As a continuation of the Being Jacob post, there are two pretty big changes that happened in the past 7 months that are worthy of Jacob’s promotion to big boy status. First off is a big boy bed…
Jacob loved his crib. He was perfectly happy in it. He could crawl out if he truly wanted to, and started to a couple times, but I either distracted him or picked him up before he had a chance to do it. He was perfectly content sleeping and sometimes playing in his crib. However, as we all know, siblings have a way of changing things up. We were ready to transition Dylan into the crib in his own room and really didn’t want to buy another crib. So in July we got Jacob a toddler bed. I wanted to get a full sized bed, but that would have required moving furniture, re-configuring his room and we had just moved in and his room was one of the first ones that we set up. Along with all the other projects we had going on at the time, it was not something we wanted to take on at the moment. So we decided to get a toddler bed that would just replace the crib in the same place in his room without having to change anything else for the time being. I took Jacob shopping so he could pick out his bedding (he chose tractors and dump trucks, big surprise there!) Honestly, because of how much he loved his crib, I was a little concerned about how Jacob would handle Dylan sleeping in it, but it was no big deal and he handled it great! Of course the best way to test out a new bed is by jumping on it, right?
I’ve heard so many stories of kids who won’t stay in bed when they transition out of the crib, so we were anticipating that. I thought for sure the first week I would be sending him back to bed, but it didn’t happen, he stayed in his bed, all night long, during naps too! And when he wakes up he doesn’t get out either, he waits until one of us comes into his room to get him. We were so surprised at how easy this transition was. Just a couple weeks later we were talking with a friend who has kids around the same age as ours and they had just transitioned their daughter into a big bed a few months earlier. They told us the same thing happened, she never got out of bed, until 2-3 weeks later it started. So they warned us that it was coming. 3 months later, he was still staying in bed. We kept talking to each other about how good he was sleeping in his big boy bed and we were so lucky that we didn’t have to deal with teaching him how to stay in his bed, etc, etc, etc…Right when we were comfortable and sure we had tackled this transition with no issues at all, BAM! It was like a light switch turned on and he realized that he didn’t have to stay in his bed if he didn’t want to.
At first it became a game, after we would put him down, he would come out of his room giggling, and we would be standing in the hallway waiting for him and send him back to bed. Then that stopped and he quickly learned the fine art of scaring the bejesus out of us! He would wait until 1-2 hours after we put him to sleep, and we would be picking up around the house, watching TV, doing the dishes and he would quietly walk out and stand behind us, when we turned around we would jump out of our skin and try not to scream so loud, and with our hearts pounding we would send him back to bed. Our home became the scene for a scary movie with the crazed psychological killer being our innocent (or not so innocent) 2 year old. We were tip toeing around our haunted house, checking around every corner and mentally preparing ourselves every time we turned around that he could be there.
Then instead of getting up in the early evening, he started doing it in the middle of the night. He would quietly walk down the hall and stand in our doorway, waiting. You know that feeling you get when you can sense someone watching you, I’ve learned that you can have that feeling while dead asleep. Again, it was like a horror movie, I would open my eyes and see this black silhouette of a tiny human standing in our doorway. Once he knew we were awake he would run and jump into bed with us. This was also during the time when Dylan was not sleeping great, so I was getting up to go back and forth into his room, which would wake Jacob up if he was in our bed. And there were plenty of times when I was so tired from all the back and forth between our room and Dylan’s room that I would just bring Dylan to bed with us. So often times we had all 4 of us in our bed, and we were all sleep deprived. Then there was one night that kind of stopped the late night visits. Jacob had come into our room, so I took him back to bed and when I got back to our room Dylan woke up, so I went into Dylan’s room and soothed him back to sleep. When I was walking out of Dylan’s room Jacob was coming out of his room at the same time and started sneaking down the hallway towards our room. Since he had his back to me, he didn’t know I was there. I said in a loud, stern whisper “Jacob what are you doing out of bed!!” it scared him so much he flung himself against the wall and was clutching onto the doorjam for dear life. Ha! I got my payback!! Since then his night time sleep is much better, we get an occasional late night visit, but once we send him back to bed, he stays there until the morning.
Then…Jacob decided to stop taking his nap. He clearly still needed it, but he would not stay in his room. I tried everything from sticker reward charts, bribing him with MnM’s, a clock that would change colors indicating when he should be sleeping (or at least stay in his room for quiet time) and turn green when it was okay to get up, nothing worked. His excuse for not napping, “but the sun is up!” Duh mom, you don’t sleep when the sun is up! I began talking with him about it trying to prepare him, saying I was going to feed Dylan and put him down for a nap because he was tired, then we needed to rest too. And Jacob would reply with “Noooooo Jacob’s not taking a nap, Dylan is taking a nap. The sun is up!” So I began telling him that we were not going to sleep for the night, it was just a rest to recharge our bodies for the rest of the day. “But the sun is up!” is always his response, and he even goes to the window and opens the curtains to show me how bright it is outside as if I didn’t already know. If I was able to get Dylan down for a nap around the same time then I would try staying in Jacob’s room with him until he fell asleep, that worked a couple times, but then he realized that I would sneak out after he fell asleep and started fighting it. So then I told him he could nap in mommy and daddy’s bed and that worked a few times too.
A sleeping boy is just too precious, I can’t help but snap a quick picture before sneaking out.
Then he figured out that I was only letting him in our bed so he would nap, so he fought it again. No matter what I tried, he would not sleep! I knew he still needed his nap because if I drove anywhere in the late afternoon he would fall asleep in the car.
So I did that a few times, taking long afternoon drives.
But it really wasn’t fair to Dylan since he would wake up from his nap then have to be strapped in the carseat while I drove around trying to get Jacob to sleep. So I stopped doing that. Then I decided to start going for long afternoon walks with the stroller, and he could at least rest and have some downtime. He started falling asleep in the stroller, even at 4:30 in the afternoon (or would that be considered evening?)
Then we figured out that he would take a nap for Justin (or my mom) but not me. The poor kid was tired, but would.not.stay.in.his.bed (at least for me)! That means during the week he doesn’t get a nap and on the weekends when Justin is home, he does. So I gave up trying to get him to sleep and we just put him to bed really early during the week. I’ve learned with this parenting thing, you have to pick and choose your battles.
Next is we are officially down to one kid in diapers! Almost a year ago when Jacob turned 2, I got a little kid potty and we just set it in his bathroom. He was curious about it and would occasionally sit on it and would use it at night before taking a bath.
He was interested, but I was not ready to tackle potty training yet. Then with the upcoming move and arrival of a little brother, I didn’t want to do it before, partly because I still wasn’t ready to do it and I didn’t want to go through the training process then risk the chance that he may regress during all the changes that were coming and then have to do it all over again. So we waited…and after the craziness settled down a bit (is there such a thing?) we picked a weekend and put it on the calendar. We did some research on different methods and got advice from experienced parents, stocked up on underwear, MnM’s, potty prizes, juice boxes and hunkered down at home for the weekend.
The first day there were a couple accidents which is to be expected, but then the rest of the weekend there were none. I can’t say that he was exactly excited about the process (which makes me wish I would have done it a long time ago when he was really interested). When it was obvious he needed to go and we kept trying to take him to the bathroom he was showing his stubborn independent side and kept saying “My not want to!” and after what seemed like spending hours in the bathroom he would finally go. But about 5 days into it, he really got the hang of it and is so proud of himself now.
Because he is such a good communicator and has really good control (he held it for 4 hours on his first day back to preschool after the potty training weekend!) it really has not been that big of a deal. We make it a habit to go potty every time we leave the house and he usually doesn’t have to go again until later when we get home. Even traveling in the car out of town has been easy. He also is comfortable telling others when he needs to go. So far, it has been a big success!
There is one funny story though…On the first outing the Monday after the training weekend, Dylan had a check up with our pediatrician. I brought our little “travel” potty with us. After getting checked into the exam room we were waiting for the doctor and Jake started doing the “potty dance”, so I loaded Dylan back into the stroller and we all went across the hall to the bathroom. But after a while Jake didn’t go, so we went back to the exam room. Then Dylan was getting hungry, so I started nursing him and Jake started doing the potty dance more urgently. Because I was still nursing Dylan I just got the potty out and set it in the middle of the exam room, I figured it wasn’t anything that would scare away our pediatrician. Jake sat down and immediately started to pee, but in typical boy fashion he hadn’t quite mastered the skill of pointing his aim down, so it was shooting directly at me (and an eating Dylan). I quickly put my hand up to block it and thankfully there was a sink in the room so I was able to get some wet paper towels to clean up. While I was washing our hands and cleaning up the mess off the exam room floor (while still nursing Dylan), I kept thinking that there must be some kind of health code that we were violating and I was praying that the doctor would not walk in right in the middle of it all (thankfully he didn’t!) After the appointment was over and I got everyone loaded in the car, I literally sat there laughing at my life and wondering if it was too early to have a glass of wine! This parenting thing is quite a journey.
One observation I made after the potty training weekend, was about all the time we spent together. We always seem to be on the go. During the week, it’s off to preschool, running errands, the museum, the zoo, playdates, etc… then on the weekends it’s working on a project around the house, off to Lowes or Home Depot or going to a party or church. That weekend, we did not go anywhere, we didn’t do any projects, no one came over we just sat and played games, did puzzles, talked and spent quality time together. It was nice, and it was a reminder for us to slow down and take a day off every once in a while, forget about everything that needs to be done and just sit down on the floor and play.