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Monday, October 29, 2007

Crib-Free Woes

Several days ago I stole a few minutes while the little ones were in the bath and rearranged some furniture in Sean-Peter's room in preparation for taking down his crib. He had independently gone cold turkey to sleeping in his big-boy bed and it seemed obvious that there was no turning back. And I was anxious to free up the space.

All I did was move the foot of his big-boy bed to the adjacent wall and put his nightstand next to it. I was going to break down the crib, too, but I had brain cramp and forgot the steps for safe deconstruction, so I decided to save that part for John.

When the kids got out of the bath I made a big show of Sean-Peter's room, which I had newly straightened up, and especially pointed out his bed, which I had newly decorated with Conner's former bedspread and sham. It all looked so comfy and cozy I almost laid down and slept on it myself. I was banking on Olivia going along with the wonder, joy and excitement, and she did not disappoint. She brought Sean-Peter along with her and he immediately began jabbering on excitedly in that unintelligible way he has.

It was all going so well. Until I hollered out to John if he was ready to take down the crib. Sean-Peter's jabbering immediately took on a decidedly distressed tone, and it seemed apparent by his panicked gutterings and gesticulations that, if he could talk he would be saying, "Not my crib! You can't take down my crib! That's my crib! Don't take down my crib! Noooo!"

But since this came out mostly like, "Ng BAP! No ng BAP! Mm-mm-mm-BAP! My ng BAP! Noooo!" I decided some interrogating Sean-Peter style was in order.

"Sean-Peter, do you still want to sleep in your crib?"
"Uh-huh." This comes out more like "Uuuuh". It's all in the intonation.
"Sean-Peter, don't you want to sleep in your big-boy bed?"
"Uuuuh"
"Sean-Peter, do you want to sleep in your crib again?"
"Uuuuh"
"Sean-Peter, do you want to sleep in your big-boy bed?"
"Uuuuh"
Um, okay.

"John!" I hollered again, "Ix-nay on the rib-cay!"
"Yea, I got that!"

About a week passed until we deemed it safe to try again -- this time with no open discussion and without Sean-Peter in the room. John took it down last night and put it in our room temporarily, with the intention of storing it downstairs after the kids were in bed. Only he forgot.

Sean-Peter didn't bat an eye when I put him to bed last night; didn't even notice the absence of the crib in his room. But when my little alarm clock walked into our bedroom at Oh-6-early this morning, instead of the usual, "Ma, uh(p)!" I heard stifled sobs. John came out of the bathroom and tried to console him, but he was bereft. He had spied the pieces of his crib and was standing in front of them, an epitome of abject grief, eyes overflowing.

"Do you see your crib, buddy? Is that why you're crying?"
"Uuuuh."
"Okay, buddy, it's okay. It's just broken. But daddy will fix it, okay?"

Ah, trickery. But it worked. Sean-Peter is often surrounded by things that are inexplicably broken. "Daddy fix it" he can understand. All will be okay.

He may be ready to grow up, but not quite ready to let go. That makes two of us, little buddy.

Since I don't sleep with my camera, I couldn't capture his sorrow this morning for posterity. But he gave me opportunity later on to catch a similar moment.
But I still don't think we're going to give you your crib back, buddy.

2 comments:

Karen said...

Aww, poor baby. That's always a tough one, that crib thing. Give him a kiss from all of us!

Veronica Mitchell said...

That is a big moment.

Incidentally, I wish I could ask my husband to take down or put up the cribs. That has to be my job, or the house might explode from the pressure of male cursing, building up inside it.