Change in the air

For many a reason it seems we'll be transitioning the girl to her 'big' bed before her 2nd birthday. With the inevitable looming (and the new bedroom set ordered) we decided to give the whole "sleep in the bed" thing a go this afternoon.

You have to understand something. I tend to parent much the way I live life - by the seat of my pants. I'm very much whim-centered. I consider it part of my charm, please do not try to disillusion me. Of course the serious stuff I weigh thoroughly. I measure. I research. I do the whole due diligence thing. Yet the serious stuff seems to arise on rare occasion. Most of my little existence is very much gut based and slightly impetuous.

As the last bits of lunch were picked at I reminded Megan of our routine. Lunch. New diaper. Nap. She nodded, as she usually does now. She picked out the toy that would nap with her today - a giant, over-sized Winnie the Pooh long since stripped of his Santa suit. She bear hugged him so she could drag him out of his cave between the book case and the toy chest. She tossed him on the floor and threw herself down upon him, still hugging him tight.

"Nap on floor. Night on Pooh Bear," she told me. There was no grin on that little 19 month old face. No impish tickle in her eyes to tell me she was teasing yet again. Meg meant business.

"You can not nap on the living room floor," I told her. Then, hit with the whim, I turned ever so slightly to face Logan. "Would it be ok if we borrowed your bed?"

He nodded. "I'm not using it," he said.

Megan was excited. She picked up Winnie and bolted down the hall. Remember, this bear is nearly bigger than her. She never moved this fast before with him in her arms. I found her in her brother's room trying to hoist her buddy to his bed. I helped her up. She cuddled in. I left her.

Moments later I headed down to check on her. It was silent. I heard the sound of feet running. I was ready to scold my son. He has a habit of not contibuting to the 'quiet' conducive for nap time. Then I saw the blur of color that was Meg darting from behind her brother's door to his bed. I stood now in an open door way and said nothing.

Realizing she was caught, she crossed her arms and placed them and her head on the corner of the bed. "Shhh, night night," she whispered.

I gently placed her back on the bed and whispered in her ear, "If you're not going to sleep on the bed, you'll have to do it in your crib."

I checked her three more times. The first time I found her lying peacefully in the center of the bed petting Winnie's arm. The second time she was laying with her feet on the toy box at the foot of the bed. She seemed to be crawling off a little at a time. I moved her back to the pillow area. The last time I found her standing on the bed, pulling back the shade and looking out the window.

She was put in the crib. She cried. "No! Want Brabee bed! Me big girl. No crib." I reminder her of our deal. I told her we'd try tomorrow. Yes, change is in the air.

Later in the day my son reminded me of another transition he's made from toddler to boy. He had been playing with two cardboard nail files my mother had been using. Logan decided they were either sandpaper for the edifice he was imaging or they were swords. We were playing hide and seek when he wasn't doing battle or architecting greatness.

I sat behind a large chair in the living room waiting to be found.

And waiting.

And waiting.

He finally came. I teased him a bit. He was terribly dejected. I felt awful. Did I do it? I asked if he was ok. And he kicked at the rug with his toe. He half-confessed to doing something wrong.

"I wasn't looking for you. I was hiding something so Grandma wouldn't see it," he said in a soft sad voice.

I prodded him for more details but he refused to give them. I hugged him and looked him in the eye. "Logan, you need to tell me what you did. Trust me, Mommys, Daddys, Grandparents - we all have a way of knowing things you don't think we know. You're better off telling me the truth now. Show me what you hid."

He took me to the sewing room - my old room. He pulled open a drawer on a small side table and pulled something out. He looked at me sadly with his hand behind his back. "I broke them. I tried to fix them but I can't. They're just broken forever."

He held them out to me - two cheap cardboard nail files snapped in half. On the grand scale, it meant nothing. These two items costing maybe a dollar between them. Yet, within the big picture they meant so very much. This is his newest stage. He knows he's messed up. He knows he's done something he shouldn't and he tries to keep us from finding it so he doesn't get in trouble.

The "old" Logan would have just come running out to us crying because something he had been playing with broke. The new Logan has an understanding that he broke something that wasn't his and someone may not be happy about it. He knew someone may be angry. That was worse than any form of punishment that could come his way.

I was already eye level with him. "I know you're scared, but you have to tell Grandma about this and you have to apologize. Logan, hiding them wasn't the answer. She'd have found them the next time she used the drawer." I told him about our super sleuthing powers - we'd have known it was him. (Sure his sister could have broken them, but she's not saavy enough yet to hide the evidence.) I told him that he'd be in more trouble for lying about it and trying to hide it than for breaking these boards. I hugged him tight. I reminded him that even if he got in trouble or we got angry, we always loved him. "You'll be in less trouble for telling the truth about a mistake, than for trying to hide it." I told him. I could see the wheels turning. I told him I'd go with him to talk to Grandma.

We found her and he held out his hand with the broken boards exposed. He told her what he had done - how they had broken and he tried to hide them so she'd not be mad.

"Do I look mad?" she said to him. "I'm not happy that they broke because you played with them like we asked you not to do. I am happy that you came and told me though." She hugged him. I hugged him. He said he was sorry. Moment over.

When the moment past I reminded him again how important it was to tell the truth and to come to us instead of trying to hide something from us. I hugged him again.

He got it. He understood it. Yet I know that this isn't the end of it. I know this is just the beginning. It's a new stage for him. It's a bigger leap in many ways than all the stages he's passed before it. He seems ready for it. I wonder if I am.


netchick said...

"You can not nap on the living room floor": Awww... How sweet!

I think parents often have a harder time than the kids with this transition.

Thanks for sharing this, it made me smile.

Michele sent me today! Happy Friday!

Goodbye Mes Amis said...

Children change so quickly. They are amazing.
I'm visiting from Michele's this time.

Crayonsetc said...

Yup, I remember doing the big girl bed. Oh my... can't believe it was that long ago!!!

Thanks for stopping by Crayons!!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Time marches on and with each passing moment new things are upon you and your dear children. These milestones and new stages...it's wonderful that you are writing about them because some day both your kids will have this glorious record of their growing-up stuff in all it's wonderful, fascinating and dificult stages....Great!

Courtney said...

They do get big fast, don't they?
Here via Michele today.

Laura said...

Boy, this post brought back memories for me... of trying to get my daughters to stay IN their bedrooms at bedtime, of teaching them to handle all of the little nuances that pop up out of the blue, like Logan's broken nail file.. which was a huge deal to him. Such baby steps are so large in the grand scheme of things.
Soon they'll be teenagers and it will be a whole other ballgame for you all. You sound like a great mom, and they'll be so lucky to have you at their side. :)

Here from Michele today also! :)

Carmi said...

Yes, you're amply ready. You have such a way of describing the intricacies of little-person life. We get it because we're there, too. And it's a joy to read someone who appreciates the philosophy of hands-on parenting.

We wing it, too. But no one ever said parenting had to be from a script. I can't imagine taking this journey any other way.