I love my baby girl. (It goes without saying, I know, all us parents loving on our kids.) I love her crazy giggles and her new words and the way she throws herself into the madhouse that is her brothers wrestling. She's a little puppy climbing right into the midst of everything.
She's the same way in the dead of the night.
I love my baby girl, but I do not love sharing our bed with her. That second boy of mine, oh, he was a treasure to sleep with at night. He was cuddly and warm and most of all still.
Baby girl? She likes to sleep on top of my head. Or wind her fingers through my hair as she sleeps. Or shove her entire self as far underneath me as she can. But mostly she likes to sleep on my head.
This means I've been spending the greater part of most nights not sleeping, as I wish to be, but rather fighting off a koala bear who is trying to smother me in my sleep. Something had to change. Bed-sharing had worked for a time, but mama's needs are important too.
"Look! It's baby girl's bed! Do you want to sleep there tonight?" She nodded, but then she was going through a phase of nodding in response to everything, so we didn't tend to place a whole lot of stock in her answers. (Fortunately, she's since returned to shaking her head when she means no and nodding when she says yes, except for those times when she gets confused and just sort of bobbles her head around in a circle. It happens to the best of us.)
I began our usual bedtime routine: diaper, pajamas, lights out, settling in for a few minutes of nursing. When she was done, I laid her in her new bed right next to ours. I pulled her blanket over her. I said good-night.
And she went to sleep.
And all the angels sang Hallelujah.
Our first baby? We tried to introduce him to his own bed when he was not much older than she is now. To say it Didn't Work would be an understatement. We managed to transition him a year later, just before the next baby arrived, but even then there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Our second baby, well, I was the one who had a hard time with that transition. He was such a lovely toddler to sleep with, but he too made the transition (with far less reluctance than his older brother) just in time for the birth of his little sister.
So here we are, expecting our fourth sweet baby, and me feeling anxious about how in the world I was going to transition baby girl to her own bed when she'll be so much younger than the other two.
And then she goes and does it even earlier than necessary without the slightest bit of fuss. I'm still in shock. She's been sleeping in her own bed for nearly a month now and I'm still in shock.
So in the spirit of a Lent of gratitude, I'll simply be thankful for this one mercy, this one easy transition. Lord knows they won't always be this way - there will be other changes that baby girl struggles through, and us along with her. There will be changes that I struggle with as I watch her grow into her own beautiful person.
But this? This one was easy. Thank you, baby girl. I'll take it.