Sunday, April 19, 2009

big girls don't always get big girl beds

We got Frances a toddler bed. Borrowed it from a neighbor whose kid is big. Today before naptime we put it together and I was awfully excited about how excited she was going to be for the big girl bed, but it turns out we did it all wrong. We should have left the bed unassembled in her room for a bit for her to look at and get used to, then put it together but not put the mattress in, for her to look at and get used to some more. Instead, we just put the thing together and put her in it and somehow expected that she would be able to contain her excitement enough to take a nap. HA!


You know, I work so hard to stay ahead of things like naps and hunger. I keep a pretty tight and regular schedule, I have snacks stashed in the car and the stroller and my bag. I tend to dole out my allotment of anxiety about these things because I know that if I can get them to sleep before they are overtired, get them fed before they are starving, then we all won't boil over or melt down. I know this from experience, in fact. It has recently occurred to me, however, that I don't actually have to stay ahead of these things with Clark. Just Frances. If Clark is overtired he fusses a bit and then goes to sleep. If he's overly hungry he fusses a bit and then eats. Today we were out and he missed a nap all together and all that happened is he went to bed 30 minutes early.

But Frances? She's a bit more emotional, and has been from the beginning. I remember being at a friend's house when Frances was 3 months and my friend's baby was 4 months, and Frances got irritated about a little something. In response she flung her arms out to the side and her head back and howled, and my friend raised her eyebrows and said, "A little out of proportion to the situation, dontcha think?" We called her the baby drama queen.

So today with the bed. Up and down the stairs, in and out of the bed, needing her juice, a snack, her baby olive, olive's blanket, a different blanket, some music, the curtains opened. Mitch hung out with her awhile to let her try to work out her excitement. Finally I explained that I needed her to nap, that I needed her to stay in her bed, or at least in her room. I told her if she came out one more time I was going to put her in her crib. Which I finally did. You can imagine the response. I don't doubt it seemed totally unfair. Sobbing, wailing, flinging about, true sorrow. I held her and talked to her awhile and then Mitch took over and held her and talked to her until she was so exhausted from either the crying or the running up and down the stairs that she passed out in his arms, poor girl.

So for now, we've explained, she's going to stay in her crib. When she's not napping or sleeping we'll put the mattress back on the toddler bed and she can play in it, but since she's too excited to actually sleep, she has to spend sleep time in her crib. In a few days, hopefully, we can have her begin to sleep in the bed. Is this transition this difficult for everyone? Is it just my dramatic kid? I now understand why the convertible crib might be a good idea.

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