Thursday, September 4, 2008

Big Kid Beds

Oh, what a journey this has been! I think I would not be exaggerating one bit to say that this is the hardest transition we have ever had to make. But maybe that isn't saying much since all our other transitions have been so smooth!

I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when I decided to put all the kids in their beds at the same "naptime" but they all just went to sleep. NO PROBLEM. I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when we got rid of bottles but they just accepted it and drank from their cups. NO PROBLEM. I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when we got rid of pacifiers for good, but it was fine. NO PROBLEM.

Cool! Why didn't we ever get to stand in the crib this way before?

I was spoiled

This has been awful.

1 room +4 big beds=disaster

Tomorrow will mark two full weeks in big beds. The first week was worse than this second one has been. Hopefully that means next week will be even better, and soon it won't be a problem anymore. Only time will tell.


So what's the problem? They won't stay in their beds. Are you surprised? I guarantee if you have multiples who aren't still infants, you're NOT! And I expected that they wouldn't at first. A big bed offers a lot of freedom to a small child used to the confines of a crib, especially when there are three other free playmates in the same room. But I didn't expect that after explaining and praising and warning and yelling and threatening and punishing in a wide variety of ways that they would STILL not stay in their beds. (Yes, Gen, we tried the trick that worked like magic for your kiddos. No luck for us!)


So why don't we just shut the door and let them run loose until they fall asleep? I wish we could! But unfortunately, when they are left to their own devices, they tend to end up all on one bed...jumping...until someone falls off and brains himself on the dresser/table/changing table/etc. The jumping is a serious problem. Not only is it not safe for them to do, but they've already broken at least three bed slats. AND left to their own devices they don't nap at all which makes for a very VERY cranky evening.


Reagan and her ladybugs

The only thing we've found so far that actually works at all is physically sitting in there until they fall asleep. If you're in the room, you can make them stay in their beds, and if they stay in their beds, they WILL fall asleep. Then you can leave.


And boy have I been mad about it! As if I wasn't busy enough already, especially during naptime! And now my naptime is even shorter because I have to spend so much of it sitting in the kids' room waiting for them to fall asleep. I was angry about it for days.

But then I had a talk with God. Actually it was more like a gripe session. And I complained to him about my loss of time and how I was already burdened by not having enough time to spend with Him, much less get anything else done, and NOW I had even less time to do all the things I needed to do, so how was I EVER going to spend any time with Him. And let's be honest, I told Him, you and I both know that when my time gets crunched, what I always cut first is my time with You. I'm not proud of it, but it true. So what am I supposed to do now, God?

And do you know what He said? (No, He didn't appear to me in a vision or anything. I didn't hear a voice from the sky. These are just the thoughts He put in in my head, and I KNOW they came from Him.) He said, I know you don't spend enough time with Me, and I know you always cut your time with Me first, and that's why I'm giving you this opportunity, Allison. Sit in your children's room and spend that time with Me.


So that's what I have done. Naptime and nighttime I have time to spend with God. It has made me a happier person. I feel bad that God has had to trap me like this in order to get my attention, but I'm glad He did it! And the kids are sleeping better because of it. Eventually, I expect they won't need me to sit in there and make sure they go to sleep without destroying the room or each other. But I may sit in there anyway.

Because now that time is sacred.


Molly said...

Man, I hate it when God gives me a big kick in the butt like that! Ouch! But, what a sweet lesson and what sweet scenery while spending time with Him!...

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful testimony. Just one more reminder why you were chosen to be these wonderful kids' mother.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a really beautiful post. God's a funny guy, isn't he?

Becky said...

wow. that is one of the most awesome posts i have ever read on ANY blog...ever.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. -Stephanie

rileyreese said...

I am a "lurker" what what a wonderful post! It does seem that everytime we get busy God is the first to get neglected and what a wonderful way for Him to remind you while you are watching your little angels fall asleep!

Anonymous said...

And God did know just who to give those quads to, didn't He? You are amazing. Love, Web

Hilary said...

I really hope that baetime and naptime gets better for you!! Bless your heart!! :) I can't imagine trying to get 4 to sleep 1 was hard enough..hang in there!

Hilary said...

Great post too!!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously I had not read this post when I talked to you yesterday. The toddler beds are so cute! Those children should love to SLEEP in those beds. I know you are in a challenging period, but am glad you & God are working through it together. It's a great post.
Love, Mom

The Pittman's said...

I'm a lurker...
I really loved this post. It's funny how God gets our attention sometimes.
I rememeber my mom sitting in the hall at night and singing church songs until we all went to sleep when I was little. It was the only way to keep us all in bed and quiet.
My prayers are with you!

Gen McNulty said...

WOW. I agree with everyone else. BEAUTIFUL, just beautiful. Way to put it mama!!!

Hang in there. I promise, the transition WILL get easier. You have to do what works for you. And.. what a BEAUTIFUL way to make it work!!

Gen :)

TnMomTo3 said...

What an awesome post. :)

I was going to come here and say that I was glad I only had 2 to deal with. :) I guess you put THAT into perspective for me! :)

Jenny said...

that's awesome. Brought a tear to my eye. i do the same thing...He is the first thing cut i hate to admit it.

I dread the big bed days that will be next year....let us know what finally works for you! we will take all the advise we can get on that topic....and potty training...that too!:)