It’s Crib-To-Bed Transition Time – Pass The Booze!

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jumping out of cribA glass of wine, a great book, and my husband rubbing my feet – what more could a mom ask for? Except for the odd spate of teething or sickness, my husband and I had finally gotten through the sleepless nights and constant wake-ups of our 21-month-old daughter. We managed to go out on occasion and – gasp! – sometimes we even had sex. But I should have known that whenever my kids got into a set routine, and life seemed to be blissful, disaster would strike. And it did in the form of an acrobatic and very determined little girl.

When the kids were younger, my husband’s infrequent business trips were met with panic and despair. I have always found bedtime tricky with two. But now that both kids went to bed fairly easily and stayed asleep all night, I had become smug. “Sure, no problem, I can totally handle it,” I told Jake when he informed me he had to go away for a couple of nights. I was even excited to have the TV to myself so I could gorge on the reality shows I love and he abhors.

As usual, I picked my son up from school, brought the kids home, gave them a snack and even sat them down together to do a creative art activity — not easy with a 4.5-year-old and 21-month-old. Patting myself on the back, I started to get dinner ready while they played nicely together. I sighed with pleasure. This is the best of mommyhood, I thought. Until my daughter decided to toss every piece of art paraphernalia — sparkles, glue and countless crayons on the floor, all while looking at me and smiling. I gently asked her to stop, knowing full well she understood me.

A smart cookie my daughter is, and she loves nothing more than taking attention away from her older brother. And she’s just so cute and funny that most of the time, her devilish antics crack us up. But not this time. With a sassy grin, she began tossing everything she could find onto the floor. A little sterner now, I asked her again to stop or she would go into timeout. Now, I can’t recall when we started putting our son in timeout, but our daughter has actually been putting herself there since she was about a year old. The only problem with her self-imposed timeouts is the joy she gets from doing it. She wandered lazily over to the timeout corner, a little shake in her tiny hips, sat down and laughed. And then found a Tupperware container full of small toys nearby and dumped it all on the floor. I had had enough.

I have never wanted to use her crib or bedroom as a place to put her for a little time to herself, but with my husband away, and my irritation rising, I decided to do it. I took my little monkey upstairs, placed her in her crib, and said, “I am not happy that you’re throwing things. I want you to stay here until I am ready to come back for you.” I marched downstairs, smiling that I had solved the problem. And that was when I heard the loud thump and a scream.

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