I thought it would be more difficult. That visible sign of him not being a baby anymore. That dart gun right to my heart saying "he's getting older". That reminder each time we walked into his room that he's farther away from being our little boy.
But it wasn't difficult at all.
Over the weekend, we converted Henry's crib into a toddler bed. It had been something we had talked about doing for quite awhile. I even bought the safety railing over a month ago and it just sat in the corner of his room waiting to be put to use. There was nothing that brought this transition on. Henry wasn't crawling out of his crib, he didn't seem upset that he was in his cage night after night. It was more my decision - and it was the same way I make all my decisions - quick, impulsive.
On Friday night I decided that we should get him ready for sleeping in a big boy bed ahead of our vacation in a couple of weeks. Instead of sleeping in pack 'n play while we're gone, he'll be sleeping on a blow up mattress. Easy to get out of, non-confining, a little more dangerous. So when I made the decision that it was time to try, B set out to transform his bed.
I waited to see how I would feel, if I would feel my baby boy drifting metaphorically farther away from me. But I didn't.
After a few minutes of hesitation, Henry climbed into his bed. And then out of his bed. And then in. And then out. Loving this new freedom. The joy on his face was heartwarming. He could do it. He could sleep in a big boy bed. Just as with his recent first big boy haircut, he was excited to talk about his big boy bed.
"I sleep in big boy bed, Mommy?" "Yes, baby, you sleep in a big boy bed." "I got big boy haircut like Daddy, too?" "Yes baby, you got a big boy haircut, too."
So then we gave it a shot and put him down for his very first sleep in his new bed. It was just naptime and I kept my eyes glued to his monitor most of the time. Would he fall out? Would he be able to settle himself? Would he hate it? But he slept. And he slept peacefully. An hour and a half later I saw him stirring and instead of going to get him, we waited. We wondered what he would do. Would he cry for us like he normally does to come get him? Or would he hop down and run out of his room?
In the end, he laid in there for another twenty minutes. Rolling around, playing with his railing, talking to himself. I finally saw him hop down and watched his shadow on the monitor head for his door. "He's coming", I whispered to B. And then we heard the little feet.
He stopped in the hallway and looked into the living room at us, fingers in his mouth, hair sticking on end. The expression on his face is one that I wish I had captured on camera. It was a hesitation, a "am I allowed to just get down and come out here on my own?" kind of look. So we excitedly welcomed him to let him know it was in fact okay. And he seemed delighted at what had just taken place.
My little boy is getting much bigger. He's learning new things each day and experiencing new events. His big boy bed and his big boy haircut are just the start. But for right now, I'm okay with these transitions. I'm okay with watching him become his own tiny person. I'm okay with him growing up.