My daughter, Lucy, turned 4 a few days ago and, not to brag or anything, but she’s still sleeping in her crib. She’s been completely clueless that she’s tall enough to easily swing one leg over toward freedom, and I’ve enjoyed keeping it that way.
When she was around 3, I sought advice from seasoned friends on whether I should transition her into a bed.
“Has she been climbing out of the crib when you put her down?” they asked.
“No. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that’s even a possibility,” I responded.
Upon hearing that, one friend, whose son has been crawling the walls like Spider-Man since he was 18 months old, excused herself from the table. Life can really be unfair.
“Are you insane?” the rest of my friends asked. “Unless you like toddlers haunting you at 3 a.m., staring two inches from your face, then just wait until she shows signs she’s ready.”
So, I took their advice. Not to mention, I have watched enough “Supernanny” episodes to know that putting kids to bed who can just get right out and follow you around begging for crackers is not the kind of life I’d like to live. Also, they made a good point about her softly approaching me in the middle of the night. I tend to punch when startled, so for her safety and my sanity, I just waited for her to show signs she was due for an upgrade.
Except, it never happened. She’s loved her crib as if it were her tiny, little prison-like oasis. Never mind that she’s freakishly tall like her father, so putting her to bed is like trying to hoist Caitlyn Jenner over a bed rail every night.
After ordering a back brace on Amazon to assist me in our nighttime routine, I decided it was time for all of us to put on our big-girl undies, and I ordered her a twin bed from Nebraska Furniture Mart. The one I wanted was on back order and needed to be shipped, so now we are just waiting. Thanks to Amazon Prime skewing my realistic expectations, the wait has been pure hell.
And while we wait, the most curious thing has happened. I’d notice I hadn’t heard from Lucy in awhile, and I’d find her napping in my bed. Or reading a book, propped up by my big pillows, or just lying there playing quietly within her imagination.
Then, today, in the early-morning hours, I heard a boom and her door swung open. She met me in the family room and announced, “The sun is here!” I was completely shocked. Her bed, that she’s totally clueless about, is supposed to arrive today. And here she is, suddenly ready.
Maybe it’s because being a stay-at-home mom creates a level of boredom that allows me to look too far into things, but there is something poignantly striking about all of this.
How many times have we been completely unaware of a gift headed our way, and all the while it’s just been waiting for us to be ready to receive it?
Maybe all of our delayed dreams are currently in transit, making little pit stops along the way, simply waiting for our perfect moment to arrive. Maybe it’s waiting for it to occur to us that we can just flip a leg over the rail. Maybe it has occurred to us and we’re scared we won’t stick the landing. Maybe the gift is waiting for us to find our courage.
Maybe we’re so used to what we know, we’d pick our tiny prison-like oasis, over something so much better, albeit unknown.
Who knows. But UPS says the gift will arrive at 1:30 p.m., so I guess Lucy will find out.
Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer and mom to daughters Lucy and Poppy and English bulldog Bruno, wife to Rob Thomas and founder of HaHas for HooHas. She writes for momaha.com.