A few weeks ago, Shrike and I were bemoaning our lack of us-time, when suddenly, I was struck with an inspiration. I realized that, most nights, Peeper nurses to sleep in my chair or on the couch sometime around 9 pm, and I move her into bed, where she (most nights) sleeps all by herself for about four hours until Shrike goes to bed, and then (most nights) sleeps with her, while not nursing, for another two or three hours until I go to bed and then (most nights) sleeps with both of us, not nursing, for a few more hours until morning.
Or, maybe she nurses to sleep in the bed, or maybe she wakes every hour before we go to bed, or maybe I wake her up when I crawl into bed, or maybe she’s latched on from the time I get there until we get up in the morning.
But more often that first thing.
So, I thought that if we could get all the crap out of the crib, and then convert it to a twin bed, maybe, at least sometimes, after she falls asleep, I could put her down in there, and we could actually go to bed all by ourselves for a little while, until she wakes up and joins us.
Mind you, neither of us (none of us, I assume) is ready for her to completely be out of our bed, but for my part, at least, when this plan hatched in my mind, the thought was a teeny bit sad, but mostly very liberating.
And, I figured that, given her recent interest in playing “go to bed” based on her Sesame Street videos, this might be a time that she would be receptive to the idea or, at the very least, she’d enjoy having the bed available to play in.
Last night, I got some of the clothes and other junk cleared out and moved to the basement, and this morning before Shrike went to work, we move the rest of the clothes down to the basement, at least until the weather turns. (Note to self: You have three bags of 24 months / 2T and one bag of 3/3T winter clothes, plus one “2T and up” – Do not buy any more clothes until Spring. If then.)
At that point, Peeper insisted on getting in there. I figured I’d better take a picture, since it was the one and only time she’d be in a crib. (Actually, that might not be true. I think Shrike stuck her in it for a few minutes to play a long, long time ago. I didn’t like it one bit. Oh yeah, and that whole open-heart surgery recovery period thing. Doesn’t count.)
Then the walls come a-tumblin’ down, and . . .
Big Girl Bed!
(Look at the adorable little mini-mattress that fills in the place where the dresser was, and makes it a twin bed. When it’s just by itself, it looks like a bed for a doll. There’s a tiny little spring thingy that goes under it, too!)
The whole set-up is probably going to change a bit, mostly because the dresser section is too freaking heavy to move downstairs, so I want to find a place for it in her room. Also, I like have the drawer space, and I want her to have some sort of nightstandish kind of thing.
My plan is to move the bookcase out of that corner and put the crib dresser there, with the bed up against it, so that the dresser is like a really wide headboard. Then, I think the best bet might be to flip the bookcase vertically and put it in the corner at what will then be the foot of the bed. And switch the two mattresses, so the joint isn’t actually underneath her, that doesn’t seem comfortable. And buy sheets.
She’s already discovered that it’s good for lots of things.
We talked to her a lot about how “when you’re ready you can goody to sleep in Peeper’s New Big Girl Bed, or when you goody to sleep in my lap, I can put you in Peeper’s New Big Girl Bed, and then when you wake up, you can come in the big bed with Mommy and Mama.”
I suspect that when she wakes, she’ll just cry and I’ll either go get her or just go get in with her (This is why we went to the full twin, rather than leaving the bookcase on and making it a toddler bed!) but just in case, the plan is to use the babygate in the hallway, so that the two rooms (across the hall from each other) – and probably also the office, which shares a closet with her room, and the bathroom, because eventually she’ll go to it in the night – are isolated from the rest of the house, so the doors can be open and the critters won’t be getting in bed and stomping on anyone.
This evening, after her bath, I asked her if she wanted to get goody “in the chair, in the big bed or in Peeper’s New Big Girl Bed” and she said “Not Peeper’s bed,” but after one unsuccessful attempt at bedtime in the big bed, we were playing in her room and I suggested “Would you like to get your goody in Peeper’s New Big Girl Bed?” and she said – and I quote – “Let’s do it!”
She pile at least three pandas into the bed, and I went and got Bingo, and I wasn’t sure there was going to be room for her and me, but we got settled in – with a thin blankie under us and a quilt over us, because we don’t actually have any bedding for it yet – and she nursed for quite a while, before decided that she wasn’t sleepy after all, and would like to go read books.
That’s about the point at which I asked her, “This afternoon, when we were goodying in bed, did you maybe fall asleep for a little while?” and she nodded “Yes.”
I don’t know if she really did, but I suspect that I did, so it’s entirely possible.
While we were reading, and she was nursing on the couch, finally looking sleepy, I tried to get her to tell me which bed she wanted me to put her in when she fell asleep, and she wouldn’t answer, and just said, “Don’t talk about it,” and “Not choose.”
So I said, “I think you’re thinking that it might be fun to sleep in Peeper’s New Big Girl Bed, but you’re not sure if you want to, because you’ve never done it before. Is that right?” She neither confirmed nor denied, so I suggested that I put her in her bed, and then when Mommy and Mama go to bed, I could move her, or when she woke up, she could move to our bed.
She fell asleep shortly after ten, and I moved her in there a bit before eleven. (I may have slept a while on the couch, myself.)
It’s almost one now, Shrike just went to bed, and Peeper’s still snoozing away in there.
I’m not sure what to do when I go to bed, I sort of left it open about moving her or letting her move when she woke, maybe. I’m a little worried that if I move her, she’ll wake up and be awake, so I’m leaning toward just letting her stay til she wakes, and she won’t really know if I’d gone to bed yet, right? I mean, she knows that I go to bed after Mommy, so Mommy being in there asleep won’t mean anything.
Of course, after I get done posting them, I’m going start on a design for a new website, so I may be up for a while, so she may wake before I got to bed anyway, and might be moot.
I can’t imagine that she’ll get very awake at all without crying and moving (or me joining her there) but I’m prety impressed that she’s been there this long, because when I peeked in on her earlier, I did see her wiggle around and roll over and bonk into the wall (that’s new!) and go back to sleep, so that’s pretty good.
I’ve put out a request to the MOMS Club folks for a used (cheap or free) set of sheets, and was planning to let her pick out some Special Sheets of Her Own in a little while – after payday, at the earliest (Have you priced kid’s sheets? That’s crazy!) but possibly as late as her birthday or even Christmas, depending on how it was all shaking out – but if she really sleeps there a good portion of the night, or even if she doesn’t, I’m thinking that we probably need to go pick out sheets tomorrow, to celebrate her First Night in Her Very Own Big Girl Bed.
And how am I feeling about it all?
I really love sleeping with her, and I never want her to feel like she’s not welcome in our bed, at least to come in for a while when she needs to, but I’m actually quite surprised at how okay I am with it, because the idea of at least a bit of grown-up alone time in the big bed every night (and maybe even the occassional Grown-Up Alone Time in the big bed) also sounds very appealing.
Of course, that would require actually getting off the computer and going to bed. . . .