October 21, 2011

SuperMommy vs. The Big Girl Beds

Sure looks innocent, doesn't it?
It was bound to happen.  It was inevitable.  One of these days, one of those girls was going to figure out that she could actually climb over the rail of her crib, and she was going to fall.  Hard.

And then she would do it again, and again, and if we were very lucky, nobody would be seriously injured.

Or at least, that's how I thought it would go.

What I didn't expect was the colossal CRASH, and then the discovery that not only had SI finally escaped from her cribby confines, but that she had first pushed the bed away from the wall and then fallen between the wall and the crib.  Lucky us, she wasn't injured.  But she could have been.  She could has trapped her head somewhere.  She could have really been in trouble.

SI helping Daddy
As it was, she was pretty traumatized.  She wouldn't sleep for hours.  And so the decision was made.  It was time for big girl beds.

M bravely dismantled and attempted to re-mantle the cribs.  In the two plus years since their initial assembly, parts had gone missing.  Accommodations had to be made.  Wood, irreparably split.  Parents, sniping wildly.  Children, exhausted and up past bedtime, because their beds remained in pieces.

And then finally, it was done.  Big girl beds.  Yes, one of them is in imminent danger of collapsing should anybody, say, jump on top of it.  But other than that, it should hold.  The rails gone, we proudly stood back and let our pajama clad daughters scurry under their covers.  The children cheered- forget about a bedtime story, we have big girl beds!

I was so exhausted, so hungry, and so frustrated that I had no patience for their cheerful shenanigans.  The first time I heard a child up and out of bed, I went into the room in full conniption.  "EVERYBODY BACK INTO THOSE BEDS...


The children cowered, ducked for cover, and were silenced.  It was the only commotion before unconsciousness reined.  I felt too successful to even register guilt.  Night one of big girl beds was a success.

Until 3:30am.

Ever tried to sleep while somebody does this to you?
Sometime around 3:30am, SI woke up, howling.  She wasn't wet.  She hadn't soiled herself.  For all I can tell, she had suffered a bout of panic.  Fear of freedom.  Fear of her mother's demonically possessed shouted demands for silence.  Perhaps a simple nightmare.  I may never know.  All I know is that after the first half hour, M's alarm clock went off, and he abandoned us to get ready for work.  In my fear that she would wake her sister, I decided to suck it up and put her into my own bed.  Maybe I would be able to sleep.

She kicked.  She tickled.  She poked.  And I kept shushing her and holding her and trying to tell her to just shut up and sleep.  When it seemed I had finally succeeded, I naively thought to return her to her own bed.  It was now well after 5am.

Ever tried to sit up from reclining on a nice, comfy bed, without disturbing the 30 pounds of barely unconscious dead weight across one arm and your chest?

I don't recommend it.

By the time we made it into her room, she was awake.  And shrieking again.  I plopped her into her bed, told her she was a big girl in a big girl bed.  I begged.  I threatened.  I'm not proud.  I was too exhausted to be a particularly good parent.  And eventually, I decided that DD wouldn't wake up and that SI could just cry it out.

I was wrong on both counts.  At the first sign that DD was joining SI in her refrains of misery, I marched into the room and hoisted SI onto my shoulder.  I quickly tucked DD back into her covers, and abandoned her.  She was instantly asleep again.

As for SI, she didn't fall asleep- which meant I didn't fall asleep- until ten minutes before MY alarm clock went off.

I thought...  maybe... just maybe... the next night would be better.

When DD DOES sleep, she means it.
So last night, I tucked my children into bed.  I closed the door.  I waited for the mischief.  It never came.  Again, in my hubris, I rejoiced.

Until midnight.  At midnight, almost precisely, DD fell out of bed.  We head the heavy thud, and then the confused wail.  Lucky for us, she didn't even actually wake up.  Simply lifting her back into bed was all it took for the snoring to resume.  We rejoiced again, we fools.

Until 3:15am, when SI awoke, shrouded in misery once more.

With a primal shriek of anger, I threw off the covers to find out what the hell was wrong with my kid this time.  I still have no idea.  She was standing next to her crib, wailing.  I held her and rocked for what felt like ages, although it can't have been more than half an hour.  Then I held my breath and put her back into her bed.  She sighed, rolled over, and slept.

That was last night.

Yes, they've both been grouchy as hell.

But their enthusiasm for big girl beds remains.

Mine... not so much.  I just want a good night's sleep.

It's got happen sometime, right?

It's got to be inevitable...

Goodbye cribs, how I shall miss you.
Well... I can hope.


  1. I just moved my daughter into a big girl bed. Luckily I haven't had to deal with crawling out of the crib, but I am dealing with the 3am strolls into my room. I feel your pain!

  2. Good luck with the move! I wish you a fast return to sleeping through the night. Its funny how they just don't tell you that interupted sleep extends way past infanthood.

  3. Ugh. I feel you. We had a rough first week when we transitioned SB to her big girl bed. It's actually a full sized adult bed (with rails on both sides), so I slept in it with her for a few nights to get her settled.

    I think sleep deprivation is harder when our children are older. In the early days, we somehow learn to function without sleep. Then we start getting some and, silly as we may be, we rely on it. Once a full night's sleep becomes more regular, any interruption is HARSH! Hang in there. And maybe get some rails for those toddler beds...

  4. It will totally happen! I promise. The question is whether you'll lose your mind before it does. ;)



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