Monday, March 30, 2009


If you've read some entries from my blog, you know that I don't brag on my child all that much. While JD is a terrific kid, he's got plenty of moments that make my eyes shoot fire and steam come out of my ears.

Right now, I'd like to brag on my kid.

JD is a championship sleeper. He slept five hours in the hospital the second night we were there and had to be awoken by the nurses for a feeding. He was sleeping through the night around six or eight weeks and, with a handful of exceptions that all include sickness, has never turned back.

He has also been exceptional with respect to major transitions. He took a pacifier in the hospital after he was born and took it until he was just over eleven months. The doctor said to take it away, so I did. No problems whatsoever. Giving up bottles in favor of sippy cups? Forget about it. Going from two naps per day to one? (And he still takes a three hour nap every afternoon.)

Need him to get up a little early? No problem. Keep him up late? No meltdowns. Put him down a little early? That's about the only challenge unless I run him around sufficiently. As long as he has some milk, a couple of stories, and his puppy, he's good to go.

But all of that, I feel, pales in comparison to the transition he seems to have quickly mastered. That was going from his crib to his full sized bed.

Actually, it's a twin-over-full bunk bed. Being only two-years-two-months-old, he's only in the full bed and has no access to the top bunk which does not yet have a mattress.

It's the transition we heard was important to make before his sister is born in five weeks from tomorrow (3/31). Though she won't be in her crib until she's sleeping through the night consistently, we wanted to ensure that JD didn't feel as though he was giving his crib up for the baby.

So we purchased the bed and had it delivered and put together. He was immediately excited. The three of us went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to outfit it with sheets, pillowcases, and a comforter. The next day, JD and I went to Costco to purchase pillows, including a body pillow and some decorative throw pillows. This way, he would have padding all around. We didn't know what to expect, but we didn't want him to have the option of slamming into something. (By the way, the one drawback of bunk beds is making the bed. What a pain! That, and hitting your head.)

Finally, we had a countdown. Okay, JD, three more days until you sleep in your bed! Two days! etc.

Then came Friday afternoon. The big moment. we didn't want to wait until nighttime - limit the chance of having a sleepless night.

JD and I climbed into the bed together. I was prepared to read a bunch of books and lay there with him until he fell asleep. That didn't work. Just like trying to get him to sleep with us in our own bed, it didn't work. It was play time. After forty-five minutes, I got up. JD got up with me and I picked him up and asked him, Crib or bed? Bed, he replied. So into bed I put him, kissed him, then walked out and closed the door.

The next fifteen minutes reminded me how hard sleep training is.

So I lied a little bit about the ease of the transition. There was one rough spot.

For fifteen minutes he screamed bloody murder. Oh, and that comment I just made about sleep training? While at just a few months, your baby is still an infant and vulnerable and fragile, this is a toddler with lungs and a vocabulary. Daddy! Daddy! I want Daddy! Hello? Hello? I want open please! Come in, please! He used every word he could muster to try to get me to come get him. I had to hide in the basement and work on a project so that I could divert my attention. But still, the monitor lights were bright red and as low as I'd set the volume so I could just hear him, he was still quite audible. Daddy! Daddy! Crying so hard. It was hard not to, myself.

I decided a few minutes into his hysterics that I would wait fifteen minutes and then go up, put him into bed, then walk back out.

Just as that fifteen minute mark came up, I suddenly heard silence. I looked into the video monitor but didn't see him in bed. I decided to wait a little longer. A couple of minutes later, I heard some rustling. He was crawling into bed. I turned on the monitor to see him sitting in bed, whimpering to catch his breath, and clutching his blue puppy. Another few minutes and he was out.

The next couple of naps were tough, too, but not like that. Tonight, I read the standard two books while he sipped some milk, then I kissed him good night and, just before I turned off the reading light, he lay down holding puppy.

He was tired and happy to be in bed.

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