Two years ago, we made a mistake while on Thanksgiving vacation. You were 6 months old and had been sleeping out of our bed for a few months, but we thought it would be "better" if you slept in bed with us at Nana and Papas. It didn't work out so well. First of all, it was very uncomfortable in the double bed, especially with you kicking and squirming and nursing all night long. There weren't enough pillows and the mattress is so squishy, one almost tumbles right over the side. The second part of our error was revealed when we returned home. You no longer wanted to fall asleep in your crib. We were back at square one.
Full disclosure -- at 6 months, you weren't sleeping all night in your crib, but you started out there which makes a huge difference. You were doing so well -- slowly spending more and more time in your own bed.
So you spent the month of November starting your nightly sleep cycle in our bed and moving, at some point, to your crib. By December, we'd learned our lesson and you slept in the portable crib when we visited family. I can't distinctly remember what happened last year, but there was some issue with the transition.
Now, we are at year three. It is almost 10:15 and we've spent over 2 hours getting you ready for bed. I just rocked you and tucked you in again; you told me you were sad because you miss Nana and Papa. Earlier, you told dad you missed football -- you want to watch the guys kicking the ball. Even though the last two nights have been rocky, I'm thankful for language. I'm able to calm you with words, and you understand! We can talk about why you are sad, and we can work it out together.
Each night I rock you, your legs fall lower down my lap; your body feels heavier on my chest; the fingers that play with my hair grow longer and more agile. There will be many more transitions, and I can't begin to imagine them all.