I made a mistake last week.
One involving a Big Thing of Toddlerhood and a Overwhelming Parenting Choice.
S will be two in September and climbed out (…fell out?) of her crib for the first time at the beginning of the week. She’s been leaning over it for awhile now. Each time I put her down for nap or bed I continuously and cautiously wait in the hallway, monitor in hand, ready to rush in if and when she flipped over the top. I know, I know. Not the “safest” parenting move but, hey, we take things as they come in this house.
All of our friend’s kids started transitioning to a Big Kid Bed. Before she went over the top of her crib I thought to myself nearly every day, “maybe it’s time, maybe we should just switch her.” Does this mean she’s ready to switch out of the crib? We went back and forth for days. Obviously with her safety being the main priority (before she actually went over), we weren’t sure whether she was READY or not. That word. Are we? I say ‘we,’ but my husband thought this was a way less momentous moment than I did. Ahh, sappy Mamahood. Ready ready ready. Hello, parenting buzzword.
When she’s ready…
I’ve been hearing that phrase a lot lately as she approaches two. It seems like there’s so many Big Things coming up that someone has to be ready for (maybe more me than her?) Potty training. Crib transition. The list keeps growing.
So we did it. We anchored everything in the room. We toddler-proofed the heck out of it. We let her watch as my husband got out his tool bag and unscrewed the crib rail, replacing it with a much smaller one. She chose which animals she wanted in bed to sleep with (the answer was all of them). She told me which sheets she wanted to put on. She excitedly jumped in her Big Kid bed. I thought she was ready. Heck, maybe she thought she was ready.
She wasn’t ready…
Needless to say, that night was an absolute disaster. No one in this house slept more than maybe three or four hours. And while I understand that all parenting and kid transitions are not without their pain and trials, it simply wasn’t working. It wasn’t going to work. And. That’s. Okay.
Parenthood, meet white flag.
Yes, we could’ve tried again the next night. Yes, we could’ve implemented a new routine and kept working on it. Yes, maybe, eventually she would’ve gotten the idea. Yes, we would’ve all eventually gotten more of that glorious sleep we’ve been so used to. But yes, we prioritized her safety and knew that if she continued to flop over the top we would’ve had to try harder to make this new transition work.
But the next day with new light and tired eyes from a long night, when my husband asked if I wanted to put the crib rail back up I said “Yeah, I don’t think she’s ready.”
She hasn’t climbed out since.
…Team crib ‘till college.