A week or so ago we moved Anna into a big girl bed. Well, technically it isn’t a certified “big girl bed.” Technically it’s just a crib with the side off.
This is a huge milestone and you might have guessed that I have an entire sappy post queued up about how, after so many years, we are no longer a family with a crib. What does this mean about me? About our family? We are growing and my identity as a mom of small kids is growing too. WAH! WAH! WAH!
I did have that blog post queued up in my mind. But before I had a chance to put fingers to keyboard, the entire milestone has gone awry, and all my sentimentality has been replaced with exhausted bitterness.
Kids have a way of wrenching the sweetness out of all these bittersweet milestones, don’t they?
(If you’ve never read my sleep-angry ramblings, perhaps you missed every single blog post I wrote in the first two years of Mary’s life…)
Recently Anna learned how to climb in and out of her crib. (Well, “learned” if generous. Technically, Thomas taught her. And though I’m tempted to paint Thomas as the villain, the only reason he showed her how to climb out of her crib was because I had been ignoring her cries of “GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT OF HERE!” and so Thomas took matters into his own hands.
After ignoring this new skill for way too long, we finally did the responsible thing and removed the side of her crib.
Anna has responded to her new-found freedom by proving that she’s not ready for it. She went from being a reliable napper and late morning sleeper to skipping naps more than taking them, and waking up before the sun.
At nap time she sneaks out of her room to play in the big kids’ room, or I find her downstairs hiding. Once I decided to go upstairs and check on the kids at 9 p.m. and found her sitting in her bed reading with the overhead light on.
At 6 a.m. she wakes up, turns on her light, and marches downstairs shouting “Doo morning, Mommy!” Doo Morning, Daddy!”
One day, after watching Tom carry Anna back to her bed for a third time, Mary lifted her eyebrows and rolled her eyes as if thinking, these two jokers will never learn.
And Mary is right. We never will learn. In the nearly 10 years of parenting, we’ve gotten probably three months of good sleep. Why would we think this transition would be smooth? Why didn’t we predict disrupted sleep, lost naps, and a very, very grumpy toddler who definitely still NEEDS a nap.
When dealing in matters of sleep, my kids always, always win. No one knows that better than our OG sleep terrorist, Mary Virginia.
“Well, Mom,” Mary said, resting a hand on my shoulder. “I think it’s safe to say you made a mistake by putting Anna in that big girl bed.”