Monday, November 01, 2010

Of Independence

I spent the better part of yesterday cleaning Madeleine's room.
It wasn't that it was a disaster - well, it was very messy, but even when it's a disaster it only takes an hour to clean - but this was a thorough sort of cleaning.
I went through her drawers, and tossed stuff out that she's outgrown - even the old things she sleeps in sometimes. I went through the closet, and cleared all of those things out. Sorted the kitchen toys. Her kitchen has been outside in her playhouse over the summer, so that was drained of any water, thoroughly cleaned, and brought back inside.
"I want to sleep in here tonight."
"I want to sleep in here tonight. Can I?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. We'll set up my special bed in here." (She's been sleeping within arms reach but alone for a few months, and calls her mattress her "special bed".)
I thought that maybe as it got dark, she would change her mind.
I asked her one more time before I set up her mattress back in her bed if she was sure.
"Yeah, I'll show you...."
We went into her room, and she shows me a spot on the floor. "How about right here?" she asks.
"Well," it just goes to show that sleeping in her bed is a foreign idea to her, "I was just thinking we'd put it on your (actual) bed. Here."
"Oooohhhhh... yeah! And I can just put my water right here." A perfect spot on her kitchen counter.
"Do you want me to get a nightlight, so you can see it? And so you know where you are if you wake up?"
We were snuggled on the couch, watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (on hulu), and it neared the usual time she falls asleep.
"I'm ready to go to bed, now."
"You are? Okay. Want me to come tuck you in?"
Off we went.

And then here she comes, paddling back eleven hours later.
"Hiiii," said her mama, lifting the covers so she could come snuggle with me. "How did it go?"
"It was great."
"Did you like everything alright? Warm enough? Not scared? Did you wake up and want water in the night? You knew where you were?"
"Yeah. It was great. Can I sleep in there today, too?"
"You want to sleep in there from now on?"
"Well alright. Of course you can."

So there it is.


  1. I cannot fathom all of the emotions you must be feeling right now. Pride, sadness. Our oldest was nudged out of our bed for a mess of reasons more than two years ago. And it was rough. More for me than for him. He traded his snoring father and blanket hogging mother for a cuddly dog and listening to music all night.

    When the other two are ready to leave our bed.. well.. I just can't imagine it.


  2. sigh is right...My 10 year old still sleeps with me. Of course it is just us two. There are nights, when knees and elbows are poking me everywhere, that I would love to push her on the floor! But I know when that day comes I will be so sad.
    Hugs to you.

  3. I'd want to sleep there too - it's lovely!

  4. That is such a cute story!

  5. Oh, the baby is growing up! I like to say that I never minded when the girlies got used to sleeping in their own shared bed every night, but every now and then, when they're sound asleep in their bed, I'm ready for sleeping, too, and I know that my Matty plans to be out very, very late...I crawl into bed with THEM.

  6. Oh boy, that made me teary. Nic (9) still sleeps within arms reach next to me and Ella right beside me; I can't imagine what it will be like when that day comes.

    Peace to you both in this new chapter. :-)

  7. Don't despair too much - I don't think Trev is going anywhere until he's ready to trade us in for a different sort of sleeping partner.

    After Madd gets used to sleeping in her room (and decides that's where she wants to be) then I'll go back to my bed. With Trev and Eric. :)
    (Four was just toooo many.)

    Plus - I imagine
    Madd will still visit! And if she doesn't, I will!

  8. Way to go Maddie! :) What a cute room. I love it!

  9. Oh Stephanie - I laughed out loud at your comment about Trev not going anywhere until he has a different sort of sleeping partner. HA! Boys are different that way, eh? Holding on to their dear mamas for just about ever. Sweet. xo

    As for Madds - how awesome she came to this on her own. She's such a self-assured young lady. Good for her. And of course, how nice you can both still visit. There really is nothing like sleeping next to your warm there? I so love it. xo

  10. Gasp... sigh... what a big girl... My three big guys have beds, my others don't even know that that is an option... Beds are pretty much a place to read books and build forts!!! Mine all sleep like puppies in one huge bed, which is two double futons pushed together. They would consider this sleeping alone thing sheer madness!!! Where and why in the world would people sleep in their own beds!!!

  11. Such a sweet little story...I feel all warm & fuzzy. Sigh, is right. Bittersweet, indeed.

  12. This story made me a bit teary eyed. Our oldest is 4 and just recently started sleeping in her "little" bed beside our bed. I can't fathom the emotions that will be when she decides to move to her own room.

  13. so sweet, so gentle and self directed. so bittersweet for the mama.
    sigh it is.
    mine are 7, 5 and 2. All back to sleeping with us after a few months on their own (except the 2).
    love to hear of families where the ebb and flo is so peaceful.

    you continue to inspire us with your record of days.

  14. We've had back and forths. Boys ready for their own bed (never wanting their own room though, yet, but will 'share' with each other). Now we are split 2 and 2. Hubbie with A, G with me. It moves and melds, changes and sometimes the boys even just sleep with each other. But it is all love and all what they need. ((hugs))


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!