My Daughter's Big Kid Bed Saved Me When I Needed It Most

By
Share

Dear Big Kid Bed,

Let me look at you, you beautiful cushion of independence. Let me caress the springy foam shielded from the force of my 3-year-old’s powerful nocturnal urine stream by a rubberized layer of felt that does not diminish your status as a worthy place for a non-baby to rest his or her head. Pee-soaked, tear-stained, or permanently scarred by a pair of safety scissors that had gone missing for a whole winter, let me you saved me when I needed it most, so please let me love you with literally my entire body.

Yes, you're the white knight in my parenting story, even though my big-kid-but-acts-like-a-little-kid won’t come near you.

I thought when we purchased you it would end the era of our Big Girl ending up in our Too Small (for three people) bed. I thought, after weeks of mounting excitement on getting This Very Important Piece of Furniture to mark her Very Significant Leap Towards Adulthood, my daughter would never want to leave the cozy confines of her big kid bed. But as soon as that mattress was delivered, and mounted on the platform base where she could store all her stuffed animals currently out of rotation, she pretended to forget every conversation we had ever had about her sleeping arrangements up to that point. She stared at you. She climbed on you gingerly, sat stiffly next to the pink pillow I had fluffed up for her, and registered no emotion. Was this not everything she had hoped for in a big kid bed? We even installed a guard rail, to assuage her fears, and ours, of rolling out mid-dream.

Giphy

Before this point, she had already transitioned from her crib to the mattress, on her floor. I was pregnant with my second baby, and we needed my daughter out of the baby prison to make room for the new tenant. We knew it would be too big a leap to go right from crib to bed, which is why we thought the mattress low to the ground was a good idea. She took to it well and even started to own her new space, stretching out in new sleeping positions not possible within the tighter quarters of her crib.

I had fond memories of her sleeping on that floor mattress. When I was putting her to bed one night, stroking her downy curls in the half-dark, I felt my first contraction. The moment that signaled the beginning of her baby brother’s entry into the world is cemented into my mind: we are quiet, she is calm, her warm body gently rising and falling with her breaths as she fall into slumber, while another little being started to stir inside me.

Yes, you're the white knight in my parenting story, even though my big-kid-but-acts-like-a-little-kid won’t come near you.

We know that children can feel trepidation about graduating to something bigger and new. That’s why we eased our daughter into it: introducing first the mattress on the floor before the big kid bed reveal. She seemed to be totally into the idea of you. She pictured herself the captain of this new ship, hers alone to pilot through uncharted waters of Big Kid-dom. But instead, when you manifested in all your twin size glory, she reneged on the deal and fled to the sliver of available mattress space between my husband and me in our bed.

Giphy

By then we had a newborn in a cradle by our bedside, and there simply were too many humans within arm’s reach for me to get even the tiniest bit of restful slumber. So I would escape, between nighttime nursing sessions, to the cool darkness of my daughter’s big kid bed, free of snoring sounds and jabbing limbs and the impending threat of waking up in a puddle of someone else’s bodily fluid.

She pictured herself the captain of this new ship, hers alone to pilot through uncharted waters of Big Kid-dom.

So I want to thank you, Big Kid Bed, for providing me with a place to sleep. in my most desperate moments. I can stretch out to my full length in you, snuggled into the princess sheets I never had, on a brand new mattress that only amplifies how much my husband and I need to replace the old one on our queen frame. I can find a moment of solace in a sea of parenting chaos. I can fulfill my wildest dreams of actually having dreams, as you allow me to fall off into a peaceful, unconscious state, untouched by anyone who needs me, or a body part of mine, at that time. And though the sleep may only come in small, interrupted chunks, it is some of the best sleep I will ever have. Because although growing a family means you never have to be alone, it can also mean you might actually never be alone.

Big Kid Bed, you mean the world to me.

Love,

The Bigger Kid