Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Bed on the Floor

Over the weekend, the Professor and I made the leap and converted Charlie’s crib into its next phase, the toddler bed. We had been toying with the idea for a while. The Professor was concerned that he would try to climb out. I was less than enthusiastic about making the switch. My theory was that he hadn’t even come close to trying to climb out, so why change things up? I guess I feel that he is growing up so fast. Things are rapidly changing in his life, so why rush things? But, over the past few weeks, I’ve sensed that he has outgrown the crib and I was getting really tired of having to hoist him over the side of that thing. He’s getting so heavy, that picking him up is often accompanied with a few grunts and cracking bones.

So, Saturday, we made the conversion and celebrated with Charlie and his stuffed animals. Charlie was very proud and loved having the ability to get in and out of bed on his own. He even showed off his “new” bed to anyone who came over.

The first night in the bed went well. He was a little confused at first, but he quickly fell asleep and only woke up a couple of times throughout the night. During one of the wake up sessions, he got out of bed and stood in our doorway. About 30 seconds after I had finally fallen back to sleep, the Professor nudged me and pointed to the door. I jumped because I was so startled to see a person standing in the doorway staring at me. My heart puttered for a few seconds because my initial thought was, “there’s a stranger in my house!” But when I realized it was just Charlie, I relaxed a little. It was just so odd to see him standing there in the middle of the night.

Each night thereafter got easier and easier and by the fourth night, he was an old hat at climbing in his bed and sleeping through the night. In the mornings when he wakes up he waits patiently for one of us to get him, sitting upright in his bed with his feet hanging off the side.

One of the side effects of Charlie having his new bed is the new potential freedom he has. All night long he has the ability to roam the house and get into mischief. This, in turn, has caused the Professor and me to worry about what he might get into should he get up in the night and decide to meander around the house. Did we leave the garbage can out where he can access the last dollops of yogurt in the container we threw away three days ago? Is there a large chef’s knife resting precariously on the edge of the counter? Did we lock the doors? Did we make sure to close up the items in the bathroom including the lid to the toilet? All of these possibilities gave the Professor a few nightmares, so we have implemented a plan of doing a quick run-through of the house before heading off to bed.

Another mishap we planned for was the possibility that he might fall out of his bed. Like many kids, Charlie is a squirmy sleeper, and we knew it was only a matter of time before he rolled right off the edge. We decided to put an old down comforter on the floor below the bed to serve as a cushion in case he falls.

Last night, around 1:30 a.m., the Professor and I woke with a jolt to screams and cries coming from Charlie’s room. The Professor ran into his room and I followed to find him comforting Charlie, who lay sprawled out on the floor. Poor guy. He fell out of his bed. The Professor comforted him a bit and I went back to bed. The Professor spent a little time soothing him, put him back in his bed, and returned to bed. But Charlie just kept crying. And this wasn’t just a whimper indicating that he did not want to go back to bed. It was a pained cry. I decided to go check things out just to be sure. I found him sitting up on his bed, hugging Perry the polar bear and his blue blanket, Bette (as in bet), crying for his mama. I leaned down to give him some comfort and noticed something smudgy on his chin. After further investigation with bleary sleepy eyes in the dim light, I realized it was blood. I turned on the lamp and noticed that Charlie’s lip was the size of a marble; it was bleeding a little and it had a rather large gash in it. I guess he bit it during his fall. He just sat there looking pitiful, all the while licking his lip. It must have felt funny having a fat lip for the first time ever. His sweet little sad eyes convinced me to let him sleep in our bed for the remainder of the night. Big mistake. None of us got any sleep, so in addition to a fat lip, Charlie also has the grumples (make that three of us with the grumples). I guess Charlie won’t be smooching on any of his classmates today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

An Afternoon at Home

Yesterday at approximately 12:50, Charlie’s school called to tell me that they would be closing early due to the possibility of bad weather and that I needed to come pick him up. Huh? It was almost 80 degrees outside. I knew that there were storms looming in the distance, but really. They closed the schools? And there isn’t even a speck of ice or snow? I went the Memphis City Schools website to find that, indeed, they had closed the schools because vicious thunderstorms were expected to hit Memphis around 3:00, which is right at most schools’ dismissal times. Fine. I got some things squared away at work and went to get my son.

Of course, he was napping when I got there. It sucked having to pry him out of his slumber. He was oh so sleepy, and what was even worse was that I had to take him back to work with me for a little while to finish up a couple of things. So, not only did my kid’s daily routine get derailed, he also had to come to this strange place where every person that came in contact with him had to talk to him, pinch his cheeks or try to make him laugh. Instead, they got a sour-faced response and lots of “no, no, no.” Having missed out on about 2 hours of his nap, he was GROUCHY. We didn’t last long at work. Once the whining and almost screaming began, I knew it was time to leave.

When we got home, I tried to get him to take another nap, but unfortunately, that window had already closed. He was in no mood for sleep even though I could see in his eyes that he needed it. The professor came home and moments later, the sirens began to blow.

I must say that I am not usually one to ride out these kinds of storms in a completely calm manner. Once the newscasters start talking tornado warnings, I immediately make a mental plan of action, put on decent shoes, and think about what I might want to take with me when and if we have to run for cover. #1 is my child, of course. Next is the dogs. I don’t worry about my husband because I am pretty sure he can cover getting himself into the bathroom with the rest of us. I also planned to pack away our wedding photos because they were taken long before the age of digital cameras. I don’t really love our wedding photos so much (we went with a cheap photographer and there are several staged shots that are just way too cheesy. Like the one with my mother “adjusting” my veil or the one with the garter – wretch!). But, these photos mean something to me because they are of our wedding day, and this was one of my most favorite days ever. I may have just been drunk on champagne, but I don’t think I have ever felt so happy and giddy in my life.

But, the professor convinced me that there was no need to start hording valued possessions in the bathroom. I was coaxed into sitting on the couch with the baby while he calmly cooked dinner. The storms eventually passed and all was well with my nerves. Of course, I called my mother about 15 minutes after threats of tornados had already passed through Germantown. She was still holed up in her closet. There’s no question about where I get my tornado anxiety.

Fortunately, Charlie slept right through the storms that passed through later in the evening. He seemed to be unfazed by the whole ordeal (like his father, of course). He spent most of the early evening walking around the house mimicking the sounds of the sirens and ogling over the bright colors on the television radar. It was a bit like a vibrant work of art now that I think about it.

I am hoping that my next afternoon home with Charlie will not be this week. Chances are high that I will get a call from school, though. They are dropping like flies in the primary class at Evergreen. Apparently, a barfing sickness is going around in his class. One little boy left early on Monday. Another child left early on Tuesday. And when we got there this morning, three more kids were reported to have the barfing sickness. Great. As far as I know, Charlie’s class is down to three kids today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he has a stomach of steel.