If parenting is akin to the old vaudeville act where a guy keeps a bunch of plates simultaneously spinning, this week we had a moment of joy where we removed one plate entirely…but quickly replaced it with a different one.
The plate removed was the Bean’s successful liberation from diapers, eliminating a task which was both messy and time consuming (at least the way I do it). Not content to bask in the bliss of this milestone, we decided this would be the perfect time to convert the Bean’s crib into a toddler bed.
The main reason, the only reason, we’ve had a crib for this long is that my not quite adventurous son hasn’t figured out that can climb out of it. Physically the crib rails pose no real challenge for him, but mentally they keep him in place. Many mornings the Bean would wake up and play quietly in the crib while WonderWife™ and I eked out a few extra minutes of precious sleep. But recently when we noticed the Bean salivating over his friend’s big boy bed, we realized it was time to set our little caged bird free, despite the repercussions it would most likely have on us.
The Bean was jubilant and giddy as we took off the railing. He couldn’t wait for sleep. WW™ and I smiled at each other, knowing that we were doing the right thing. Two hours after his bedtime, however, the Bean was still awake and I was cursing our mindless decision to fix what wasn’t broke. I’d heard plenty of stories about other kid’s bedtime stall tactics, but have always thanked whoever is responsible for these things that I’ve never had to endure this with my kid. Yet here I was, sitting aside the toilet mindlessly reading the Bean a book on what was his third trip to the bathroom. I knew he didn’t have anything in him, but we’d just gotten him out of diapers and I couldn’t risk calling his bluff. I filled his water cup for the second time and tucked him in, giving a stern “you need to go to sleep” speech that we both knew wasn’t going to work. I then convinced the Bean that there were no monsters in his room. “In fact,” I told him. “We installed a monster guard when we took down the rail.” After singing “Down By the Bay” to himself for another half-hour, we finally heard the dulcet sound of his snoring over the monitor.
Now I’m left wondering if this was an isolated incident, or if it has something to do with this new bed situation. Since the Bean got in and out of bed at least seven times that night, I’m pretty sure he knows that he can get out whenever he wants to. While I’m proud that my boy is growing up, I am not looking forward to the newfound freedom he’s going to have around the house.