July 20, 2011 – We transitioned Lizzie from the crib to a brand new toddler bed. She was 2.75 years old and closing in on 3. She cried and cried when we took the crib down, but once the new bed was in the room she seemed to perk up.
July 16, 2014 – We transitioned Lizzie from the toddler bed to a twin size bed. She is now 5.75 years old and closing in on 6. She cried and cried when Rich took apart the toddler bed, but once the new bed was in the room she seemed to perk up.
I had no idea until I went back and looked at the pictures that these two event were almost exactly 3 years apart. Our little Lizzie is so tenderhearted sometimes. She loved her crib. Rich made it for her, although, I don’t think she knew that at the time. She never climbed out of it like some children do. By 2011, she had already lived in 4 different states and her bed (along with her blanket and puppy) were always a huge part of her security.
And in the same way, she loved her toddler bed. Rich made it for her. He had stenciled butterflies and flowers on it. She always stayed in her bed. Even in the mornings, she would wait for us to come get her. Just this last year, she started getting up on her own. This bed has been in 3 different states and 4 different homes. We always set up Lizzie’s room first when we move. We always felt like it helped Lizzie to see her room set up in the new house. Especially when it came to sleeping in a new home.
This past week I’ve been picking out homeschool curriculum and trying to think about our classroom (which is actually the guest bedroom/office). I felt like we really needed the bed out of the room to have a little more space for school this year. I told Lizzie awhile back that she would get the twin bed probably when we moved into our next house (most likely at the end of the year). She hadn’t outgrown the toddler bed but we were getting there. Plus, she’s obviously not a toddler. She was ok with that because moving to the twin bed at the end of the year was well into the future. She could agree to anything in the Future.
So on Monday, I asked Lizzie how she would feel if we moved the Twin Bed in her room now. She said, “Oh Mommy, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Why not? “Because I love my bed.” And then later she said she liked the sound her mattress made, “It’s like laying on a thousand water bottles covered in fur.” We just laughed and I said, Wow that’s some imagery. It does crinkle because it is her crib mattress, but it is not as loud as laying on water bottles.
Then yesterday, we were rearranging her room a bit. Rich had built her a quick Lego table which meant the fancy cardboard house was going to come down. She wasn’t thrilled about this, but it was necessary. Her room is kind of small. Since we were clearing out space already, I mentioned the bed again. And she agreed to the change. I was so surprised. She was totally excited about it. But when Rich got her bed completely disassembled. She sat in front of her headboard and crumpled into a ball on the floor. I scooped her up and rocked her in my lap. We talked about the new bed. She sobbed about how she would never sleep in her bed again. I tried to comfort her by reminding her that she would still have her blankets and puppy. She was worried the new bed would be too high and that it wouldn’t be as comfortable. I just held her in the rocking chair while Rich disassembled the twin.
He took the wheels off the frame which makes the twin about 4 inches lower than it was in the guest bedroom. This was a major selling point for Lizzie. She still wasn’t sure. I was going to set it up with the comforter and bedding that was on the guest bed, but Rich was smarter than me. He told Lizzie to make the bed. So she laid out her big blanket exactly how it was on the toddler bed. We put her quilt at the bottom, her same pillows, and, of course, the same stuffed animals. She was sold! Last night, she was so excited to sleep in her new bed. Rich told her that when he came back from Korea maybe he could make her a new headboard.
This morning she said she slept well, but she told me that she just isn’t as fond of her new bed and maybe when she is seven she could go back to sleeping in her old bed. Poor baby. She likes everything to stay the same. Just like her mommy.
Transitions are hard. This weekend is our second big transition with Rich returning to Korea for his last 6 months. Lizzie and I will be back on our own again and I’m praying that we all have an easier transition this time. But the visit hasn’t been long enough. In this case, there is no such thing as long enough. We are looking forward to school starting at the end of August and new curriculum and getting back to a solid routine. And soon, we hope we will have orders of where we are going next and then we will have a flurry of moving and even more transitions. For now, we’re going to enjoy our last few days with Rich – dinner with friends, taking the boat out once more, ice cream, and the Atlanta Aquarium.
We have been a lot of places in a short amount of time. We have dragged our Lizzie from one end of the country to the other and back. I know it’s hard on her and it has taken a toll on us as well. Nothing stays the same. The one constant in our life is our dependence and faith in God. Even though our address has changed regularly, he says he will be our dwelling place and a place of refuge. I praise him for the blessings he has poured out on us as he’s carried from place to place. To God be the Glory. Amen.