Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chapter closed

When we returned home from our little mini-vacation last week, it was 11:30 at night. Savannah was absolutely tuckered out, and so I immediately pulled her Dora jammies on and got ready to settle her in her crib for the night.

That's when the tears started flowing...the kind of crying that is borne of pure exhaustion, where once you start you can't stop. She sobbed and begged me to lie down beside her in the "big bed", the double bed that has always been in her room. While we were in Indiana, she slept in the bed with me and had gotten nice and spoiled with that setup, and now that we were home she couldn't understand why things had to change. So I told her she could sleep in the bed instead of the crib, but that she would be by herself.

She said ok. So I surrounded her with pillows and her 3 best friends -Pooh Bear, Pluto, and Minnie Mouse - and tiptoed out. I didn't hear a peep out of her all night.

I figured it was a passing thing that she would get out of her system. That she would be glad to get back to the familiar, scrunched space of her crib.

But no. Every night since then, she has let me know in no uncertain terms that she is "all done crib" and that she wants "only big bed".

Of course I knew that she would outgrow her crib eventually. I just didn't expect it to be now. I have been placing her in that crib for the past 32 months, every single night. A part of me held on to the fact that as long as she was in the crib, then she was still somehow a baby. Protected. Secure. And I could hold on to this stage a little longer. But the crib has remained empty for an entire week now, unless you count the times when she climbs into it and flops down headfirst, then starts jumping up and down like it's her own personal mini trampoline.

In a way I'm glad that she took it upon herself to move to the big girl bed, because she was getting a little too big for the crib...but only because she insisted on lying along the short end of the crib, with her head jammed against one side and her feet poking through the slats and up the wall on the other. Now in the mornings, my little early bird wakes up with the sun (far, far too early for my liking), gets herself out of bed, pads softly to my room, and says, "Mama?" Then I pull her into bed with me and if I'm lucky she'll go back to sleep for a few minutes. Sometimes I am not lucky, and instead of sleeping she entertains herself with kicking me in the ribs, interspersed with requests for bananas and milk.

And because I am a good mama, I roll over and pretend like I didn't hear her breakfast order being placed.

So another chapter, the crib era, has closed. Good thing these end-of-the-baby-stage things don't come all at once...I don't think I could handle it.

27 comments:

Smilingsal said...

lol I shouldn't share this... when my firstborn, a girl, was about this age, the same ritual happened. I so wanted to sleep, so I told her that when it is no longer dark "night"... that she could get up and get some cereal to eat. I put a bowl with dry cereal within her reach and showed it to her. After that, she could read and let Mommy sleep!

Awful, huh? But, I did it!

Casey said...

Hey, that's what Jaron begs for every morning too! :)

Def. the end of an chapter. I am not ready for it and hope he does not realize how to climb out, though I fear it is coming sooner rather than later.

Tracey said...

You know what this actually means....you need a new baby to use the old crib...you don't want to put it to waste!!!

kaleytaylor said...

That is so precious. I can only imagine the bittersweet emotion of your baby growing up and moving on to The Big Bed! I think Tracey is right...it's time for a new little baby to use the crib! :)

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

"and because I am a good mama, I roll over and pretend like I didn't hear her breakfalst order being placed." LOVE THAT! and SAME HERE :)

Those milestones are always bittersweet...I think they always will be, no matter how old our babies get.

Elena said...

I really identified with this post. I have been starting to intoduce the potty to my daughter. I haven't made it a big deal since she is only 22 months but a couple of days ago she actually tinkled in there and I was so excited but also a lost feeling came over me that I didn't expect, my baby was growing up! She is far from being potty trained but that was her first step and I didn't like the feeling at first. Then, I thought ... she will always be my baby no matter what:)

Gretchen said...

Awwww...I just want to hug you and take you to coffee, Jackie.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

These moments are so bitter-sweet. Just remember there are more memories to make and new joys everyday (and they always get better!) :)

Tracy said...

Hey Jackie - this is my second attempt at looking at your blog. The first was right after I got the email that you had left a comment on mine. I had to get here ASAP but I had a two-year-old dancing around me and knew I had to wait until naptime so I could take my time.

Love your blog! I can so relate to so many of your posts. This one really hit me - we haven't moved out of the crib yet but I looked at Ashley today and thought, "My baby is growing up". There are so many little letting go moments and I agree with you - thank goodness not all at once!!!

Savannah is ADORABLE! The video of her with your brother playing the guitar reminded me of a similar scene in my house with my brother and his guitar.

ttm said...

Oh, what a big girl we have now!

SarahHub said...

Hmmm... sounds like Savannah is making room for another baby...

What a milestone!

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

Dax's crib stayed upstairs for a while before I finally mandated it go to the basement. I just couldn't stand the thought of it not being in my view everyday.

Every morning in our house starts the same way! Way too early with some little person yelling, "it's time for you to get up, I need a snack!!

Wendy said...

The little ones are always so excited to move to a "big bed". It is hard sometimes to see them grow so fast! I moved my youngest to a toddler bed when she was about 16 months just because she was so tall I was afraid she would fall out by leaning over the side. It is almost time to start thinking about a "big girl" bed for her...

CarolinaMama said...

That is so sweet! And it went so well for her to just make the transition. Congratulations and hugs for your milestone.

THE ROOST said...

God is so good to let them grow up one little step at a time. Your right that is all our heart can take :0)

mamachristina said...

It is so amazing what all a Mama will do for her babies.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Congrats my friend - you won the CD!

Email me!

Irritable Mother said...

One chapter has ended, yes. But you're writing a novel. And it's going to be wonderful. Enjoy the writing of every single page!

And as to the early out of bed thing? We bought a digital clock for our kids and told them it wasn't time to get out of bed until the first number said "8." That worked pretty well for us.

REAL ME said...

I am not looking forward to the transition.

jennifer said...

Oh, Jackie! What a bitter-sweet thing!

Hopefully, Avery will stay in her crib long enough for us to adjust to life with Charlie.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

What a sweet post, Jackie. You are such a neat person to get to know; I'm glad I have the opportunity through this blogging venue. :-)

My third (and probably last) boy just moved out of the crib almost a year ago. It's hard, but I truly think that's why God created the family to continue on...eventually we will have grandbabies to look forward to...and get to live it all over again - but better! :-)

Colored With Memories said...

Wow, it sounds like a pretty smooth transition honestly.

It seems like my kids go through handle their changes better than this mama does.

I need to try what "irritable mother" said. I'd settle for when the first number says 7!

Lisa said...

I like the milestone that just sort of happen by default like that...they just sneak up on you. So much easier than saying, "When Sept 1st comes, we will move our 'baby' to a big bed".

Very bittersweet, but at least there was no fighting!

RR Mama said...

Jackie,

Thank you for the prayers! I really appreciate them. We are doing OK here in Gulf Shores. I am ready to go home but we won't know until later today if they are letting anyone in. I want to get the trees out of my house and get started on the repairs. Everyone keeps telling me...WE will fix it. Those four words are so comforting to me. So keep praying not only for me but for everyone else because there are so many more people who are in worse shape.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Jackie, that was a lovely post.

And, I know all about pretending to sleep. Does anyone jump up and say "would you like eggs with that?" :)

Southern Mama said...

My first two climbed out of their cribs at 15 months, so we moved them to "big beds" My youngest is 27 months and hasn't tried to climb out yet, thank goodness. He will be there until he's 10 if I can help it!!:)

Darcie said...

Ignoring breakfast requests...I must be a good mama too then. :)

Jayce is still in a crib and I'm in no rush to change it. Especially after reading this.

Hugs!