Published Date: May 22nd, 2008
Category: Weekly Thought


It took us so long to convert his $650 Pottery Barn crib to a “toddler daybed” (fancy term for taking one of the sides off). And now I know why after reading the one and only instruction that came with the $60 “conversion kit” (sucker purchase for first-time parents who don’t understand that you just take one of the sides off): “Go to Step 8 of your original crib instructions and work backwards.”


What?! The same crib instructions that are somewhere in the house that we used 3 years ago when we originally put the crib together?


After much searching (my husband had ingeniously attached them to the bottom of the crib), we found them and pushed on, turning on The Grateful Dead in the background to give us sustenance and calmness. As I “helped” my husband with this task (which pretty much entailed holding the nine million allen wrenches that came with the $60 conversion kit and making sure my 3-year old son did not run off with them) I heard Jerry’s words and although they brought me peace, they brought me sorrow:


I know you, rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone;
I know you, rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone;
Gonna miss your baby, from rolling in your arms.


And with those 3 lines, I put the wrenches down and grabbed my little boy as tears streamed down my face. Did we avoid the big boy bed because of our inability to do anything more handy than turn on the microwave? Or were we subconsciously trying to keep him our little baby? Were we trying to hold onto just a FEW more months of a snuggly, little baby who revolves his whole life around us, whose only joy comes from things we do, who listens to every request we have of him? Were we trying to freeze him in time by containing him in his crib?


I love every day with him. His eyebrows contain more emotion and expression than some adult’s entire being. His continued misunderstanding of the term “personal space” is a constant joy to me. Yet with the passing of every day, we are one step closer to the day when he won’t need us or when he won’t want to spend every waking moment with us. When the thought of sleeping in our bed is not a huge treat, but an inconvenience and frankly, unappealing.


We eventually finished converting the crib and put new “big boy sheets” on the mattress and he jumped in and took his nap and was happy. But then nighttime rolled around. And we went through our normal routine (bath, PJs, teeth brushing, story time) and the big moment came. And I have to say, it gave me a little joy to see that like us, he had some trepidation and I even heard him mutter “Don’t like this bed, want my crib back.”


It then occurred to me that like us, he was in no hurry to grow up and become that know-it-all seven-year old, or worse, the sullen and callous pre-teen.


And as I held him in my arms and rubbed his little back to calm in down so he would eventually go to sleep in the bed that it turns out none of us wanted him to have, I thought one word.



This entry was posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 6:08 am and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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