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Baby Night Owl – Unleashed

Kathryn Thompson

It’s almost Halloween and I’m afraid of things that go BUMP in the night, especially when they go BUMP and then cry and then regroup and proceed to ransack the house and eat poison.  Okay, no one’s eaten poison yet but it’s only a matter of time.  Wanda’s barely two and she’s done with the crib.  It won’t be long before she breaks through our childproofing defenses while we’re sleeping peacefully, naively assuming she’s doing the same.

With my first child, I moved her to a big kid bed as soon as she turned two.  It was partly to make room for the soon-to-be-born baby in the crib and partly because she was my first child and I was all about pushing milestones.  By kid number three, I’ve learned that not all milestones should be pushed and there are even some that I’d rather bury underground and hope my kids never know they exist. 

The Moving to a Big Kid Bed milestone should be, at the very least, covered in broccoli and when the kid’s old enough to eat it all without complaining, if she happens to notice the milestone underneath, she can have it.  What I’m saying is – there’s a certain level of maturity that is needed before a kid can successfully transition out of the cage, and by “successfully”, I mean in a way that doesn’t drive me completely batty and deprive me of beauty sleep.  Wanda is not ready for this transition by any measure, except the measure of whether or not she can climb up and straddle the crib rail like a monkey until she loses all muscle tone and topples to her doom.  By that measure, she’s way ready.

Last night the toppling.  Today the disassembling of the crib and the reassembling of the top bunk bed bunk, which I’ve put down on the floor for Wanda.  With the rails around the top bunk, it’s almost like a mini crib.  It’s impossible for her to roll out of, which is awesome, but totally possible for her to exit without breaking her neck, which is a lose-win situation.  Lose on the “possible for her to exit.”  Win on the lack of neck breakage.

Naps could be a thing of the past but she did go down pretty quickly tonight for real bedtime.  Besides the poison, what I worry about is how early she’ll be up tomorrow morning.  In the past, she'd wake at the crack of dawn and, realizing she was trapped, she’d talk to herself for a few minutes, maybe uttering a weak-sauce “Mom?” and then gone back to sleep for a couple of hours.  Now that she knows she’s free, I’m not sure how this will go down.  I can guess.

It’s not like I haven’t gone through this phase with two kids already, but I honestly can’t remember how we dealt with the transition.  Maybe I blocked it out of my memory so I’d be willing to have more kids.  For now, all I can do is go to bed and remember – she’ll grow out of this phase too.  At least she isn’t driving yet.

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