
    January 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm (4 years ago)

    Girl, I hear ya. It was hell for the first two months, and while its not smooth sailing now (The 5 o clock wake up is harder to ignore when it is no longer screaming in a monitor, but is now breathing in your face.), it is definetely better.

    And, as they say with all things parent-related. . . . . this, too, shall pass.

    Reply

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