Thursday, 26 September 2013

Toddler Crib?

It's getting about the time when my toddler should have her crib exchanged for a bed. She looks peculiar behind the bars of her crib, like a creature in an unusual habitat, but with an odd familiarity stemming from long nights of trying to get our baby to sleep. She's not a baby anymore. Not that she really spent much time in there sleeping during her infancy. 

We have the new bed, waiting in the shed. A cute house with a shelf and a window. She has already delightedly approved, as she checked it out when we brought it home. She didn't know it was a bed, as it was missing the mattress. To her it was some awesome castle that she asked to see again for days. She'll love it. She's probably ready.

But mom isn't ready.

The idea of her climbing out of bed and exploring at will and unattended while I think she is sleeping terrifies me. Even if she only has access to her room. I can just see myself checking on her as much as I did when she first slept in another room. Which was, what? Not until five or six months old? 

What if she tries to climb her book shelf? What if she unplugs her fan and tries to stick something else in the socket? What if...?

Oh, the scenarios I could contrive if I let myself think too much! It reminds me of Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events. "Watch out for that cart. It might break free and run us over." She saw the danger in absolutely everything. Everything! I used to see the danger in all things. I'd envision the dramatic mishaps and doleful inconveniences constantly throughout my day. The result of a combination of bad experiences, witnessing too much attention grabbing, and my mom's strong desire to teach by pointing everything out.

I'm not as crazy anymore. I'm a little subdued, due to necessity. Now, in my current situation, my anxiety could really be quenched with diligent and thorough baby proofing. Well, toddler proofing. This little girl sees everything. Watches everything. Explores everything. Copies everything. She wants to put things where mommy and daddy put them and use things how mommy and daddy use them. I've already learned not to wash the toilet in her presence. 

But I can't guard her forever. I try to be ever-present and let her explore safely. But her freedom is expanding. She's going to cause some trouble eventually. Apparently, as children my brother and I made a nice, big breakfast in bed for mom. A concoction complete with coffee grounds to add some pep. And, of course, the accompanying mess. 

I'm not worried about messes. She has dumped the dog dishes all over the floor. Dumped her smoothies all over the table. Dumped her toy boxes down the stairs. Dumped my purse on the street. Dumped the groceries in the supermarket (clean up, meat isle). Dumped whatever she can into the bubble bath (cardboard and toilet paper mixed in a bath does not create a clean baby). All intentionally, by the way. In addition to her exploring, she is helping all the time. We are used to messes. Very used to messes. 

Whether clean or disheveled, my desire is that she remain as safe as we can make her. And there are so many stories online about freak accidents. Of course, I don't want to be another who didn't take care and then regretted it. 

But I also don't want to be the one who over-sheltered or minimized opportunities and growth due to fear.

Keeping the crib for a while isn't going to create any emotional damage for my little munchkin. I see no reason to rush it. Though my mother insists she will try to climb out and injure herself.

I'll just have to make the decision every day. And, today she still has a crib. Next week, she probably will as well. 

Eventually. We'll get there eventually. We'll potty train eventually, too. (Yes, I'm still apprehensive of potty training. But that is yet another topic.)

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