Monday, November 12, 2007

The End of an Era

We put away Punkin's crib this weekend. We moved her to a toddler bed, which so far is working out okay. I don't really know why we moved her except for the fact that Bubba was already in a toddler bed when he was her age.

I found out I was pregnant with Punkin not long after Bubba turned two. And because I never wanted him to feel that she had usurped him in any way, we moved him out of the crib about three weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I was worried about how he would handle it, but it went so smoothly I could hardly believe it. No fussing, no nighttime wandering (which was my greatest fear), nothing.

And while I KNOW in my head that he and Punkin are two different people, for some reason it just seems that since HE was out of his crib by now then she should be, too. But with Punkin nothing is ever as cut and dried as it was with Bubba. Remember the higgie incident?

Let me just say that Punkin was thrilled with her new bed. She spent most of Saturday morning running down the hall to her room shouting "my new bed, my new bed" and then flopping on it. I didn't really think we would have any trouble getting her to lie down come bedtime.

The first night the toddler bed was up was the night we went to the football game. We picked the kids up from my dad's late and by the time we got home both were sound asleep in the backseat. I managed to get Punkin into her pj's with a minimum of waking and put her in the toddler bed. Sometime in the night I heard a thunk, went to check on her and found her somehow halfway wedged underneath the bed, a feat in and of itself because the thing is so darn low to the ground. But, she remained in the bed for the rest of the night and was there when I went to wake her on Sunday morning.

Last night, around 12:30 I heard Punkin crying so I went to check on her. I opened the door to her room and ran smack into her. I don't know if she was crying because she couldn't get her room door open or what, but I picked her up and put her back in the bed. After I got to bed I kept thinking that I heard small thuds and rustling coming from her room, but since I STILL can't hear out of my right ear, I couldn't be sure. She wasn't crying. So eventually I fell back asleep.

This morning when I went to wake her she was in her bed, but her blanket was wayyyy over by her closet. And tonight when I put her to bed I noticed a strange stuffed animal that normally sits on her bookshelf on the other side of the room. She must be an intrepid little soul because her room is a dark as pitch at night. I don't want to put in a nightlight because I'm afraid it will only encourage the wandering. But, sheesh, I'm not sure I would go wandering in a room that dark.

We're probably going to sell the crib. And I have to say that putting that crib away gave me a pang of sadness that I haven't felt before when retiring any of my other baby stuff. I loved that crib. We bought it when I was pregnant with Bubba and it was gorgeous. Dark Cherry. Clean lines. It was expensive but we had more money (than sense!) back then. For me, that crib symbolizes all my hopes and expectations when I was pregnant. And now it seems like we've reached a very significant milestone not only in Punkin's life, but also in mine.

A former client of mine and I were discussing our kids once. He said that sometimes he felt wistful and sad about milestones that passed unrecognized. We don't often celebrate the last bottle. Or the last diaper. Or the last time your children sit in your lap. Because at the time you may not realize that it IS the last time. And I really didn't realize on Friday night that would be the last time Punkin' slept in her crib. Getting out the toddler bed was kind of a spur of the moment decision on Saturday.

And although I'm glad to see Punkin becoming more independent, it makes me a little sad too. She's growing up. How am I going to know when all the "lasts" are? I definitely don't want to miss the last time she sits in my lap.


Susan said...

Sometimes I worry that if I don't have a photo, a video, a "something" to capture these moments when my children are young I won't remember them as I grow older. I hope, though, I'll at least remember the feelings about it, if not the details. I don't know about you, but even the memory of sitting in the dark cuddling with my infant in the middle of the night seems as if it happened to a different person.

I saved this gigantic Costco sized bottle of baby shampoo when it ran out; it lasted us about the first 3 years after my divorce. I don't know why I still have it, except that for it seemed like a milestone of some kind, a sign that my kids were no longer babies and that we had all changed so much, during that time.

Yes, I have photos and other more cuddly mementos, too!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I am deathly afraid of the toddler bed move. Alexis is clearly ready to move out of her crib, but I'm so not ready for middle of the night wandering. All I can invision is her deciding she needs some cinnamon bread and going downstairs in the dark, falling over a cat, and suffering horrible injuries.

Why do they have to grow up?

Esme said...

Each "last" leads directly to a new "first." When I get that bittersweet feeling watching my kids grow up or hit a milestone, I try to remind myself to look for the "first."

That said, every time my mother or my mother-in-law looks at Five and says, "He's not a baby anymore!" I want to grab him up and shriek, "Yes he is! He's only just turned 1! He's still a baby!" I'm not quite ready for my youngest to be so big.

1blueshi1 said...

as my best friend back in VA and I used to tell each other to make ourselves appreciate the tough times in life & parenting: "These ARE the Good Old Days!"

that we'll be reminiscing about in The Home while waiting for our kids to come visit, no doubt...

Karen said...

I literally cried when we dropped the crib mattress from the highest to the lowest setting. I managed to get a grip when we moved her out of the crib. They just grow up so fast!

Although, after nearly 11 years of use, we've finally retired that crib. May it rest in pieces.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Oh my god, I'm going to cry. My oldest son is 11 and I'm literally sitting here trying to remember the last time he sat in my lap.