It’s 9:43 pm, my husband and I are sitting on our bed pretending to be asleep. All the lights in the house, save our bedroom lamp, are off in an effort to trick Little K into getting in his bed. He is making the
long and terribly painful somewhat difficult transition from his crib to his bottom bunk bed. This is transition attempt 2.o. Several months ago, we converted the crib into a toddler bed because he seems ready. He’ll be 3 in February, he screamed for an hour every night when we put him in his crib, and he wanted to be a “big boy” like his brother. After a week of miserable, up-all-night and refusing to nap, crying while he laid behind the baby gate we had to put up to keep him in his room, we asked if he wanted the crib back. He said yes, and we were relieved to have a corral cozy space to put him in at night again until he was actually ready for a bed.
But then he appeared to be basically potty-trained, and he needed to be able to get up at night to go. And he wouldn’t quit screaming at bedtime. Not to mention he’s the tallest two-year-old I’ve ever met, and his giant body looks a little silly in a crib. So we made a big hype about the big bed, got a mattress, left the crib up to give him agency in the decision to move to the bed, and then patted ourselves on the back when he slept peacefully the first night like the big boy he was.
Two weeks later, here we are. Huddled in the cave of our bedroom, trying to outsmart a toddler whose discovery of nighttime freedom means he has absolutely no interest in going to bed before midnight. He’s not screaming, so that’s a win, but he’s currently playing behind the baby gate in his doorway, using moonlight and a stuffed turtle’s star projections to see the blocks he’s stacking. The ones he pulled out of some hidden drawer because I removed all the other toys from his room in an attempt to make this not happen.
And this is how bad betimes had gotten before the big bed. We will take covertly typing on our laptops, silently praying the kid will just tuck himself in and go the f**ck to sleep, over listening to him screech while his brother screams at him to go to sleep. Those are the evenings of nightmares. This is just a funny story we’ll tell him when he’s older and when we’ve all survived one more miracle of parenting.