Last night we put the boys in toddler beds. We’d been hoping to keep them in their cots for a bit longer but we’d got to a stage where T2 would wake up in the morning saying ‘stuck’ over and over again, and in his frustration he’d take his clothes off. If I didn’t catch him in time he’d take his nappy off too. We’d had one too many incidents of poo spreading so decided it was finally time to make the move.
In preparation we stripped their room bare, leaving just two beds, a chest of drawers and a chair. The child proof drawer locks I’d ordered online still hadn’t arrived so Husband came up with an ingenious way of tie-wrapping the drawers together so that the room was boy-proof. He also fixed a rubber stopper to the floor so that little fingers couldn’t get stuck along the hinge side of the door and added the protectors to stop them closing it on their fingers. A stairgate completed the new look.
Our plan was to read them a story, tuck them in and hope they went to sleep like little angels.
They climbed the stairs and ran into their room with surprise on their faces. Excitedly they claimed a bed each and climbed on. The Toy Story duvet covers were a big hit – T2 kept laughing and pointing at the characters on it saying ‘wotzat’ over and over. Then they saw the new pictures of helicopters that Husband had put on the wall and they chanted ”copter’ over and over again while pointing at them with very serious faces.
Husband read a story patiently while they ran from one bed to the other and back again. Eventually I pointed out that nobody was listening to it but me. We decided it was lights out time. We asked the boys to pick which bed they wanted to sleep in, tucked them in and kissed them goodnight.
It felt like a milestone. It was sad to see the cots go but also exciting that we were beginning a new chapter.
We went downstairs knowing that it wasn’t going to be an easy night. Before we’d even reached the bottom step we heard thumping as they both jumped out of bed and started running around the room. Then the hysterical giggling began. It was exactly what we were expecting – after all, they’d been trapped in cots for two years and now they’d been given beds they could escape from. And they had the distraction of their best friend in the room with them. It was party time.
We decided to leave them to it for a while to enjoy their new found freedom. At least we did until the screaming started.
Husband went upstairs to see what had happened. T2 had somehow managed to get all of the tie-wrapped drawers open and the weight of it had toppled the unit over, trapping him against his bed. Husband quickly unpinned him, turned the drawers around so they faced the wall and then put both boys back to bed.
He stayed up there for about twenty minutes talking to them and calming them down. When he left T1 was fast asleep and T2 was quietly playing with a book. Result. Maybe beds wouldn’t be so hard after all.
We came to bed around 11.30pm and then every hour or two T1 woke up crying. At 5am I realised he had a dirty nappy. That never normally happens at night so I hadn’t thought to check, but it explained the crying. After a change and a hysterical cuddle for a few minutes I put him back to bed, expecting a couple more hours of unbroken sleep.
At 6am, just as T1, Husband and I were in a deep slumber, we were woken by T2. He’d slept perfectly all night and was now ready to get up. We lay in bed hoping that he’d sit and play with the toys we’d left him. Instead he sat on his sleeping brother’s head.
So that marked the end of our first night in toddler beds. I probably got about four hours sleep and am now shattered. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this gets easier. Please somebody tell me it does!