Allyson finally got her big girl bed last week, one month before her third birthday. She and Daddy put it together while I was on my birthday shopping spree, and she was beside herself with excitement when she showed me the bed for the first time. In fact, she wanted to go to bed right away even though it was only about 6:00 and still bright outside.
"No, honey, it's not bedtime yet," I explained.
"Can I take a nap?" she asked. (I never thought I'd hear those words coming out of her mouth!)
"It's kind of late for a nap," I protested. "You can go to bed when it gets dark."
A few minutes later, I was folding laundry when I heard Allyson calling me. I found her snuggled under her mismatched quilt on her new bed and clutching her favorite dolly. She had closed the curtains and turned on the little noisemaker that she used to listen to during nap time.
"Read me a story! I'll fall asleep in no time," she predicted.
I stifled my laughter and grabbed a Cat in the Hat book. I knelt beside her and started reading. About five minutes later, Ethan and his four friends, who were spending the night for his twelfth birthday, returned from Blockbuster. The moment Allyson heard their voices downstairs, she leapt out of bed and ran down to join in the fun.
A couple of hours later, it was actually time for bed, and I snapped some shots of her while Daddy tucked her in. She was still excited about the new bed, but I wondered if she'd stay in it when we left the room.
Just as I'd expected, she was in her doorway about a minute later. "I just want to say good night," she explained.
"Good night! Go back to bed."
Another minute later: "I just need a drink...."
"...I just need to go potty...."
"...I just need to read a story...."
"I just need you to pray again, Mommy...."
"GO TO SLEEP!!!"
We hoped her restlessness was due to the novelty of the toddler bed and the excitement of the sleepover, but this has been her nightly pattern. It's driving us crazy!
Still, she's so cute. She rotates all the way around in her tiny bed; when we check on her, her feet might be hanging off the side or resting on her pillow. As often as not, she ends up on the floor.
I have to face it: my baby is gone! In fact, she's so big that she told her first knock-knock joke the other day, and it was actually funny....
"Mama! You know who I am!" she giggled uproariously. She repeated this joke at least 10 times in a row, and she laughed harder every time. She was enjoying herself too much for me to get tired of it.
Sigh.... I should know this is the way of it. Ethan's TWELVE, for crying out loud. I can't complain, though. What a privilege it is to watch my children growing and developing their own personalities.