Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The New Bed Situation

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.


SciFi Dad said...

I'm not criticizing, but we did things in the opposite order. Once you potty train, they NEED to have a means of getting to a potty ASAP. Otherwise you're in for more accidents. If they can at least get out of bed and make it to the bathroom, you stand a better chance of them holding it (at least that's our finding). That being said, once you potty trained, you had no choice but to take down the rail.

For the bathroom stall, we usually have a three strikes rule: if she calls to go potty three times and doesn't tinkle at any, she knows she cannot call anymore that night (until she falls asleep).

If she stays in her room, reading or singing or talking to herself, we don't worry much about it. If she leaves her room, we threaten to close her door (which she HATES) and it usually takes care of it.

Lea said...

DGB - Little B started climbing out of his crib at nearly 18 months old. Despite this, we kept the crib until he was around 2 1/2 or so. Maybe three.

Anyway, he spent about a week randomly getting up out of bed instead of going to sleep. I think no matter what, there being no railings in the way is a novelty to them, and one that must be fully exploited. He'll settle down, eventually!

Super Mega Dad said...

Both my kids must be weird. They don't get out of their beds until we come and get them. It's like there are invisible crib rails and they can't get over them, or something. If they need something, they yell until we come and get them. They have us pretty well trained in that regard.