The Crib

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Yes, my three-year-old still sleeps in a crib. Not because he’s not ready for a big boy bed, but because his father is not ready for a big boy bed.

We have a BBB in the attic. Several times in the past year, I’ve mentioned to Antique Daddy that since Sean easily scrambles in and out of the crib, tightrope walks the rails and dive rolls out like a Chinese acrobat that perhaps the crib no longer serves it’s purpose. Perhaps it’s time to get the BBB out of the attic and let this little boy take a baby step towards becoming a big boy.

This suggestion is always met with some sort of vague response like “Okay, maybe this Saturday” which translates to “No.”

If you’ve been reading this blog very long, then you already know that there are some fundamental differences in how Antique Daddy and I approach life. I gobble, he savors. I cut and run, he hangs in. I move on, he lingers. I am impetuous, he is thoughtful. I cross my fingers, hope for the best and jump in with my blindfold firmly in place, he anal-yzes, plans, proceeds and then backs up. Because I am intimately acquainted with death and loss, my grip is loose. Because he is intimately acquainted with death and loss, his grip is tight. I look forward to the future, convinced that something wonderful is waiting for me just around the corner. He looks back and mourns the loss of each today. He is sentimental, I am crusty.

That is to say.

I have been working on him for the last six months to get the BBB out of the attic. I’m not foolish enough to think that the transition to the new bed won’t be without a few issues, a few sleepless nights, but I’m ready. I think Sean is ready. He is an adaptable little boy. It is time.

So this past Saturday was the “maybe this Saturday” Saturday. After breakfast, I mentioned to him that it was the perfect day to get out the BBB since he could get it out at the same time he was hauling the tsunami-sized wall of Christmas decorations into the attic.

A wall of silence went up. He turned his back to me. And when he turned back, he had tears in his eyes. “I’m just not ready,” he said. “I didn’t know that last night when I put him to bed that it would be the last night that I would ever get to put him to sleep in that crib. Give me a few more days.”

Now I know what men deal with. You just can’t counter tears.

It’s going to be really embarrassing when we haul Sean’s crib to his freshman dorm at UT. And his daddy insists on being his roommate so he can read him books and rock him to sleep each night.

53 thoughts on “The Crib

  1. Someone just pointed me to this post, because I just wrote yesterday about my 38 month old being in his crib (with no desire–from anyone here–to get him out). I even asked his dr. at his 3yo checkup, and she gave it the thumbs up. Did yours ever get out??


  2. What a good writer you are! And so right to realize and remind us that the baby days are fleeting and we should savor them while we can. One suggestion: set up the big boy bed, but leave the crib in place for now. Let the little’un decide when he is ready–he may go back and forth for a while. And that’s okay too. Somehow it eases the transition for everyone.


  3. I’m SO glad that I’m not the only one with a 3-year-old cribster. In our house though, neither of us adult-type-people (translate: me and hubby)is ready. Our little beastie boy didn’t start sleeping through the night until he was 2.25, so we are still basking in the light of a full night’s sleep and TERRIFIED to mess with it! I’ll be watching to see how it goes when you do eventually make the step!


  4. Oh my goodness, that is the sweetest thing I’ve *heard* today! Sean looks so comfy in that picture in his BBC (big boy crib)! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your husbands sentimental side with us! Made my day! 🙂 (I’m all about the smileys today!)


  5. Jackson loves to have Daddy “snuggle” (this is code for lay down with me until I fall asleep) with him at bedtime. Mark loves it too. He knows that soon he will not be asked to do that anymore. Explain this to AD, he will come around.


  6. I love reading your blog. I get lots and lots of laughs here, but this one…. awwwww….it was so sweet that it made me tear up! I think it’s incredibly sweet that your husband needs a few more days so he can know it’s the last time he’ll be tucking him into a crib. You might let him know that one of the greatest things about the BBB is that he can actually crawl in beside Sean for a good snuggle and read!! Hope the transition to the BBB is smooth for all of you!!


  7. Well, I slept in a crib until after I was four and it didn’t scar me (I don’t think).

    For various reasons I took my children out of the crib somewhere in their second year. As I recall I had one who divebombed out of the bed and always landed on his head…and then another whose older brother would pull the bed under the ceiling fan and they would both jump on the bed trying to grab the fan and swing around.

    But my two grandsons, aged six and four, are so excited when we visit my mother’s attic bedroom in Arkansas because there are two cribs in the bedroom. At bedtime, they pick which crib they want, climb in and go to sleep. I tried to talk them into sleeping in the (big) double bed in the same room…but they said the crib is safe and snuggly. Who can argue with that?

    I’m sure Sean will be fine for a while longer in his safe and snuggly crib.


  8. I loved this post – my husband and are the opposite. My daughter is almost 16 months old and my husband already tried taking the crib rails off her bed (we have the kind that becomes a toddler bed). I put them back on a few days later, because it was just too early.

    I like her this small and mommy dependant, not sure I want her to get any bigger 🙂


  9. I came back to check the comments. Wow. I’m loving them!

    I just want to agree with Everyday Daddy about the snuggling part. I often fall asleep with my five year old son in his bed. I have found that to sometimes be the best part of the day. He tells me stories and we talk about important things like what he’s going to be when he grows up (so far, he wants to be a farmer, a builder, a pilot, a fireman, an astronaut, and in his spare time, a doctor.).

    I still rock my three year old and sing with her before bed, but the other night I found my Hubs snuggling with her in her little princess toddler bed!

    Those snuggles and talks in a child’s bed are priceless. They do make putting away the crib worth it. 🙂


  10. You HAD to post this on the day my kiddoes are returning to school after Christmas Break, didn’t you?! Being the sentimental one of our household, this post rang bells in my heart. I, too, have to be aware of something being the “last” time, so I can properly savor it. If it makes you feel any better, both my kids were closer to 3.5 before they got their big beds. 🙂 This post of yours is really stunning, the way you took an emotional turn halfway through. A really beautiful tribute to a sweet moment.


  11. that post brought tears to my eyes. sigh. I can understand where your husband is coming from. My baby is almost 6 months old. We are about to start cereal. Haven’t yet because “maybe this Saturday.”


  12. I think I am enjoying the comments almost as much as the post! I have seven kids, and while I can’t wait for them to reach new milestones, I still get all fidgety over them growing up. I’m not taking it well having a 17 year old. I’m nursing my newborn son while listening to an Army recruiter talking to my oldest baby boy about leaving the nest! Remembering how Drew used to be so little, nursing at my breast, now he can’t wait to be free, it hurts a bunch, even though I am proud of what a man he will be. Such a heart for God in him. The BBB doesn’t bother me nearly as badly as the leaving home.
    I agree the BBB has growing up written all over it, but AD will survive. Just tell him a date and let him enjoy a few more days, I find my dh does better if he has warning over the change and a date to deal with it.
    God bless!


  13. Your blog is such a great read. It’s a bright spot in my day. I try to save it for my afternoon tea break, but I usually can’t wait and end up reading it during my morning coffee. The anticipation overwhelms me! LOL.

    I can so relate to your husband. These kids grow up FAR too fast. My 7yo daughter lost her first tooth a few months ago and I cried. It was like the death of her childhood to me. THIS MEANS SHE’S GETTING ADULT TEETH. ADULT. She’s ALMOST AN ADULT! I know, I know. That’s a HUGE exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like.


  14. Antique Daddy sounds like a great father. Certainly with every new stage, something slips away never to be had again. However, wonderful new things unfold.

    We made the transition to a big boy bed a few years ago. Now Lovebug asks me to snuggle for a few minutes before he goes to sleep. Its a wonderful time to ask how his day went, pray, tell stories, laugh and tell him how much I love him. Whenever its time for me to leave, Lovebug always asks “for two more minutes… NO! FIVE MORE!” I rarely can resist.

    Tell Antique Daddy that wonderful snuggles await him– snuggles that he’ll never have without the BBB.

    Everyday Daddy


  15. I think its sweet….Madison came out of hers at 2….and the BGB was great..until she figured out how to get off the bed and come into our room…and get in bed…..then it started….with Miller we may wait longer….dont wish them off to early…it seems just like yesterday Madison was 3 now she will be 10 in March…..yikes!


  16. I really can’t fathom that you guys are planning to send this sweet, innocent, “I’m from a conservative background” young man to UT ? He has “Aggie” written all over him.


  17. I knew it was time to move our little guy to a bed when I caught him up there on the railings, trapped, unable to go forward or back, saying “hep me, Mommy!” But I felt very much like your hubby, and do, so often, over so many things….

    Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go back in time and visit them at previous ages, so you wouldn’t ever lose that, but wouldn’t lament watching them move forward, too?


  18. Oh my, we’ve gone through the same thing. With our first girl, the daddy couldn’t bear for her to move into her BBB. I even had it set up and we had been practicing during naps. AND another baby was eminent. He went out and bought another crib. Our baby boy is almost 2, and believe me, no other babies are eminent. But I feel sure that Daddy’s boy will sleep in his crib until his chubby little legs stick out the ends.

    Beautiful post!


  19. Wow. Our son was over three when ew got him out of the crib … and he was always big for his age. I felt a lot like AD does … you can never go back to those days. (Now I feel like singing “Puff The Magic Dragon”)


  20. Yes Linda, I do have a very wise and sweet husband — who won’t get the damn BBB out of the attic! It turns out that whever we do things his way, it’s always for the best. I hate that. 😉


  21. Well – it may be embarrassing, but it sure is sweet. There is a book by Karen Kingsbury about “last times” (the name of which escapes me – of course). I couldn’t get through it without crying. If we knew it was going to be the last time, would we treasure it more? I think so. You have a very wise and sweet husband.


  22. Seeing that so sweet picture had me choked up even before I started to read. Jack’s only 15 months, so we have a ways to go. I’m actually relieved to hear I may not be the only one to let him stay as long as he will…

    Great post.


  23. I am in complete agreement with AD. My husband is just like you though. I HATE weaning my children. To know that it is going to be the last time you ever get to hold them like that… too tough.

    Good thing I didn’t marry someone like me though.


  24. And once you DO put him in the BBB, you will both be surprised at how tiny he looks all over again. Bless both their hearts–

    My husband loves to tickle our son. . .and my son loves it back, and sometimes it wastes time and makes us late or makes bedtime late or makes dinner time late. . .and I just bite my tongue and revel in the fact that one day when our boy is taller than his daddy and ready to go out and be a daddy himself, it will all pay off.


  25. So I get tears in my eyes as I near the end of your post and suddenly at the end, I’m laughing heartily. How DO you do that!? Things we don’t even consider.
    The paragraph contrasting you two is SO well written.


  26. We didn’t move our son out of his crib until he was three and even then he wasn’t really interested. He just got too heavy! My daughter, on the other hand, jumped out of her crib on her second birthday. She kept her crib until long after she could climb out, much like your son! She’s an acrobat in training, too.

    I love that your hubby is so attached to the “baby” things. My hubby just wants our baby, 13 months, to grow up. This is a hard stage (he’s not walking yet, isn’t saying any words, but Lord, does he know how to throw a tantrum!), but he’s the last baby and I want to savor every moment with him. I’m sure your husband knows how much you appreciate him. He sounds like a wonderful man. And the way you write about him shows that you love him and respect his approach to life.

    Great post!


  27. There I was snickering away at how you use BBB as shorthand for the big-boy bed, and then I got to the tears, and I was slain. You’re so good at those tiny reminders that once our babies grow up, they’ll never be babies again.


  28. I love the differences between my husband and I that seem to balance us out. I’m sure he’ll get there before your son goes to college (maybe high school), but it’so sweet that it’s taking him some time.


  29. These men!!!! Their feelings sneak up and grab them sometimes.

    I’ve seen my husband cry three times and one was when his Dad died, and the most recent was when our daughter got engaged and he realized that she was finished being “fathered.”

    His tears brought buckets of tears to my eyes.

    You write so well…


  30. I made my husband cry once. It was traumatic. FOR ME. If he were the guilt-wringing kind, he could probably still bring it up, but fortunately he isn’t.

    We moved our three-year-old into a BGB last week. It was very trying. But the big plus is that in the morning when I wake her, I can lay down in her bed for snuggles. There is nothing like it.


  31. I’ve been a reader for a while, but I had to comment today 🙂 The description of your husband totally resonates with me. I am senti*mental* in a bad way. Grabbing moments, taking pictures, recording milestones and then grieving the loss of time. Oh it is really a burden sometimes!

    The way you put it—

    “Because he is intimately acquainted with death and loss, his grip is tight”—

    Wow….I had to pause at this because I’ve tried to match words with that feeling many times.

    I’ve kept our crib because it has scars in the wood, where my beaver-children would gnaw away to pass the time. Certainly my grandchildren will be blessed to have this heirloom! (see, here I go planning for grandchildren when I’m 34 years old)

    Finally, this part—

    “I didn’t know that last night when I put him to bed that it would be the last night that I would ever get to put him to sleep in that crib.”

    OH, have mercy! I have said this more times than I care to remember. Diapers, paci’s, sippy cups, words pronounced wrong- all things I grieve.

    Thanks for your candid and funny post. It’s so much more fun to laugh at my sappiness!!!


  32. Aw. My kids were/are (the baby is still working on it) big fans of jumping OUT OF THE CRIB, so they got moved to the big kid toddler bed before they turned two – or else we’d have had to install a trampoline around the crib perimeter.
    Sweet story!


  33. that is actually a really sweet story! 🙂 i’ll never forget my husband coming into my hospital room, a few hours after hailey was born and he just looked at me, with tears in his eyes and said, “she’s just so….. little”. from that point on, i knew she had stolen his heart.

    i’ll tell ya, all it takes to get a grown man to tear up is a tiny little human being.


  34. If Sean is still learning to stay dry all night, you could approach it from another angle… tell your husband you’re worried Sean isn’t finished potty training. You think he just needs some motivation. What could motivate him? Then, after a little brainstorming, come up with “He can have a BBB when he is dry all night!” Then get the little guy excited. When he is finally dry, make a big deal about his bed and have him help Dad get it out and get it ready.
    If your boy is already perfectly potty trained, no pullups at night, well, can you come to my house? I’ve got a couple of kids that need some work…


  35. That is the sweetest thing I’ve read! What a tender-hearted hubby….and it’s a good thing YOU married him and not someone like me. Nothing would get put away! I still have my twins’ pacis in a drawer in the dresser in their room. Just in case. They are six. (Shhh, don’t tell. The practical part of my knows that reeks of grossness) And my son’s going home outfit in hanging in his closet like he could wear it later today. He’s 18 months.



  36. Jonathan was the same way …. he’s 12 (ok, 13 in April as he would tell you) and still fusses to have us tuck him in and read. we are curentyl reading Peter and the Starcatchers.

    Your husband’s heart sounds mighty familiar ….


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