Dog in the bed…enough said.
I have to admit, I was a little worried about transitioning Miss Cadence from a crib to a big girl bed. After the incident that prompted us to invest in a crib tent to keep her safely confined over night, our bedtime routine has been pretty cut and dry–drink some milk, brush teeth, read a book, sing a few songs, hugs, kisses, two blankets, favorite song cued up on the ipod.
Some nights Cadence would spend over an hour chattering away, acting out scenes from her favorite cartoons or movies, singing her favorite songs over and over. Other nights, she’d be sleeping almost as soon as I walked out and closed the door behind me.
Either way, we knew she was safely snuggled in for the night. And in spite of all the teasing we endured from friends and family, we both agreed that crib tent was one of the best investments we ever made for our fiesty little girl.
Knowing we might be in for a complete sleep revolt the moment we tried to put Cadence in a regular bed that she would be able to hop out of whenever she pleased, I made sure I started talking to her about her “big girl bed” several weeks before we planned to actually make the transition. By the time the big day (today) rolled around, she was absolutely beside herself with excitement.
At first, she didn’t want to leave her room, and spent hours lying on her new bed, reading books and playing.
After finally coaxing her away long enough to eat a little dinner, it was time to test out our first big girl bedtime routine. We brushed our teeth, drank our milk, read a book, sang a few songs. Then we talked about how it was okay to feel a little scared the first night in a new bed. I told Cadence that the bathroom light would be on in case she needed it in the night, and that the gate on the stairs would be closed so she would be safe and not fall down. I told her that Mommy and Daddy would be sleeping in our room if she needed us. She asked me to stay, but I told her no, it was time for night-night, just like always. I gave her a few extra kisses, and turned on Castle on a Cloud per her request.
Through the monitor, I could hear her singing along half-heartedly. I went downstairs and started doing a few dishes. As soon as the song ended, she started to cry. I waited a few minutes to see if she would calm down, then headed back up to her room.
She looked so small in that great big bed.
I sat down beside her and dried her tears. I told her it was okay to feel scared because it was her first night and the big girl bed was different, but that she was safe in her room and that when the sun came up and she woke in the morning, she would wake up in her big bed and be able to get up and play and come see Mommy and Daddy. I asked if she wanted me to put on another song, and she requested Please Read the Letter. A few more hugs and kisses, and then I tucked her in and said good night.
This time, I listened to her sing along, and then chatter away. A few rounds of Old McDonald, Castle on a Cloud, and the Animaniacs theme song later and all was suddenly quiet.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to sneak a peek. I eased the door open and smiled at the heavenly sight…
My big (baby) girl, snuggled in, sound asleep.
Okay, so I know that most parents probably try to put the hammer down when it comes to their kids jumping on the beds, but I like to pick my battles, and a little rowdy fun bouncing around on a bed isn’t anything that I’m going to get a bee in my bonnet about. The way I see it…
1. A good half-hour spent jumping on the bed is hopefully going to tire this energetic little munchkin out, and
2. If this is the naughtiest thing she’s going to do all day, I’m really okay with it.
Am I scared she might hurt herself? Yeah, it’s crossed my mind. But here’s the thing. This girl started walking at 9 months, running at 11 months, and was climbing on the furniture by her first birthday. By 1 1/2, she had already mastered the stairs, and could climb to the top of the tallest slides at the park. I can count on one hand the number of times she’s actually taken what could be considered a nasty spill. And even those times when she’s face-planted on the tile floor or totally biffed the landing on one of her flying leaps off the couch, she might cry for twenty or thirty seconds, before wiping the tears away and trying it again.
This girl’s got moves like a superhero. No joke.
So no, I’m not about to put a ban on the bed hopping. Not today, anyway. Because today, this just makes me smile.
Let’s face it, the one thing that really changes when you have kids is road trips. No more carefree weekend jaunts. No sprawling out in massive beds or snuggling under the covers. And if you have a kid (or kids) and a dog, you might as well kiss any semblance of comfort goodbye once and for all.
Case in point, tonight’s sleeping arrangements in my parents’ guest room.
Here’s where Cadence (or hell, even Electra) should be sleeping…
And this is how it’s working out so far…
That, my friends, is a futon, which is great if you’re
a. A child (or at least a pre-pubescent who hasn’t hit that final growth spurt yet)
b. A dog
c. A drunken college student just looking for a soft place to pass out
d. Sleeping alone for the night
As luck would have it, neither Steven nor I fit any of the criteria above.
Even better, by the time we finally got Cadence in her pajamas and ready for bed, she had already skated past the I’m-Overtired-And-Manic Phase and right into the Look-At-Me-I’m-Delirious-And-Going-To-Run-Until-I-Literally-Pass-Out-From-Exhaustion Phase.
So, after nearly 3 hours of talking, pleading, consoling, cajoling, threatening, asking, demanding, yelling, and shushing, everyone is finally asleep. Well, except for yours truly. First I have to relocate the dog to the easy chair and try to unravel my husband and daughter’s limbs from the large knot of blankets in the middle of the futon.
On second thought, the floor is mighty comfortable…