One of the bazillion transitions we have to think about on the road to Baby #2 is what to do about the fact that the J-Man is still sleeping in the crib we planned to use for the new baby.
The original idea was to convert his crib into a toddler bed (we have the convertible kind) and then move him into a separate, plain-old toddler bed. At that point, we’d convert the original bed back into its crib state and put the new baby in it. Sounds dynamite on paper. Well, not really, come to think about it, especially when part of this deal is that at some point when the baby moves out of our room, the J-Man may get the room at the end of the hall (i.e., not his current room).
The obvious flaw in the argument is that this is a lot of change to ask an autistic toddler to deal with. The implementation of this plan admittedly had us overwhelmed too. He sleeps very well for the most part, and woe unto anyone who says anything to put that at risk. He didn’t sleep through the night until 16 months old, and even then it took a while after that to get into something like a normal pattern. For most of the first part of his life, he woke up every two hours, every day.
I went in there tonight and watched him sleeping. He’s crammed into a corner of the crib – as he is every night – because it makes him feel safe and relaxed. This is the place where he’s slept for 3 1/2 years. He’s figured out how to find rest here.
I see how peaceful he looks. I think about how hard many days are for him. I think about all the challenges he has to face in his life. And the conclusion seems obvious as I write this.
Buy another crib.
It’s painful to think about that kind of expense given our credit card hole, but I think about how much his life is going to change soon and know it’s worth it to find some way to get the money. What’s scary is that we actually make decent income compared to the rest of the nation, but I think we can attribute our entire debt right now to last year’s medical expenses, car repairs, and a couple of emergency things. I’m guessing our medical expenses were way over $10,000 in 2008, but I honestly don’t know.
Anyway, we’re not going to buy cheap crap because we want something that will last. The J-Man’s crib has survived his wildness without needing much beyond some minimal repair. We got a million miles of crib out of that investment.
Bed should be a peaceful place, a haven of rest. I know a lot of us have at one point or another (or at every point) struggled to get their child to sleep. We push him on a lot of things and have learned to keep expectations high since he often meets them.
But regardless of all the conversations about behaviors and it being time for him to move to a toddler bed and all those things, there’s the need to know when to pick your battles. However, I think this goes one step past that. He deserves to receive grace on some things. And I think this is one of them.
As they say, there is a season for everything, and I don’t think it’s the season yet for a new bed.