We knew this day was coming, but still, I was not prepared. Emmett is my baby, and no matter how old he gets, I still see him as my tiny little buddy.
Well, that tiny baby boy has moved into a toddler bed.
Last night handy man Chris took the front rails off E’s crib and replaced them with a toddler rail. We all sat in his room and oohed and ahhed at his big boy bed. He rolled around in it with his favorite stuffed animals, and of course Monkey and paci, and generally seemed to like his new space.
But when it came time to go to sleep, he was having none of it. He kept saying, “Yay down? Sidown?”
Internally I was feeling annoyed and thinking, “Awwwww, man! Not this again…”
I’m going to have to back up here a bit to explain. We were accidental co-sleepers for the beginning of E’s life, that is to say I hadn’t planned on sleeping together, but that’s exactly what happened until he was 8 months old. We then realized that were all sleeping terribly and it was time for baby to sleep in his crib.
I slept on an air mattress in his room for two weeks, helping him to transition to his crib. There were tears on both sides, but in the end, we were victorious. Then came the one year old separation anxiety phase. He would scream and cry all night, we didn’t know what to do and it was breaking our hearts.
Then, magically, he was the best sleeper in the entire world. He goes to sleep at 7 pm and sleeps till 7 am, if not later. I would see the look on people’s faces when we told them, we knew we were lucky.
So that brings us to last night, when I was irritated and felt totally inconvenienced to have to be sitting in his room with him, trying to get him to stay put in his new bed. I happened to be chatting with some friends online and one of them told me, “Be patient, you’ll get there”.
An adjective that surely did not describe me at that moment. In an instant I realized she was right, we will get through this, just like we’ve made it through every other parenting challenge. So instead of feeling grouchy, I reminded myself that there is a very short window of time that Emmett will want me this much. In a few years, will he still cuddle his head into the crook of my neck and grab a handful of my shirt sleeve to keep me close?
What started out as a tedious evening became a night of sweet cuddles in a cramped toddler bed. I sang him his favorite lullaby, I stroked his hair, I whispered how much I love him, and there was nothing inconvenient or tedious about any of it.