Monday, November 9, 2009

Transitions



Kai is a child who understands transitions, it seems. Eric and/or I were home with her for the first 8 months of her life, but she had no trouble transitioning to being with our good friend Doug three days a week. Indeed, it was the opposite. From the very beginning, she would wave her hands excitedly as we pulled up to Doug's house. Now, in the morning, we ask if she wants to go to Doug's and she runs to the front door, frantically trying to open it. We've started visiting daycares and preschools, and Kai has accompanied us on many of these visits. Walking into a room full for 12 children does not begin to phase her. Again, the opposite. She squirms to get down, and immediately starts to play with the toys and introduce herself to the other children. I've found issues with every place we've visited; although, with the exception of one, they've all been good programs where Kai would certainly continue to thrive. I just can't really imagine leaving her with so many other children -- and, it's not because she can't handle it (clearly). I just worry about everything - safety, top among them (although, when it comes to safety issues, one could say I have a tendency to be on the hyper-vigilant side. I am the person who refuses any amusement park rides, won't go on trips that involve any combination of height, speed, or the possibility of being subjected to hypothermia or bear attacks. I've been known to be a bit of a lurker (as Sarah and Doug call it). It's possible that I've called the police when Eric was an hour late. So, it could be that my safety concerns are a tad overblown). Bottom line: I am not so good at transitions. I can see Kai as a teenager now, rolling her eyes at me and saying "mooommmmm, STOP worrying."

Our transition to a big girl bed is yet another example of Kai's adaptability, and my resistance to change. We bought her a toddler bed about a month ago (as I mentioned a couple of posts ago), which she was excited about right away. From the moment we set it up, she started signing "sleep". She knew that one could sleep in the bed (in addition to jumping on it or using it to practice climbing skills). For the first week, we just let it be in her room without trying to get her to sleep in it. She would jump on it, run to it when she was tired and sign "sleep", throw the blankets on and off the bed... she liked it.

video (ok, I know I've posted this video before... but, it seems appropriate here. Also, I tend to be a little redundant).

Then we decided to try a few naps in the bed. The first time I put her down for a nap in her bed, I crawled into the bed with her. She curled up on my shoulder the way she always does... then she lifted her head, looking at me and then at the wall, that was pushing up against her, as if to say, "ummm... it's a little crowded." She put her head back down, and went to sleep and proceeded to nap as though nothing were different. Next day, same drill, same result. We did that for a few more days, with absolutely no trauma.


This week, we started putting her to sleep in her bed at nighttime. The first time I went to put her to sleep in her bed, she happily crawled into bed, let me cover her (covers are NOT permitted when she sleeps in our bed, but apparently, they are fine in her own bed). Then I tried to get in next to her and Kai pushed me and slapped at me. She wanted her bed to herself! It was as if she had decided that if we were going to be doing this "big girl bed" thing with some frequency, she was going to need enough room to fall asleep properly, without being crammed against the wall. I sat on the floor next to her bed, holding Kai's hand and she drifted off to sleep. Again, absolutely no trauma. Granted, I am sitting right next to her until she falls asleep, but, really, I think we may be taking this transition a little slower than she needs (but a little faster than we need!) Kailey is sleeping in her own bed as I type this. We are still bringing her into our bed with us before we go to sleep -- mostly because neither of us wants to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to go get her when she wakes up (I know, we're lazy!) Baby steps for us, big girl steps for Kailey.

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