My system went through a mini-shock this past weekend. It was amazing. I was bubbling with pride and jittery excitement and yet caught off guard and completely unprepared.
My baby climbed out of her crib. About a hundred times.
And then she upgraded to her toddler bed.
All in 36 hours!
I knew milestones would come and go as my sweet E grows up. First smile. First kiss. First blowout. First big fall. I know to savor each as it comes. I know that most might come without warning. And I know that some will be over in a blink of an eye.
I should have known better than to “expect” the next milestone – which for months now has been nursing. I have prepared myself for that one. A strategy, a special time. It’s all set. (All except the ever-changing date, clearly.)
There’s only one problem – she opted to give up on her little girl bed first! And for this, I have no plan, and I have no knowledge. I don’t know what the right thing is to do when she jumps out of bed in the middle of naptime. I no longer know how to keep her in bed when she waddles her way over to my bedroom door – blankie, puppy, and Make Way for Ducklings pouring out of her little arms – at 5:58 A.M.! (Not sure if the early wake up is a new thing or a usual morning…because she was locked in her crib…and happy…BY HERSELF…until at least 7:30 almost every other day…)
So far in our short relationship, there’s been nothing more trying than an hour long battle to keep an over-excited 20 month old E in her bed. There’s been nothing more testing than assuring my little baby that I am just outside if she needs anything, just to have her check on me seconds after I finally feel safe enough to creep silently down those creaky stairs.
But I LOVE IT.
That sweet face staring at me through the crack in her door to make sure I don’t leave the landing. Watching (via that video monitor we almost retired to storage last week!) E discover that the bedroom she’s been sleeping in for 17 months is actually her very own private space – to be actively explored and quietly enjoyed during nap time, if she so choses, whether from the bed, the floor, the rocking chair or even the top of the desk, for as long as she pleases. The little body standing at the threshold of her doorway, staring at mom’s head still laying on that soft, heavenly pillow, just waiting to hear me say, “It’s ok, E. You can come out!” And the joyful skip in her step to know that she can finally come to us when she’s ready rather than having to wait for mom and dad to get their slow, tired bodies out of bed to fetch her every morning.
It’s been unexpected. It’s been beautiful.