Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letting linna out of "the cage".

First night out of "the cage". So excited!
Is it just me, or do other parents refer to their child's crib as "the cage"?

Ok, I sense your hesitation to answer "yes", but I use this word in the most humane way possible... I swear. And yes, "the cage" is a term I use among our adult friends... not with our daughter. So please, put your calls to social services on hold. Thanks.

For almost three years, our daughter hasn't tried to climb out of it, stick her head through it, and we have successfully kept all of her limbs in tact... SO, "the cage" has been her safety-nest for naps and bedtimes. About a week ago, I decided to give her a little bit of "freedom" and convert her cage into a toddler bed.

Dun dun DUN.

I probably could have had a little better timing, as I decided to do this while my husband was out of the country for work... BUT, after countless nights of my daughter calling out for me to retrieve items that have fallen out of her crib, it was time to give both Linna and I a little freedom. 'Merica!

Linna has slept in a "big girl" bed before at my parents' house in Florida, and she did really well. On the eve of setting Linna "free" from her cage, I took the advice from a friend to make it very clear to our almost 3-year-old, that she is NOT to get out of her bed, or she'll have to go back in her "cage".

Before we get into how it's going with Linna in her "big girl" bed, let's take a quick look back and reminisce of her "caged life"...

Linna's first "cage" at our very first house back in Minnesota.
Happy 1.5-year-old Linna in her "cage", after a 3-hour nap.
(Video of 15-month-old Linna throwing everything out of her crib.)

First proper "cage" in Singapore, after sleeping for months in a Pack N' Play.

Ok, now that we've got that out of the way, here's how Linna's first night out of "the cage" went...

Mama Saigh: "Linna, you are not to get out of your bed until the sun comes up, or you'll have to go back in your crib. BUT, if you have a bad dream, or you need something, you can come into Mama and Papa's room. OK?!"

(Linna happily snuggled into her bed, I exited her room, and quickly turned on the video monitor... only to see her getting out of her bed and walking out of her bedroom. Damn. I guess my instructions WERE a bit confusing.)

Mama Saigh: "Linna, what are you doing?"

Linna: "I had a bad dream."

Really Linna?! Well, this IS your first night of freedom kiddo, and your mama CLEARLY needs to work on the delivery of her "rules"... so carry on girlfriend.

Linna's "excuses" went on for a good hour. She was SO excited when I took down the front of her "cage" earlier in the day to create her "big girl" bed, but I guess that novelty had worn off. After lots of tears on her part, and frustration on my part, I demanded/asked her if she needed to go back in her crib. Her response... "YES!".

Dammit. That was SUCH a stupid "threat", when I can't exactly reassemble her "cage" by snapping my fingers, and the GOAL of all this is to get her to LIKE sleeping in her bed.

Linna - 1
Mama Saigh - 0

Night #1 was spent with Linna sleeping in her bed, while I sang her to sleep and rubbed her back. I celebrated this accomplishment with a glass (or two) of wine (this was supposed to be a detox night after a long, boozy weekend). Linna stayed in her bed all night, but I didn't get much sleep because I kept checking the video monitor. I was waiting for her to fall out of the bed, stack up a bunch of her toys and climb to the top of her closet, or stick her finger in a light-socket... or something. Thankfully, there was none of that, and she slept until 8 a.m. She wouldn't get out of her bed until I went into her room to say "good morning". THIS is reason #1,207,347 why I love you Linna Jane.

Night #2 went MUCH better at bedtime, and she slept from 7:15 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. Woot WOOT!

"Good Morning!"

It's now been a full week without "the cage", and it's going better than expected. Today was the FIRST morning that Linna actually got out of her bed on her own to come into our room. She usually just stays in her bed until I stand in the hall and call out to remind her that she can FREELY get out of her bed and walk into our room on her own. I think this is hilarious, as we got rid of her "cage" to give her some freedom, and she doesn't even take advantage of it. I guess she's the product of a "caged life", huh?!

I probably should have committed to my hesitation of getting rid of "the cage" a bit longer, because now that she's tasted freedom, I'm sure there's no going back. It's pretty cute watching her wake up in her bed and hesitantly put her feet on the floor, only to crawl right back into bed. It's like she's testing the waters before her big escape! This morning, I watched her get in and out of her bed and walk over to her bedroom door a half a dozen times, before actually making the courageous decision to make her big exit and entry into our room. Damn our kid is cute.

I love watching our little girl grow up, but I have a feeling I'm going to be missing "the cage" sooner rather than later. There's always baby #2 to look forward to "caging", right?!

No, I'm not pregnant.


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