February 25, 2010

Big Girl Bed

Birdcage Lamp handmade by Me
When I was pregnant with Marley, making sure she had a decidedly modern nursery with an uber-chic zebra wood crib, low, horizontal lines, bold, bright colors, and handmade touches was an obsession of mine. Her room quickly became the most lavished upon spot in the house - and definitely the best designed. With eco-friendly paint, vintage nursery rhyme illustrations, a handmade lamp I made for her, and that perfect crib -- it should have been the room we all spent most of our time in. But when we brought our Honeyplum home (named so for that sweet face and that lovely jaundiced color), there was no way I was parting with her. It seemed unnatural while I was nursing my newborn lass with an unstoppable appetite even to separate us with a co-sleeper. And once her appetite gained some normalcy, and I was no longer able to breastfeed, well...she was just so dang cute and snuggly. I promised Jeff we'd try the co-sleeper once she was bigger, thinking six months would be forever away. Six months came and went like a flash in the pan; we tried the co-sleeper for a night or two, but even the arm's reach distance was more than I could stand.

Fast forward through two moves, two coasts, three states, and just over a year. It's been impossible, even if I had been ready before now, to transition Marley to a crib with so many moves. Sleeping with my twenty month old daughter doesn't feel as natural as it used to. The three of us in a queen size bed makes for some truly uncomfortable sleeping arrangements - and lately, I've been waking up with my face smothered in her feet and still falling off the edge of the bed. I finally decided enough is enough, I need some sleep! Over the past couple of weeks, while at friends on play dates, I've made a point of taking Marley to her friends' rooms and asking about their "big girl beds". This worked very well to pique Marley's curiosity, and she even asked if she could get in her best friend, Ella's big girl bed, recently. I think that build-up helped when I decided this was the morning, and could tell her that tonight, Daddy was going to build her 'big girl bed'. She got very excited, and kept saying 'Ella! Emily! Robert!' her friends' names whose big kid beds she had seen and we'd discussed. I was so impressed with her memory and acknowledgement.

Despite her excitement, I had been reading a lot of books (as you all know I tend to do) about the issue of family beds, transitioning, and particularly attempting this matter with toddler. I expected that we would be in this for the long haul. She was not going to go to sleep in her big girl bed without blood, sweat, and tears - and it could take days, weeks,....god forbid, months. But none of the books could have prepared me for how well adjusted my little girl would be. None of the forum boards, pediatricians, and cautionary tales prepared me for how quickly she would lay down in her little bed, tell me not to sing the 'Go To Sleep Little Baby' song I'd sung for her since she was a newborn, she wanted the new hit "ABC" thank you very much, and drift off to sleep. Just like that. In her big girl bed. A big girl. No one warned me that the tears I should anticipate would be my own. I am so glad that we had our time together in our family bed...and that I will always have the fond memories of my sweet baby girl, snuggled up warm beside me.


Maria Isabel said...

Awww I feel tears swelling up! I slept with my baby at the beguining but shes a kicker! When my hubby came back from his ARMY duties we moved her to her own cribe because hes a very heavy sleeper and I was afraid he might crush her. So I placed the crib right next to the bed so I could slip my hand through the bars and feel her while I slept. Sure, It does not look very pretty but during the daytime I move the crib to where it suppposed to be (it has good wheels) And we are sometimes not placing it next to out bed, but we will share a room for another while. She does have aroom of her own but its more pf a play room. SO I completely understand how hard it must be for you, but you are doing the right thing!

Garden Gate Designs said...

What a sweet little girl you have! So precious. As a grandmother of two grandaughters and one grandson I know how they grow up too fast. My older daughter-in-law who is the Mother of my youngest grandaughter (30 mos.) is already planning a big girl bedroom for her little one. The transistion from crib to big girl bed will be interesting. This year is "potty training" year also. Thanks for sharing.

Rosemary, Garden Gate Designs

Dee said...

Aww, what a sweet story! Brings back memories of when my daughter and my granddaughter lived with me. I helped raise my oldest granddaughter the first three years of her life. She slept with me all the time!
Her bed time song, strange as it sounds was Delta Dawn, lol. She's four yrs old now and she knows that song word for word. I miss my grandbabies :(
Thank you so much for sharing!

Jennie said...

Awesome post! My little girl hardly ever slept with us...um, because she hardly ever slept as a baby. Now she's four, and we do have the occasional slumber party- like in big hotel beds. No one sleeps much then either, but it is so nice to snuggle "whole family" style. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm glad we found each other :)

Lori said...

Oh my gosh, the picture is the sweetest in the world! I'll be it's going to be cherished for years and years.

mamacooker said...

Very nice blog. Thanks.