Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Pros and Cons of the Big Boy Bed

With the new baby due to arrive in a little more than a month, my husband’s nesting instincts have kicked in, big-time, and one of his recent projects was setting up my son’s “big boy bed”. We had a set of bunk beds in the attic, complete with a bed rail, so we opted to bypass getting a toddler bed and move Ryan directly from the crib into a twin bed. I was a bit nervous as to what he would think of it – and more importantly, whether he’d be willing to STAY in it – but my fears were apparently groundless.

The moment we brought Ryan into his bedroom with the new bed in it, his face lit up like a Christmas tree and he scrambled right into it with no prompting from us. He immediately began jumping up and down, throwing himself on the pillow and snuggling into the fleece blanket, and rearranging the finials on the bedposts, all the while grinning and happily repeating, “Bed! Bed!” In fact, the first night he slept in his new bed, the first thing he said when he woke up in the morning was, “Bed!!”

My biggest fear about having him in a bed was that he’d get out of bed in the middle of the night, still half-asleep, wander out of his room and fall down the stairs. The way our stairway is designed, a standard baby gate won’t attach at the top of the stairs. The solution I came up with was to “bell the cat” by hanging a strap with several loud jingle bells on it over his doorknob, so if he opened his door I’d hear it and wake up. Fortunately, I needn’t have worried, since he loves his bed so much that he hasn’t even made an attempt to climb out, either after a nap or in the morning. The closest he’s come to wanting out is to call, “Mama, mama, open!” or “Mama, up up up!” in the morning – and even that is only after he’s been wide awake and playing in the bed for half an hour or so.

I have discovered one small drawback, though: the bed is just enough longer than the crib that the video monitor doesn’t quite show the foot of the bed. So if he crawls down to that end, I can’t be certain that he’s still in bed, and I can’t see if he’s getting himself into trouble. This afternoon, after I put him down for his nap and was watching him on the monitor, I saw him crawl to the foot of the bed and vanish, and then I started hearing an odd series of noises that went something like: [click] [hum] [click] [silence] [click] [hum] [click] [silence]. I listened to it for several minutes before I realized that the little monkey had discovered the on/off switch for the window air conditioner and was happily flicking it on and off and on and off!! He’s definitely going to grow up to be either an engineer or a juvenile delinquent (or possibly both). But he’s my big boy now, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. Even when he’s being a monkey!

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