For months, Mike and I have been trying to determine the right time to move Ryan from his crib into a bed.
The whole we’re-going-to-move-across-the-country-soon thing is complicating matters because I don’t want to buy another piece of furniture that will have to be hauled to the East Coast. But I also don’t want to introduce too many changes (new state! new home! less Mexican food and more cheese steaks! PLUSNEWBIGBOYBED!) all at once.
Mentally and emotionally, I don’t think he’s quite ready for a bed. Physically, dude is busting out of his crib. We laugh sometimes at how darn big he looks in the thing. Yet, we still like that he is confined and unable to get into
any much trouble in there.
The other strange consideration is the fact that Ryan does what we call “The Head Thing” pretty much all night long. It’s a head-rocking thing that soothes him to sleep (check out a video of Ryan doing The Head Thing as a baby and tell me if that would soothe you at all. Also, take a moment to appreciate those chunky baby legs). Every time we check on him at night, he’s in some new position in some other corner of the crib.
Translation: He’s going to fall out of bed. A lot.
So I’ve been thinking of ways to ease this transition for him when the time comes. It finally came to me this weekend: Give him a Big Boy pillow and a Big Boy blanket to sleep with.
I figured this plan had three benefits:
1. The pillow will teach him to keep his head in one area of the crib.
2. Perhaps it will make him more comfortable so that he can tone down The Head Thing a bit.
3. When we do move him to a bed, at least he’ll still have the same pillow and blanket, so it won’t be as big of a shock.
So yesterday, I made a trip to Target and found him a pillow specifically made for people with allergies (score!) and picked him out some very soft pillow cases.
I told him all about his new pillow and how he would get to use his special (read: large) Spiderman blanket when he went to bed, because he’s such a Big Boy and Big Boys get their own pillows and Spiderman blankets and wow, he’s just like Daddy with his Big Boy pillow, etc forever.
When it was time for bed, I ceremoniously placed the pillow in the crib. I oooh’ed and ahhhh’ed for another minute at the Big Boy and tucked him in with his special Spiderman blanket. (Plus his baby blanket and stuffed Dumbo, which – mark my words – he will still be sleeping with on his wedding night.)
Once he was all tucked him, he simply stared at us stoically, as Big Boys do.
I looked at him for a moment. Oh dear god, he looked all grown up. Like he might be headed off to kindergarten or driver’s ed or college in the morning.
I quickly told him good night, blew him a kiss, closed the door, and started crying. I was hit by one of those random, Where Did The Time Go moments and couldn’t remember how we’d gotten from grunting newborn to Legit Big Boy.
Can you imagine the mess I’ll be when he actually moves to a bed? Maybe I’ll just keep him in the crib until he’s 10. Mother’s prerogative.
(In case you’re wondering, yes, he Head Thing’d himself right off that pillow, despite me re-positioning him twice. And the Spiderman blanket was laying on the floor next to the crib this morning, when Ryan sheepishly announced “I trew ‘piderman!”)