Little Girl has been tented since she launched herself out of the crib and broke her collar bone. Horrible, terrible experience, and one that makes me shudder to this day. A few months ago, she made a teeny, tiny hole in the mesh. Over time, the hole got larger, but it was never a danger to her. This weekend, however, she made a huge hole. Big enough for a head. I had to pull the tent out of the crib in fear of her strangling herself or getting hung up in the hole. Little Girl lost her mind crying. She didn’t want to sleep in her crib without the tent. Already late to bowling, I left her with Big Girl and my mother-in-law, who was babysitting for us.
When we got home I asked my mother-in-law how long she cried, figuring that it had probably gone on for some time. “Not long at all,” she said. “I told her we were getting her a bed tomorrow.” Oh, crap I thought, even when she offered, right then and there, to pay for the promised bed. Her explanation was simple. She felt bad for Little Girl being “caged up like an animal,” and wanted us to make sure she would never have to be cooped up like that again. (She also said that Little Girl acts crazy and like an animal because we keep her caged. I completely disagree, of course. That kid was nutty in my belly.)
I had plenty of arguments against the bed, which I offered up. She’s not even three, I said. She’ll never stay in a bed. She’s too crazy. But my mother-in-law was adamant. So was Little Girl when she woke up on Sunday. “We going to get my bed NOW?!?” was the first thing out of her mouth when I went in to take her out. That child’s euphoric excitement was why, later that day, we went to price beds even as I mentally raged against the idea.
I won’t bore you with the details of our shopping trip other than to say we are now the proud owners of an antique white toddler bed. Little Girl is ecstatic. I am miserable. I am, quite truthfully, not ready to give up my baby. I want to keep her little for just a little while longer. I am also really scared that she’ll give up her naps, which are precious to me, a working mom. The majority of her friends stopped napping the moment they got a bed. My kid still sleeps for two-plus hours every day, and those days she doesn’t nap she still gets downtime since she’s trapped in a crib.
Last night — her first night in the bed — she was up until way past midnight. She got out of the bed and came downstairs into the den around 11 p.m., proclaiming it was time for Sesame Street. We were not amused, especially since it meant she navigated a flight of stairs in feetie pajamas and in the dark. And that’s what this time feels like to me: that I am walking, for the first time, alone down a darkened corridor. I’m a little scared and a little excited. But unlike Little Girl, I’d gladly run back to my crib.