We are on a serious, “Big Girl” kick at our house.
AB discovered her independence BIG time this summer, and if we heard, “Me do it myself” once, we heard it ten-thousand times.
It was at an all time high around July when she insisted on doing everything “by mine’s self” --- thankfully she’s learning that there are some things she still needs her momma & daddy for. I was getting worried that she’d be ready to get her own camper and start sleeping in the backyard by “her’s self” by Christmas.
It’s such a double edged sword, this growing up thing… On one hand it is SO much fun to see your child learning new things and becoming such a little person and on the other it just comes way too fast. I want to encourage her independence and confidence as she takes on new things, but I also never want to push her into it.
The latest milestone we’ve checked off, is moving Annabelle from her crib to a big-girl bed. I know most people would have already moved their toddler out of the crib WAY BEFORE now, but she’s never tried to climb out, and it’s just worked for us to leave her in the crib.
We’ve always had a full size bed in her room too, with bedding that matched her crib bedding, so we knew when we got ready to move her up, we’d probably just move her to that instead of doing a toddler bed. (that’s another reason we’ve waited so long to move her up, too)…
We knew it was time to take down the crib, so we’ve been talking about her big girl bed for a few weeks, and she’s even started taking her afternoon naps in it. (I was so worried nap time would be over when we moved her out of the crib, too, but thankfully we are still taking our 2-3 hour afternoon nap.) Once I saw how great she did in the big bed at naptime, I felt better about the “move.”
She even started asking to sleep in her big bed at night, but since we hadn’t gotten rails for it yet, we held off. She knew she needed rails, so everyday she would ask if Daddy had gotten some rails for her big girl bed yet… She was in a hurry to move up to the big bed, but Momma wasn’t…imagine that. I knew it was time, though, so we bit the bullet… well, DW did and ordered the rails. He knew I wasn’t' ever going to do it, so he better. Ha…
AB’s new rails came in on Friday and you would have thought it was Christmas. Her Daddy came in carrying a big box, and they opened it together, and AB just squealed… “My wails, my wails, you get dem (them) for ME, Daddy?!?!?!?” It was so sweet…
We thought we would put them on her bed that afternoon, but then I started thinking that I hadn’t gotten a picture of her on her last night in her crib the night before, and we hadn’t really taken it all in, that when we laid her down the night before it was the LAST night we’d lay her down in her crib. We quickly decided it would be Saturday night before she slept in the big girl bed. :)
On Saturday afternoon, we (meaning DW) put the rails together. Annabelle was so excited, she grabbed the instructions from the box and said, “let’s see, Daddy..Step 1…” She was quite the helper and insisted on holding the poles for him.
(please note that I did not put the newborn headband on her…we’ve been going through bins for baby sister and she’s been happily reunited with the bands she sported as a newborn…only when she was an infant, I don’t remember her looking like a hippy in them.)
She was so excited to be in her big girl bed! When DW and I went to bed that night, I got a little worried… I played every scenario in my head and out loud to DW—what if she gets scared in that big bed? She’s used to having rails on all four sides and not that much space… What if she fell off the bottom of the bed? What if she managed to squeeze in the 8 inch open space at the top of the bed? What if she got up in the middle of the night and it was too dark for her to see down the hallway? --- We turned on the hall closet light, and DW finally said, “Honey—are you kidding me? Scared? She’s FREE. She’s been sleeping in a cage. She LOVES it and she’s not going to fall out.” And right he was. She woke up Sunday morning giddy and proudly announced, just in case we had missed it, “I slept in my big girl bed!!!!”
Last night, after we laid her down (surrounded by all of her pillows and half a dozen “pets” (she calls her stuffed animals her pets), we watched & listened on her video monitor as she sat straight up, looked at her animals and yelled, “I in my big-girl bed, er'-body (everybody)!”
I guess she was ready.