Okay, I’ll admit it, String Bean, now four years old, has always slept in her crib. She’s a stubborn child, resistant to change, and prone to nightmares. She spent maybe three naps in her toddler bed before having a bad dream that a tiger was trying to get her and deciding that her crib was the only safe place for her. Who am I to argue with a child’s sense of safety? So I didn’t push. She’s had both her toddler bed and her crib in her room for over a year now. The toddler bed has become the couch of her room, where stuffed animals and toys get discarded, where we sit side-by-side when we read her bedtime story before she climbs into her crib for the night.
Then, a week ago, she looked out her window at the house across the street, where our new neighbors live, and asked if their five-year-old daughter sleeps in a big girl bed. I said yes, I bet she does, as I got her crib ready for the night. String Bean looked from the crib to the toddler bed and announced that from now on, she only sleeps in a big girl bed herself. And she has, ever since.
Today she told me it’s time to take apart the crib and get it out of her room. She has plans for the space. And so I am reminded again, as if I needed another reminder, that this is not a girl to be pushed into anything. She’ll get there on her own, in her own time-frame, usually the moment I stop nudging her in the direction I want her to go. She’s so much like me it’s scary. And, oddly, comforting.