Bridget just turned two a few days ago. Yay!
My kids made it past infancy, which I consider a big win given how much they want to jump from great heights and jam forks into light sockets.
This long, unbroken procreation line from the first evolving amoebas to our present-day offspring remains intact. Score two more points for our DNA.
As Bridget’s birthday approached, my husband and I remembered that Brontë was two years old when Bridget was born (their birthdays are a couple of weeks apart. June is a fun month in this house). Back then, Brontë was still sleeping in our room.
We knew we’d be needing her crib soon and didn’t want her sleeping in the same place as a screaming-all-night newborn. We decided to move her into her own room, with a “big girl” bed, two months before her sister’s arrival. Being moved out right as her sister arrived might make Brontë feel replaced, we thought, which could lead to resentment.
Since Brontë’s Big Girl Bed was a roaring success at age two, John and I decided it was time to maneuver Bidgie’s convertible crib into toddler formation, where one of its side-walls is replaced with a “half-wall.”
So last night, after the kids’ teeth were brushed and nightgowns donned, we walked them into their room to find Bridget’s brand new Big Girl bed, in honor of her passage into full Toddlerhood.
Brontë was impressed and Bridget was ecstatic, running back and forth giggling with her arms in the air: FREEDOM! GLORIOUS FREEDOM! Plopping into her new bed with a contented sigh, she laid there for a moment before a smirk spread across her chubby face…
Then she wriggled out of her bed, stomped over to the light switch and flipped it off, setting the ceiling star stickers aglow.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Brontë shrieked. She’s a fearless kid in many ways, but still terrified of the dark. She figures if you’re gonna sleep with the light off, you may as well leave flowers and cookies for the monsters too.
Brontë got out of bed, stomped over to the light switch, and flipped it back on, returning to her bed in a huff.
“BLEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” Bidgie screamed. She’d been putting up with this sleep-with-the-lights-on nonsense for months now and finally had the opportunity to take action. She crawled out of bed, stomped back over to the light switch, and slapped it off again.
This was followed by inevitable screaming.
Uh oh… John and I hadn’t considered this turn of events.
The kids took turns stomping back and forth and shouting as the Great Light Switch Power Struggle raged on. Eventually, Bridget collapsed in defeat. She just couldn’t compete with a kid two years older.
As Bidgie struggled to pull blankets over her eyes, John and I looked at each other sideways, scratching our heads.
“Umm… Maybe we could drape a blanket over Bridget’s bed,” I suggested. “Now that she has a side exit?”
“I was just thinking the same thing,” John said as he wandered off.
Returning with a brown blanket and zip ties, John started arranging a makeshift tent over Bridget’s crib as I moved in to help him. After finishing, we further decided that since the kids’ beds were roughly the same length, we should push them together to leave more useable space in their room.
Backing away to survey our creation, it suddenly hit us: we had made our kids a fort. We were two grown adults who had just spent the evening building a giant bed fort in our daughters’ room.
And our kids decided it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen.
They scrambled onto the beds, climbing in and out of the bed linen fortress together and cried themselves giggling about making various stuffed animals poke their heads out the door. Toddler jokes.
They were still in hysterics for about half an hour after we kissed them good night and closed the door. Finally, the noise died down as they passed out in their respective beds.
They stayed quiet and John and I got to watch The Walking Dead in peace.
Bed forts: another underrated parenting technique.