Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Brave New World of Toddler Beds

 I’ve been trying to get this post written for close to a week and just keep getting distracted by ten million other demands on my time.  Shocking, I know!

We are in the midst of yet another big transition in our house!  We had a lovely international themed thanksgiving dinner with friends...

 and then right after we bid them adieu we also said hasta la vista to the cribs!  Let me preface the rest of this post by asking all the parents reading this...when your kids were two, did you ever once think "Hey, we should invite their two best friends over for a sleep-over!?"  NO!  I didn't think so...

This was NOT the plan!  I was in the “cribs til three” camp, but realistically was really really hoping we could make it until we moved next summer.  Then we could have big exciting big kid beds in the new house.  But alas, it was not meant to be.  They have been able to climb out of their cribs for close to six months; you may recall seeing these pictures in June.  But after putting them in sleep sacks for a couple days (which made it too hard for them to swing their leg up to the top bar) they kind of got over it and the novelty of climbing out seemed to wear off.  And since then I don’t think they have climbed out more than a handful of times, and even then, only one at a time.  I don’t know what was in the air on Wednesday last week, but as I was trying to put them down for a nap all three were repeatedly climbing out of their cribs.  And they are so quick that by the time I’d put one back in, the other two were out and running around the room like wild hyenas.  Now, if you had to guess who the instigator of craziness was going to be, who would you guess?  Avery, right?  But no, it was actually Ellie both at this nap and at a couple of bedtimes since who has been the most hyper and uncooperative!  It was truly naptime mutiny.  Thankfully I was in a good mental place for this trip to crazytown.  I feel like I tried everything.  I tried positive reinforcement for the two seconds one of them would stay put, I stayed calm, I tried removing special things like a blanket or a stuffed animal but nothing was working.  And then I walked out of the room because they were being so ridiculous and also so hysterical that I could no longer keep a straight face and I couldn’t let them see me laughing about it!  I took this video after I collected myself and prepared to walk back in.  As you can probably hear in my voice, I was still struggling to keep a straight face.  I tried putting the girls in sleep sacks, but they’re too big and strong now and were still out in .2 seconds. 

After this I went in and basically started the naptime routine over.  We sat down to read books and again they were being super cute!  All of this cuteness made it easier to stay calm about this craziness!

I thought maybe if I put all their mattresses on the floor they would think that was cool and would buy in to laying down.  They did…for half a second!  But they were being so cute rocking and singing to their babies/animals that I left them alone and just hoped that eventually they would give in and crash.  That definitely did not happen.  And when Avery gets really tired she can get on quite a mean streak and that is exactly what happened.  As you can see in the video she’s laying on the futon and then seemingly out of nowhere she goes over and bites Isaiah on the back over and over again.  So I went in and we had a little chat and I got everyone settled down before leaving again.  That’s where the video picks up again and you can see her being so sweet to Isaiah, patting him and then going to steal the elephant from Ellie because he asked for it!  She’s like Jekyll and Hyde when she is tired!  Unfortunately she reverted back to biting later so I removed her and put her in a peapod tent in the guest room where she promptly fell fast asleep!  The other two never gave in and just didn’t nap.   
Shockingly that night all three slept in their cribs without much hassle, probably because they were so darn tired! 

Naptime on Thanksgiving Day was shaping up to be just like Wednesday, and we only had two peapod tents as back up, so we opted to convert Avery's crib to a toddler bed and put the other two in the tents.  Without the other two to interact with Avery settled down in her "big girl bed" right away.  
So, after we finished our delicious Thanksgiving dessert the next night we proceeded to convert the other two cribs to toddler beds too.  In hindsight, doing this on a night when the kiddos ate hardly any dinner and ate two desserts may not have been the best choice, but it went fairly well.  Isaiah did end up sleeping in a tent in the guestroom and Michelle and I definitely stayed in a little longer than normal to help the girls settle, but they did it.  We did have one teeny tiny little issue...

Poor thing had to poop and we didn't hear/understand her if she was trying to tell us.  So she pooped in her diaper but then took her PJs and diaper off and put her diaper in the potty before promptly collapsing with her PJs around her ankles on the futon!  But we cleaned her up and she settled pretty easily in her bed.

And the next night Isaiah decided to get on board and since then they've slept every night and naptime in their "big kid beds" and have excitedly showed them off to everyone who comes to visit or that we Facetime with.  We started a sticker chart and that seems to be helping when they are testing the waters with getting out.  I don't have any illusion that this streak will continue, but I feel okay about it knowing that we have the peapod tents as back ups. I think it was Thursday night that Michelle and I panicked about the fact that we only had two of those tents and promptly got on the internet and ordered a third!  It will be good to have them for traveling anyway because they are so much smaller and lighter than pack-n-plays, so even if we don't really need it as a toddler bed back up, it will still be useful.  In fact, yesterday at naptime Isaiah asked to sleep in the tent and then both girls joined in.  Fine by me!  As long as they nap I don't really care! 

I have to say that this transition hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected, at least thus far, but they do seem to be having a little more trouble settling if they wake up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning.  This morning I was in their room settling one after the other from about 4:30 on. I'll keep you posted!

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