That New Bed Smell

Up until this past Monday, Fresco was sleeping in a crib. Yes. My three year old was in a crib. I know that it makes intellectual sense to leave a child in its preferred enclosure until it is ready to move to another, and Fresco showed no signs of needing alternate sleeping arrangements, but there was still a dark, shameful corner of my soul that wailed periodically, That child is too big for a crib!

(Who is it in that corner of my soul? Is it A Judgmental Old Lady I Met Once? A Talk Show Host? That Bossy Child-free Man on the Bus? Hard to say.)

Back in November when he wasn’t sleeping at nap time, I left Fresco in his crib one too many days and he figured out how to climb out. Which led to me giving up and rocking him to sleep and then he got caught up on all his sleep and once he was re-adjusted to life as a well-slept human, he never again attempted to climb out.

Sidenote: So yes, it was a REGRESSION not a permanent change. He started napping regularly again. Parents of 2.5 year olds, note. The not-sleeping is perhaps not permanent. I was pretty convinced it was permanent, which is the surest sign of a full-on regression.

When we moved the kids into one room over the weekend, Fresco fell in love with Trombone’s bed. Which Trombone has been in since he was 18 months old because we needed the crib for the baby.

I need my own bed, said Fresco.
Sure, I said, with no intention of changing the status quo because when we moved the rooms around we also took away the safety gates that until recently kept the children penned and put. Without the gates and without the crib railings, well, they can go Anywhere They Want. I am not comfortable with that! I have no door on my bedroom!

After two days of But I really need a bed of my own and after Saint Aardvark witnessed a harrowing attempt by both children (working together! Yay boys!) to rescue a water cup from the crib – which attempt involved dangling, climbing and balancing on the edge of a rocking chair – we caved and went to IKEA for a bed.

We brought it home and assembled it and then it was nap time. I had been in the habit of sitting in the rocking chair next to the crib while Fresco fell asleep but he waved me on. You can go, he said, curled up under his blanket, eyes squeezed shut. So I came downstairs and waited a few minutes to make sure and then I put my shoes on to go get some …

… trip trip trip down the stairs he came. I’m done my nap! he announced cheerfully.
Hell no, you’re not, we replied. Go back upstairs.

To my eternal shock, he did. And there he stayed, asleep as the day is long, for two hours. TWO HOURS. The child has not had a two hour nap in months.

The following day, I tucked him in and left him and he slept for 90 minutes.

The following following day, I tucked him in and he cried because Trombone was supposed to sleep too and Trombone had left the room. But he still, eventually, went to sleep for two hours.

“So do you think there is some kind of, like, toxic chemical in the mattress that puts you to sleep?”
“Or poppies maybe?”
“Oh well.”

Which is why, bittersweetly, today I am skipping his bed nap. I am breaking my own top 5 rules of parenting, #4: Don’t Fuck with Nap Time.

I know. I scarcely believe it myself.

We had a late lunch after a superfun play date this morning. We have to go to gymnastics at 3:30 and if he had gone to sleep any
later than 1:30 I would have probably ended up waking him (rule #2: Don’t Wake A Sleeping Child) and then the tides of hell would come washing ashore and burn me with an afternoon of grumpy toddler so I am choosing option B, which is put him in the stroller to gymnastics and walk while Trombone is in class. This features two bonuses: 1. I get a nice, quiet, brisk walk 2. Maybe to the liquor store.

The best, by which I mean, ‘what the hell am I thinking?’ part is that today, after lunch and after I read two stories, he said, OK I am going up to my bed now. And I had to say, No, today you stay downstairs.

Which means that tomorrow, come nap time, I will have to work twice as hard for the nap and I will hate myself for today.

On the bright side, my father-in-law just sent me a recommendation for a $10 red wine.

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