The Crib Fairy stopped by my house last week and left a trail of uncertainty behind on her way out.
At the suggestion of the Little Dude’s pediatrician, Mrs. Dude and I decided to remove the crib from our 2 ½ year old’s room and move him into a “Big Boy Bed” in advance of his brother’s arrival. The doctor said that we should remove the crib and put it somewhere out of sight so that when our new arrival starts using it in a few months, there won’t be jealousy or resentment from the previous tenant.
Tinkering with the sleep habits of any kid is not easy. Tinkering with the sleep habits of a Rip van Winkle prodigy like my Little Dude had the potential for great disaster written all over it. But we had to do it with the longview in mind. Bringing a new baby into the house is going to be an adjustment for all of us. As parents, I trust that we’ll handle the transition better than our happy toddler who is used to being the center of attention. Or at least I hope so.
My wife started prepping him weeks in advance with news of the Crib Fairy’s impending arrival. As the story went, the Crib Fairy was going to come and remove the Little Dude’s crib, leaving a Big Boy Bed behind for him to sleep in. On top of that coup, CF was also going to leave a present. Seemed like a Michael Scott-style win/win/win for everyone involved.
As part of the preparation Mrs. Dude took the Little Dude to Target and let him pick out some new bedding. As a Cars aficionado, he settled on a nice Lightning McQueen set after his first choice --pink -- was thankfully vetoed.
On transition day, the new bed was brought in and Mrs. Dude was tasked with disassembling the crib. Why was literal and figurative heavy lifting imposed on my 7 months pregnant wife? Because she put it together originally and knew how it all fit. I had a more difficult task that night anyway: occupying an antsy 2 ½ year old who was unaware of what was happening behind the scenes. I figured the best thing to do would be to make him more tired so that he might sleep better in his new environment. So after dinner we went on a walk around our neighborhood while my wife went to work. I didn’t think the disassembling would take very long, so when I texted her after 45 minutes and found out she wasn’t even close to finished I knew it was going to be a long night for us. Hopefully not for multiple reasons.
We headed back to the homestead and I left the Little Dude with his favorite babysitter: Elmo and a sippy cup of milk, while I headed upstairs to check out the situation. Crib pieces were everywhere, making his bedroom resemble a war-torn minefield. I stealthily started bringing crib pieces downstairs, not wanting my cover as half of the Crib Fairy to be blown.
|The Big Boy Bed, just before the grand unveiling.|
Finally it was time for the grand unveiling. As our sleepy Little Dude headed upstairs, we told him that he was in for a big surprise. He ran into his room and saw a giant void where his crib had always been. Then he realized that the Crib Fairy had stopped by and he asked where his present was. On top of the Big Boy Bed was a Great Dane-size image of Lightning McQueen on the new comforter and on top of that was a gift bag.
He ripped into the gift bag as only a toddler can, finding a slew of Hot Wheels cars inside. He started pulling them out one by one and eagerly examining each exotic new vehicle. He was clearly not thinking about the imminent transition. Could it really be that easy?
|Checking out the new presents.|
We proceeded with his usual bedtime routine of bath, tooth brushing and story time until the moment of truth was upon us. We dimmed the lights as he wiggled under his shiny new covers, slowly exploring the much more expansive sleep space than he was used to. As he clutched his Hot Wheels tight we tucked him in, turned out the lights and let out a collective deep breath of relief. Just before he said “I wanna sleep in Mama & Dada’s bed”.
Damn Crib Fairy.
|A moment before he realized this was for real.|