As a parent, you go through many milestones with your child. Of course, all of them are significant, but some seem more of a Game Changer than others. Take walking for example. It's a gradual process with a few steps (excuse the pun!) involved. After learning to crawl, the child then learns to pull themselves up. They then start to 'cruise' along furniture. Next stage is standing up for a few seconds by themselves, which turns into longer seconds, which becomes their first cautious step, mutating into many cautious steps. Then they're walking... and low and behold, running! Each of these stages leading up to walking is amazing and as parents, we are very proud of our child. But it's such a gradual process, with a number of stages leading up to the actual walking stage and each stage prepares us a little bit more for each coming stage. We're not 'suddenly' presented with a child who's running and walking all around the house. We were eased into it a little with each stage!
Game Changers is a term I started using Thursday night. I'm using it for milestones that a child achieves suddenly and changes your whole routine etc. I don't think there are a lot of them, as so many things are such a gradual process.
However, over the past 2 nights, Little Spring had a Game Changer milestone. But first, let me take you back a few months...
A 'big girl's' bed has been set up in Little Spring's room for a long time, along with her cot. One night, she asked to sleep in the bed, instead of her cot and we said yes, as long as she didn't get out of bed, at all. There were no chances (are we harsh parents?!) and we explained that if she got out even once, she would have to go back into her cot. Five minutes (or maybe less!) after putting her in bed, she was out, so she was put straight into the cot for the night.
This happened a couple more times over the space of a few weeks, but each time she got out not long after going to bed, so it was straight back into the cot each time. I don't know if she gave up on the idea, but she stopped asking to sleep in the big bed and we didn't offer it.
Flash forward to 2 nights ago... we were sitting on the big bed, after getting her into her pjs for the night. Little Spring asked if she could sleep in the bed and I went through the rule with her - "get out even once and you have to get back in the cot." She agreed, and climbed in under the sheets. We said prayers while she lay quietly and after kissing her goodnight, I reminded her of the rule. I turned off the light and left the room.
I checked on her 3 times. The first time, she was sitting up in bed, but not out of bed, so I told her to lay down. The second time, she was lying down, but still awake and didn't stir when I went in. The third time I was completely shocked (I was already shocked the first 2 times as she had lasted at least half an hour!), but I was completely shocked by the fact that she was asleep... in the big bed!
When Big Spring got home from a meeting, we moved her cot mattress to beside her bed, just in case she fell out. Because of a shelf near the bed, the cot mattress, was half under the bed, but was adequate in case she fell out.
We then went to bed. The next morning (around 6:15 or so) I was woken up by Little Spring's cry out for me. I drowsily opened my eyes then, remembering she was in the big bed, fully woke up and shot out of bed to make sure she was okay. I walked into her room and saw she wasn't in bed. I looked around the room and couldn't see her anywhere, so thought she must have gone for a wander and gotten confused where she was. I went to walk out the room, but heard her cry out again, the sound coming from the room.
The only place she could be was under the bed. I lifted the cover, and there she was - poor little darling had obviously fallen out of bed, onto the cot mattress. But then she'd managed to roll off that too, so that she was on the other side of the mattress, way under the bed, near the wall!
Last night she was a very good girl and slept right through. We propped the cot mattress up using the previously mentioned shelf as support so that it was more of a guard than a cushion in case of fall and it worked a treat... she didn't roll out at all. Instead, at just before 6:30 this morning, I woke up and sensed Little Spring was in our room, but thought I was probably imagining it, until I felt a gentle touch on my leg!
This is why I call Little Spring's graduation from the cot to the bed a Game Changer... we no longer have control over when she gets up. We've been blessed with a very good sleeper and often weren't required to get out of bed until anywhere between 7am and 8:30am... yep, Little Spring could be that good! She wasn't always asleep until then, but wouldn't always call out for us until later, giving us a bit of a sleep in.
Now that she's able to get up as soon as she wakes up, she doesn't just stay in her bed quietly. Why would she when the whole world is at her feet now!
So, goodbye 'sleep ins'. Hello personal alarm... (There's no snooze button on this one! When she was in her cot, she was still an alarm, but we had more control on when we had to get up!)