Big Boy Bed

Big Boy BedIt was bound to happen. I mean he was three-and-a-half already. But that doesn’t mean I was ready for my little boy to come waltzing out of his room after he was tucked safely into his crib.

He finally did it. He figured out how to climb up out of the side while using his neighboring dresser as a makeshift ladder.

There he stood in our darkened living room well after bedtime grinning from ear to ear. He had escaped. And he was thrilled.

It’s the first time he’s ever really wanted to come out. He’s never really tried to get out on his own before that.

But that night a month ago was the first of many, many nights (and afternoons for naps) that he helped himself out of his confinement. He claimed that he was “done sleeping,” but part of me knew he was too proud of his newfound freedom to stay caged any longer.

He was growing up.

So we took down the side rail of his crib and transformed it into his brand new big-boy bed. Aside from being a little disappointed that he hasn’t grown into a T-Rex yet (something he’s always wanted to be when he grows up) he has been completely elated with his new sleeping arrangements.

I was less than elated.

My boy. My perfect little rainbow baby. The child who brought more smiles to my face and love to my heart after Luca died than anything else. How can it be that he is growing up so fast? How is he big enough for a crib-less bed?

I was surprised at how hard it was for me to make up his new bed. I tucked the sheets in carefully while pondering how quickly things can change.

A couple weeks later I held this same son’s hand as we walked down the steps to registration at his new preschool.

Again my heart was heavy as I began to internalize what that registration symbolized. Is he really old enough for preschool? Am I really going to have to let him go, without me, twice a week? Can’t I swaddle him close and keep him with me for the rest of his life?

I can’t help but feel like time is racing by for my fourth little baby boy. Sure we’ve made it through the difficult nighttime feedings and I’m more than beyond ecstatic that we survived his potty training days. But that doesn’t mean I am ready for him to “grow up.”

When I sit back and truly think about it, thoughts of inadequacy and doubt creep into my mind. Have I played with him enough? Have we read enough stories together? Did I rock him to sleep as many times as I could have? Sing him enough lullabies? Have we played PJ Masks as many times as possible?

Then I reassure myself that I could waste away asking myself these questions. I know I have done my best. We have built a blanket “HQ” in my room every day for weeks. I can’t tell you how many Lego dinosaurs I have made. And I have found my puzzle piecing soul mate. We have cuddled and snuggled away many, many afternoons. I have loved him to the best of my ability every day of his life.

And when I start to get teary eyed and can’t bear for him to get any older, I close my eyes and picture that grin on his face. The one he wore when he figured out how to get out of his crib and came to find me. That same grin flashed across his face when he met his new preschool teacher and got to play with the T-Rex she had in her toy box.

He’s ready. I can’t hold him back. Nor should I.

Everything He Needs To Know He’ll Learn In Kindergarten

I do not want to send my son to all-day kindergarten. Some of you may call me crazy, but I’m definitely not looking forward to it. With each passing day I feel more dread for the fall, when I no longer will have him here all day to play with.

I know it’s only from about 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. but that’s six and a half hours without my baby! Wow. What am I going to do? What is my 2-year-old going to do?

I know I am not thinking rationally and there are plenty of things that I can do with my 2-year-old to stay busy while his brother is gone. It’s just that he and his brother are best friends. Sometimes I think they should have been twins. The three of us have a blast together and now it’s going to be very different.

Don’t worry, I plan on taking my youngest to the local children’s museum for toddler time, and I’m sure we’ll spend most of our Wednesdays at our public library’s discover day. We’ll do all the things I did with my oldest when he was an only child.

My 2-year-old will probably be just fine acting as king of the house while he’s the only child at home. Until he has another sibling someday… whenever that may be. It would have been nice for him to have a little brother to play with, but things don’t always happen they way we plan them to.

Anyway, there are a number of reasons why it’s hard for me to let go of my son and send him to school. For one, I love his company. I have spent 99.9 percent of his 4-and-a-half years with him. He has literally been at my side from day one. When he was a newborn he would sit on the couch next to me in his Boppy pillow while I typed up freelance articles for the Deseret News. I was so happy to have him that I wanted him with me all the time.

It’s also hard for me to see him go because I gave up a lot when I had him. It changed my whole world. Don’t get me wrong, I chose to have him and become a stay-at-home mom. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard for me to turn my back on my college education and dream career. Now that he’s going to school I feel abandoned. I gave up so much for him and now he’s leaving me!

Again, I know I am being dramatic. He’ll come home to me every afternoon and we’ll live it up in the evenings. I loved school and so I am so excited for him to get to learn and grow like I did. I am actually a little jealous that he gets to go do all the things I loved doing.

I am just going to miss him so badly while he’s gone. I also don’t want to have any regrets. I keep asking myself if we have read enough stories, watched enough Disney movies, fought enough “wars” or found enough dinosaur bones in the backyard together. Have I done all that I could with him? Will the memories be enough to carry me over while he’s gone?

I sure hope so. Because whether I like it or not, he’s going to turn 5 this summer and I’m going to have to turn him over to his teacher for most of his waking moments. That’s when I’ll live for early-out day, the weekends and summer vacation.

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