Ever since we put 4-year-old Lily in her big girl bed, she’s acted like there was an electrified force field around it. She never ever gets out of bed by herself. Ever since we potty trained her, I’ve been begging her to get out and go to the potty in the middle of the night. She won’t do it. She won’t come out in the morning, even if I call her from downstairs and ask her to do it. She will only get out of bed if I am in the room with her.
Two-year-old Rose has been in her big girl bed for several months now. She seems to have figured out that there is no force field around her bed. Or maybe she found the button to turn hers off.
Whatever the case, she does not always stay in her bed. At first we had a baby gate on her door, but she learned how to open it so we took it off. So, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we don’t hear her if she wanders off somewhere she doesn’t quite belong. Now, most kids would figure out pretty quickly that middle of the night means Mommy and Daddy are in their room. Not Rose.
About a week later, I woke up in the middle of the night to hear crying. I had to look for Rose a long time before I found her in our living room on the first floor. She walked downstairs in the dark, walked down the hall and got to the living room before she freaked out and realized she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Where was I at 3 am? How could I not be awake and playing in the living room? Isn’t that my job?
Stuff like this happened for a while until this week, when she finally caught on and this happened:
I was about to kick what I thought was Lumpy, our dog, off my feet. Luckily, I looked down first to discover Rose.
Amazingly, thanks to the force field in Lily’s room, this is the first time I’ve woken up to discover a child has put herself in my bed even though I’ve been a parent for 4 years. There were times when I was nursing at night that I claimed that a baby must have jumped out of her crib and put herself in bed with me because I didn’t remember going to get her, but this was the first time I know for sure I didn’t put the kid there myself.
And because this was the only force field deactivation event that didn’t end in tears and my having to be awake for at least an hour, I’ll take it. A king-sized bed would make tolerating this turn of events a lot easier, but I can deal with being crowded in bed over being forced to watch an hour of 3 am cartoons to calm down a traumatized child.
I have to say, though, I much prefer having a child without a force field to having one with it. In the morning, Rose comes cheerfully downstairs by herself to get her breakfast. Meanwhile, getting her 4 year old sister out of bed still requires the amount of effort on my part as it did when she was a baby.
Oh, Lily, when are you going to break out of your force field? I’d REALLY like to stop buying pull-ups. Among other things.