Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 137: Adaptability

We're about to undertake a few big changes here, and I can feel the heart palpitations coming on already.

Our bedroom is too crowded to be liveable with the pack 'n play in it anymore. And because it's adjacent to the living room, we walk around on eggshells when Max is napping during the day. My shushing and scolding is causing so much tension between Jackson and I that I'm ruining the only solo time we have together by forcing us into power struggles about where he can play, with what and how loudly. The whisper shouting has got to end!

So tomorrow Jackson is moving to a new big-boy bedroom upstairs *tear* so that Max's bed can be moved to the "nursery." He's also finally asking to sleep in a big-boy bed, so once he's used to the new sounds and feel of his upstairs bedroom, it will be time for that transition too. I don't know if it's for him or me, but I think one major shift at a time seems more manageable.

This also means that Max will have his own room *gasp* which he will be napping in and hopefully starting the night in before coming to bed with us where he usually sleeps. In addition to the noise issues, we're thinking this will ease the eventual transition away from bed-sharing as he gets older. Jackson was in his own room at only two months, but it still seems so strange to move Maxwell so far away at nine months. He's spent every night of his life snuggled up next to me, and even the first steps toward the beginning of the end of that are a little tough. 

I'm reminding myself that they are ready for these changes and that they are adaptable, that kids are so adaptable if we let them be. But there's still a twinge of anxiety. Because as a general rule, I don't like change (read: I fear change). Knowing what to expect provides a sense of security, even if what I can expect is something I don't like! And stepping outside of that predictability - even with the prospect of major improvements - requires faith and trust in myself, in them, and in the God who works all things together for good.

I don't want to find security in circumstances anymore. It leads to fear and makes me a neurotic control freak! I want my security to be unchangeable. I want to be confident that we will all be okay even if things aren't perfect or predictable, and to embrace the unconditionality of life that I so often reject. We are all capable of adapting to this and to much bigger things, and I want to give the boys an opportunity to practice being flexible and welcoming change.

Which leads me to the obvious question: What's the worst that can happen? Because a few sleepless nights and a few days of nap struggles are so insignificant, especially when weighed against all the positive things that will come from these changes. And I also have to remind myself that trying something new doesn't mean we're committed. We do what works for our family, and if we make changes that don't work we can always go back to what did.

Inviting these changes with enthusiasm is a step, small though it may be, toward faith and trust. I will anticipate great things and accept growing pains that may come with confidence that we'll all learn something valuable as we're drawn out of our comfort zones. And most importantly, I'll allow the boys to decide for themselves how they feel about it all instead of projecting my fears or expectations onto them.

1 comment:

  1. We recently made the transition from crib to toddler bed for our 22 month old. It wasn't fun, at first, and there were tears which we definitely didn't like, but I think it was the cognitive dissonance more than anything else. He was happy in his crib, but since he had started to climb out, we just couldn't let him stay in there, for safety reasons. He wanted to be happy in his bed too, but he also had the temptation of being able to get out and play with his toys.

    It was about a week and a half of major difficulty, after having had a kid who was such an independent sleeper that we actually considered reverse sleep training him to want to be in our bed. We didn't, because that's not what he needed. It was just always so easy to put him to bed, and such a struggle with our older one. It's still a struggle with our older one but our younger one is back to being good about naps and bedtime. If he plays for a bit, it's fine, and then he climbs into bed, and that's that.

    Anyhow, provided that you make the bedroom transitions with love and that you answer any crying or tears with hugs and comfort and acknowledgement, it should be fine.