Arienette will be three on Wednesday. The days have just flown by far too quickly. it seems like yesterday that I was holding her for the first time, and now, I can’t help thinking about the fact that some day, very much sooner than I would like it to be, I will put her down, and never pick her up again. That thought is enough to break my heart. Unfortunately, that day must come, and will, no matter how much I wish to pause time… and every step toward her becoming more independent highlights that for me.
Yesterday was one such step. My grandmother and Krishna were here in the morning to help turn Arienette’s crib into a toddler bed. It wasn’t difficult, we simply took one panel off and replaced it with a half rail. That was it. New mattress, new sheets, new blanket and pillow (with Elsa and Anna on them of course) and the transition was complete. For the rest of the day, she was running in and out of her room, delighted with the fact that she can now get into and out of her bed on her own. No more need for mommy to lift her in and out. One less thing she needs me for.
Nap time was what I expected. She went willingly enough, but before long, she was knocking on the inside of her door wanting to come out because she “had to go potty”. She did this four times within thirty minutes, though she only really went potty once. No actual nap was had yesterday.
Hours passed, and it was time for bed. I had read that you should introduce bed an hour earlier when you first make the transition, but I went with 30 minutes instead. She was in bed, with her frog on the dresser that throws stars onto the ceiling. i put the childproof knob on the inside of the door, so she wouldn’t be wandering at night, and i closed the door. Everything was quiet for a few minutes. Then came the screaming. Knocking on the door, she had to go potty. Now, we are down to one diaper each day (for bedtime) unless we go out somewhere. I had put her diaper on her, but when I opened the door she told me it was “in the trash”. I told her to go potty, and I looked, there it was, clean. I put it back on her, and left again. Five minutes later, exact same thing. She did this four times before I decided to put her potty into her room to remove this from her list of excuses.
Again, everything was quiet… until it wasn’t. Arienette’s stars had turned off. She wanted me to turn them on and make them red. So I fixed her stars. Three times. At this point, I remembered the monkey. I had picked up, over a year ago, a nightlight that looks like a monkey and glows in different colors. I put it in the bathroom generally, but I haven’t used it in months. I have now moved it into Arienette’s room. I plugged it in, high enough that she cannot reach it, I turned her stars on (blue, this time) and tucked her in. I told her I love her, and that the stars will turn off, but the monkey will stay on all night. I told her that this would be the last time I come into her room until morning, and I will not turn her stars on again. I left. She still fussed and cried, but I held to my word and she finally settled down around 9. I put her in bed at 5:30.
This morning I went to get her. I noticed she went potty, her bed was dry, and her diaper in the trash. She picked up her bedding and stuffies, and put them back into her bed, and then she walked out, without help, for breakfast. She no longer needs me to put her into or get her out of her bed. She is growing up quickly, and I can’t help but wonder what she won’t need me for next.