Monday, September 28, 2009

Crib-Be-Gone & Bedtime Magic (almost)

As a two-year-old who believes she's at least three-and-a-half, Elliot is anything but babyish. So we granted her biggest birthday wish yesterday and transferred her from the crib into a big girl bed.

Elle accepted this big move with far more grace and cooperation than we expected... last night.

When Maya made the big jump at almost exactly the same age, we weathered at least a month of evenings listening to her calmly but persistently bang on her bedroom door (unable to escape thanks to the baby-proofed door knob!) until she collapsed sleepily across her threshold, making it awfully difficult to sneak into her room and put her back into bed. Often, when we did manage to scoot Maya aside enough to open the door, we discovered extensive vandalism.

Attention fellow parents considering crib elimination: be sure to remove all petroleum-based diaper-related products from the room before sealing your child in there. Such messy items are sometimes confused with finger paint!

While I did catch Elliot in a few attempts to vandalize her sister, asleep in her own super-big-kid bed, it took no more than half an hour for Elliot to settle into her usual routine: flipping the pages of much-loved books until falling asleep on top of them.

Still, the switch isn't easy for her. She woke up in the middle of the night, scared and sobbing, and wanted to sleep with us for the first time in a year! She told me this morning the big kid bed was a little scary. She climbed in bed excitedly for her nap today, but she ended up calling for me every few minutes, always tearing up when I left the room again. After two hours of tucking her back in and cheerily leaving the room, we ended nap time with no nap.

It will take a bit of patience and a lot of over-played hyperbolic enthusiasm (example: "Wow, Elliot, where is the big, big girl that gets to sleep in this big, big bed... Oooh, it's you... you're such a big girl!".... at this point I feel like I'm playing the part of the guy in Blues Clues 90% of the day) to get her comfortable with sleep in a new spot, even when she's been after Maya's bed all summer.

It's strange how we never really grow out of that little kid tendency to be so excited for big changes and then weirdly overwhelmed by them when they happen!

I took this picture while opening the door. The room was dark other than the camera flash and a nightlight... so this is Elle stalking Maya. She had already managed to give Blondie's hair a tug a few minutes earlier. Clearly, she was heading back for more!


Bonnie said...

Oh so sweet!!!! and I so agree with change... I would gladly settle for just a new bed!!! G. Bonnie

Anna said...

That last shot... What a keeper!

Congrats to Elle and yes, it is amazing how we seem to ALWAYS need to watch for what we seek... :)))


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