photo by Danielle Brady Photography
Instead of my typical weekend recap, I thought it might be fun to focus on what was really the goal of this weekend – and how it managed to be the fail of the century – by sharing the story of our transition to the infamous toddler bed.
I’m not really sure why we decided now was the perfect time to transition from crib to toddler bed but I honestly think my husband got a wild hair about it and I just agreed that it seemed like the next logical step (and sounded much easier than potty training). To be honest, Gray is not a climber and has never even attempted to climb out of his crib, he sleeps around 12 hours a night, we lay him down awake so he puts himself to sleep and he hangs in his crib for about 30 minutes each morning just chatting and playing until we go in and get him. So, yeah, things were pretty good. If you’re already wondering why we even thought about switching things up, just hold tight, things are only going downhill from here.
Justin has been working non stop recently and worked all through last weekend so we knew this was the weekend to make the big change (you know, just in time to travel for Thanksgiving, but that’s neither here nor there). I started prepping Gray last week, talking about his new Big Boy Bed, taking him on a special shopping trip to Target to pick out new bedding (he chose a stunning combo of sharks and stars) and we talked about how Daddy was going to build him a new Big Boy Bed that weekend.
On Saturday we got up and hit up our normal donut spot and then made the journey to our storage unit. We cleaned it out, gathered up all of our Christmas decor and located the precious toddler bed rail in the very back corner of our unit. To make the transition easier for Gray, we planned to just add the convertible toddler rail to our crib and keep everything else exactly the same. Literally, the only changes were one crib rail and the new blankets.
Super easy, right?
When we got home, we made a big deal out of Daddy “building” the new Big Boy Bed, washing the blankets and calling Mamie and showing her how we can get in and out, in and out, in and out of our new bed. It was the best afternoon ever! Everyone was so full of hope and positive energy!
And then it was bedtime.
Lulled into a false sense of “oh, he was so ready for this”, we parents naively headed off to do the bedtime routine with a small twist to make things special: both Justin and I did bedtime together, something that never happens. Maybe we should have taken a breather when we realized that getting him into pajamas was like wrestling a snake or when he screamed during story time. Maybe we should have thought “hmmm, maybe this won’t be super smooth” when he started sobbing and saying “Gray is ALL DONE” or when he took his new shark pillow and threw it across the room. But no, we still thought we were kicking this parenting thing in the ass and the toddler bed was ours to dominate.
As our bedtime routine progressed, things seemed to get a bit dicier and I started to get a teensy bit nervous. I often marvel at my two year old’s strength but when he went full starfish across the opening of the toddler bed rail to prevent us from getting him in there, I was honestly in awe. That kid is strong. Dangerously strong. Anyway, at that point, it became clear we may have overplayed our hand but thought maybe all of this was “transitional” and we just needed to get over the hump. I offered to lay down with Gray in his bed and he…..accepted (reluctantly). I should mention that I am 5’9″ and not exactly limber so getting into a baby crib with an opening the size of a toddler took a maneuver that I’m not sure I ever want to try again, but I did it and we laid down to chill out and get our bearings. After many, many back rubs and head scratches, he finally seemed to doze off. I attempted to make my way out of the bed, narrowly avoided splitting my jeans, and somehow managed not to disturb him. I honestly thought we were home free – until I heard the sound of the brand new baby proof door lock click shut.
I’m ashamed to admit that I actually tried to run away from the door, hoping he wouldn’t hear me breathing on the other side of it but I turned and caught sight of him busting through the baby proof lock and sprinting out of his room like it was on fire. My poor baby. We tried to lay him back down, tried to sing to him, tried to reason with him but it was all too much (for us, his parents). At some point I looked at Justin begging him to bail us out and he said to me “I Googled it and some kids just aren’t ready!”. I did the most mature thing I could think of and whisper shouted back to him “just put the damn crib rail back up!”.
So, we made it two whole hours with our Big Boy Bed before mom and dad caved and turned it back into a crib. If that doesn’t qualify us for Pro Level in Parenting, I don’t know what will.
To round out our evening, Gray and I passed out in exhaustion in my bed (something we only do if he’s sick) and he slept there, propped up on a pile of king pillows, between me and Justin, happy as can be all night long.
The next morning he woke up early wanting to play and asking for Mickey. When he ventured back into his room for a fresh diaper, he took one look at his now crib, pointed to it, turned to Justin and said, in a disappointed tone:
Hey, where did the hole go?!
(the hole = the toddler bed rail)
You win kid, you win.
And with that gem of a story, I hope you all had a fabulous weekend full of parenting wins and toddler snuggles!