Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caution: May Cause Infant Insanity

When we were visiting my family in Illinois, we had a choice when it came to Audra's sleeping arrangements; they had apparently saved a crib that was last used approximately fifteen million years ago (this might be hyperbole) or the toddler bed that my niece grew out of but used all the time before she became some kind of seven year old willow tree child who keeps getting taller no matter how much I try to convince her to stop.

We picked the toddler bed. I had nightmarish images of her somehow collapsing the whole built-by-the-ancients-of-thirty-years-ago crib on top of herself in the middle of the night, because that is totally a rational thing to be worried about. The toddler bed seemed safer - lower to the ground at least, which is almost the same as safe.

Even if she did manage to take it apart with Magic Baby Powers, she'd only fall a few inches. It seemed better, somehow.

We laid out the futon mattress we were sleeping on onto the floor and pushed it right up next to her bed, surrounding the corners of hers with soft pillows between it and the wall, to hopefully keep her from realizing electrical outlets exist.

Wednesday night, we went to settle her in for sleep. We gave her a bottle. We gave her another bottle when the first didn't work. We finally gave the hell up and just went to bed ourselves, hoping she would take that as a clue.

It was dark.

Jason and I laid on the futon, trying to put her to sleep by example.

It was quiet.

Audra Grace seemed suddenly to realize her situation.

And she lost her freaking mind.

She'd never realized such beds existed! She had entered some sort of magical Fairyland for Babies!

The rails didn't go above her head! She could just sort of flop over them like a dead fish (which she also doesn't know exists)! There was even an opening towards the foot of the little bed she could literally just fall out of and land on top of my legs!

It. Was. Amazing.

So amazing, in fact, that we spent the next two nights trying desperately to keep her in it.

We'd give her a blanket from home to snuggle - she'd throw it off and wiggle like mad or bang her hands into the railings as loud as she could.

We'd give her Holly Bear - she'd toss Holly Bear onto my face at 2:30 in the morning and start trying to stick her fingers in the outlet that she somehow just psychically knew was behind the pillow.

We gave her Riff Raff the stuffed giraffe - she hugged him close, cooed lovingly so we would let our guard down, and then promptly threw him over the side (not onto my face, for once) and used the distraction to make her own break for the opening near the bottom.

She thrashed around like she was trapped in some kind of parental net, managing to stay inside the confines of the bed and still wake me from a dead sleep by hitting me...

You guessed it.

She hit me in the face.

She would lay just about any way except up-and-down like the bed plans for. She tried horizontally, with one leg hanging out the opening. She tried to flop her whole body over the railings. Or she didn't lay down at all - just sat right up and clapped happily, sang, or shouted at us. Sometimes she cried, just to shake things up!

We ended up having to take her into the futon mattress with us and hold her until she would finally drift off, and then move her as gently and silently as possible to the toddler bed. Even that didn't work every time we tried it.

At one point, after roughly an hour of attempting to get her to stop dead-fish-thrashing for even ten seconds, we turned to each other in a moment of blissful silence, wondering if maybe we would finally, finally get some rest ourselves.

"She is definitely not ready for a toddler bed," I whispered to Jason in the dark.

"She's obviously gone mad with power," he replied.

We closed our eyes. It was, at last, silent in the room.

Then a little voice from the corner said, "Da!"

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