Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Torch is Passed

Last year, a little before Christmas, Samuel gave up his place in our house as the Toddler Menace, passing that title onto his little sister Catherine.  By January, he was promoted from Menace to Assassin.  The Assassin of Sleep, specifically.  Having moved into a "big boy bed," he got out of bed, and then got me out of bed, on some pretense or other, every night for ten months.  If he did not, he was up by 5:30.  This, as you might imagine, was exhausting.

Last month, many things came together to improve this situation.  He stopped taking a nap.  The days started getting shorter; the mornings started getting darker.  For one whole week, he went to bed without incident, slept soundly through the night, and did not get out of bed until at least six, sometimes half past, and one glorious day, 7:30.  It seems my little Assassin has overcome his ways.  He is ready to get promoted again.  To what, I do not yet know.  I'll admit, I am a little anxious to see what comes next, but right now I have another problem.


After only one week -- one, glorious, sleep filled week -- of Samuel's new routine, Catherine learned how to climb out of her crib.  Climb out, stay out, cry to let me know she was out.  One morning at five, she came, like her brothers before her, to the side of the bed (Why is it always my side of the bed?), and said, "C'mon, Mommy.  Get up now."  Repeatedly.  "C'mon, Mommy.  Get up now.  C'mon, Mommy.  Get up now."  Then, she began pulling off the bed covers.  She grabbed the top corner and just peeled them back, leaving me no choice but to "C'mon, Mommy.  Get up now." 

This would not do.

In an effort to begin teaching her proper "big girl bed" behavior, I just embraced it.  Her crib is now converted into a toddler bed, with new bedding (an early birthday present) which she helped pick out (from the clearance rack).

So, to sum up:  The Assassin of Sleep torch has passed. Another Menace has been promoted.  And, Cate has a new bed.

Here it is, all made up, pretty and inviting.

She helped make it.

She showed Dolly how to use it.  This is a good sign, I thought.

She was thrilled to pieces to get in it.  Though it was not bed time.

She was even able to show me how she was going to "sleep" in it.

The first night, something got lost in translation.

The second night was a little better.  But, it took some work to get her to stay in there before this blissful picture could be taken.

The third night, she regressed a little.

We have quit trying to get her to stay in the bed.  All we require is that she stay in the room.  And, since she can't turn door knobs (yet) that has been pretty easy.  Most nights, she cries at her door for five minutes and then falls asleep there.  Before we go to bed, we have to squeeze our way in, scoop her up, and put her back where she belongs.  It has only been a week.  I am sure she is going to get the hang of it soon.  She is going to get the hang of it soon, right?

My next concern is what to do with her if she gets up too early in the morning, or worse, in the middle of the night.  Her father insists on opening her door before we go to bed so that "she can get out if she needs us."  Us?  Ha!  I can hear her if she needs me.  I can hear her even when she hopes I can't.  Like last night, when she got up, came into our room to look around a bit, and finding us still asleep, stole away to the kitchen, where I caught her, sitting in front of an open refrigerator, eating sour cream out of the container with a serving spoon.

Her brothers never did this and still don't.  If they get up in the middle of the night, they come to see me, no matter what.  There has never been any free range night time adventure.  Tonight, I'm keeping her door closed, before she figures out how to order pay-per-view and a pizza at two in the morning.

Meanwhile, we have to be careful not to get too distracted, lest we fail to notice what Samuel might be up to next.
Here's wishing you, and yours, an uninterrupted night of sleep.


  1. LOVE that HUGE grin on her face when she was giving her new bed a whirl for the first time!

    WHEW...those are tough times...why can't toddlers tell time and simply be told to stay in their beds 8-8??? HA!

  2. When we switched the boys to their big boy bunk beds - Ezra was the menace! He would get up and start playing with his, louder, toys! I don't remember what stopped him. I know Darin and I would lay with him in bed, still do, to get him back to sleep. Elijah wasn't one to get out of bed - he still isn't. We just recently trained him to get out of bed on his own! To Elijah's credit, he REALLY does like a good snuggle in the morning. Now he just comes into bed with us - if we're still there.
    Such are the lives of parents - wouldn't change it for anything!

  3. I love the pretty pink sheets and quilt...none of those in my house! sigh. :)

  4. OH NO!! Rading this made me feel weak -with sympathy for you and a horrible premonition that we might be facing the same thing soon. Hattie started climbing out of her cot but seems (fingers so so so crossed) to have forgotten to do it for the past few nights. I was just about to do the toddler bed thing. But she's older than your Cate - I think you've a handful right there! I'm sure she'll be ruling the world in 20 years time, but in the meantime.... Just remember that fiesty girls are the best!! Your pay-per-view and pizza line made me laugh.

  5. Oh boy - I remember that time, too. The kids would give us (me) a break before the torch of challenge was passed on to another. Come to think of it, they still do this, only in different ways. I can't believe Cate chose to eat sour cream of all things in the fridge - maybe she recognized the word cream and thought it was ice cream instead? My Emma would get up at four every morning, pad down the hallway and climb into bed with us - until she was almost four. Then I'd be sandwiched between her dad and her, not overly conducive to sleeping!
    One day at a time...

  6. Oh, that Catherine! Methinks you are in for a bit of trouble -- eating sour cream from the carton, alone in the middle of the night -- ha! Yep, keep that door closed as long as you can.

  7. I remember my oldest doing that...falling asleep at the know everyone says you will cherish those memories. They are actually right!!! I don't think I have had solid sleep for about 12 years. Now my 3-yr-old is sleeping I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder that wakes me up most nights...i've given up on sleep.

    Great post. Brought back memories.