Sunday, September 5, 2010
Day 1060 - Toddler Beds: A Look Back
In mid-July, we transitioned the kids into toddler beds. We figured the combination of the kids climbing out of the cribs and the impending move to our new place was enough to warrant the new beds. Two months have passed, and although the kids are perfectly fine sleeping in the beds, it was one hell of a transition and screwed up their nap time for a very long time.
Instead of going into a long description of what has happened over the past few months, it will be easier to explain it with pictures.
Lisa and I expected in the beginning that the kids would not want to settle down for a nap because of their new beds. Think of giving a prison inmate a cell without bars, but double it and replace violent tendencies with unfettered curiosity. That's what we had for almost a full month.
At first, the kids would just get out of bed and play around. All pretty harmless, but annoying and tiring to a parent who really just wants thirty minutes of rest. And by rest I mean quality PS3 gaming time. But Emma started to go through all of the clothes in the dresser and made a gigantic mess in the room.
I fooled around with the idea that maybe the kids were getting to the age where they would not need a nap anymore. But the kids were so grouchy and tired for the last few hours of the day that we knew they still needed a nap. It even got to the point where Andrew would fall asleep while eating dinner.
As the days turned into weeks, we were getting afraid that the kids were creating a routine by themselves: a routine of destruction and mayhem. We tried to calm them down as much as possible, but they found their new found freedom more interesting than napping. Soon enough, Andrew followed Emma's lead with the clothes.
If you notice the picture above, Andrew has no pants on and Emma only has her diaper on. For some odd reason, nap time not only become throw-all-of-the-clothes-out-of-the-drawer, but it also became take-all-of-our-clothes-off. When asked, the kids usually responded that they were pretending to change each other's diaper.
But pretending to change their diapers led to something even more weird and disconcerting. They got the idea that if they took all of the pillows off the love seat, then it could become a pretend toilet. Pretty soon, we had half-naked kids climbing on top of the Ikea love seat pretending to go poop and pee.
But the worst thing that happened occurred around the first week of August. After an hour of talking, Emma and Andrew finally settled down and became quiet. Lisa and I thought this was going to be one of those rare days when the kids did take a nap. When it became around 4pm, Lisa decided it was time to wake them up. All I needed to hear was Lisa's reaction to know something went terribly wrong. It went a little something like this...
"No no no!"
"OH NO NO NO!"
"SCOTT OH NO NO NO SCOTT!"
It took awhile, but I knew something was not right.
When I walked into their bedroom, it took me a few moments to realize what happened. First of all, they were naked. Secondly, their hair and body looked all soapy. Thirdly, the entire room shined. What happened was that they grabbed an entire Costco jar of Aquaphor (it's like Vaseline) and emptied it on their hair, body, and basically the entire room. It was on the bed, all four walls, the window, the rug, and their dolls.
Literally, it took us four hours to clean everything up. Lisa gave the kids a bath, and I started doing the first of five loads of laundry while scrubbing the walls with 4-09. For that entire day, Lisa and I were so upset and angry. The kids knew they did something wrong because Emma said she should not play with Aquaphor again, and Andrew said, "I did a baaaaaaaad thing!"
It took almost a week for Emma's and Andrew's hair to look normal again. Here are a few pictures of the kids a day or two after the initial Aquaphor disaster.
Admittedly and obviously, parenting is not easy. But things always come and go in phases. You'll have your good days, and you'll have your Aquaphor days. Yet collectively, it's always and absolutely worth it at the end of each day.