LGO recently made the dreaded transition to the Big Boy Bed. I'd been putting it off for months due to my don't-fix-it-if-it-ain't-broken mentality. Further, my son had made no attempt to climb out of his crib-prison, so I wasn't worried for his safety as much as I was for my own sleep!
As it goes, I was right to be worried. We'd just returned from a trip to see The Grandparents, which invariably involves a major blip in his routine. Since his bedtime had already been disrupted beyond recognition, I figured it was as good a time as any to bring down the bars and convert his crib to a toddler bed.
While some tots admittedly make the transition easily, others, well, are -- shall we say -- more resistant to change. I had been forewarned. I knew the slightest adjustment in a little kid's world is a huge deal. I knew it wouldn't be painless. Still, I hadn't expected it to be quite so painful, either.
Usually the trouble with the Big Bed is that it gives the inmate ultimate freedom to roam and wander out of bed at will. In preparation, I made a few modifications; I removed all the toys from LGO's room, except for books. Needless to say, he freaked out when bedtime rolled around, yet not once did he try to get out of bed. Hubby and I scratched our Green heads, then banged them on the wall. What was the problem? After all, we reassured LGO, it was the exact same bed, minus the bars.
Keeping with the prisoner analogy for a moment, there is this weird phenomenon that occurs with longtime inmates: when the bars finally come down, all he wants to do is crawl back inside. Inside comes to represent security. There is safety, comfort even, in the enclosure. So with this in mind I switched on LGO's lullaby machine, armed him with a 'cellmate' (an oversized teddy named Pappadum) and his comfort book of the moment, Goodnight Moon. I found a nightlight and plugged that in, too.
That night, for the first time in weeks, LGO slept through. Hands down, it was the best Mother's Day gift I could have asked for. After all, sleep doesn't make you fat, or wilt and die. But it can make you a nicer person. Or in my case, a nonviolent person.
Sleep -- never, ever underrate it. Never, ever take it for granted. You never know when, and for how long, you'll lose it.