Want to incite a riot? Let your 2 year old have a pacifier. Even sweet little old ladies will try to kick your ass.
When you're a first time parent, and then you don't have a second child in the socially acceptable amount of time, the number of crazy things with your firstborn that you most likely wouldn't do again the next go 'round increases exponentially. I'm an only child myself, so I get it.
(And let me just take this opportunity to thank all the people over the years who've told me that for an only I am not a freak like the all the rest. Yeah...uh...thanks.)
Here's to hoping the damage isn't permanent.
So here are a few admissions (and justifications):
At 4 years, 1 month and 2 weeks he still eats Yo Baby because he claims to hate all other yogurt. (He can't drink cow's milk and always prefers water over soy milk.) (I actually blame our granola Pediatrician on this one because she insisted that we not introduce other types of milk until he stopped breastfeeding at 19 months.) (And it's not because he's drinking juice, which remains high on his list of the world's evils.)
He still takes the majority of his meals at home in his high chair. (He can't get up while eating, which makes eating faster and cleaning easier.) (And he hasn't used a high chair in a restaurant since he was 2.)
We put on all shoes that aren't slip-ons.
He still wears a diaper at night to catch the occasional accident. (Cheaper than Pull-ups and Overnights.)
He still sits happily in a stroller. (BUT it's a jogger, and we only use it because A) we like to hike and he's too heavy for the backpack and B) after 2 miles under his own steam forward progress comes to a standstill.)
Believe it or not, we have made some progress in the last year:
He now dresses himself.
We no longer let my parents spoon feed him.
Yes, you read that right. Well into 3 the Cracker would insist he couldn't feed himself when the my parents were around. And they'd happily sit there for hours after squabbling over who had won the honor the last time. Hands in his lap, all he had to do was open wide, chew and swallow. Even I admit it made me a little sick.
I like to tell myself it's not all bad. If you're on his top 10 list of favorite people he will ask to "cuddle" with you and his magic blankie no less than a dozen times a day. I like to think his future partner is going to thank me for that one.
Last week at preschool I was making chit chat with one of the teachers and a couple of parents (we have an above average number of metrosexual stay-at-home-dad's in our Co-op) when I stupidly volunteered that the Cracker had only recently moved out of his crib.
Insert the look of horror.
"You mean a toddler bed."
"No, we never converted it. And he slept so well we figured why mess with a good thing?"
"Weren't you worried he'd hurt himself climbing out in the middle of the night?"
"He never climbed out. He climbed in, but never out."
Okay, so maybe we are turning him into a freak.
I had been telling myself we'd convert the crib to a toddler bed by his 4th birthday at the latest, but we were 2 months away and had yet to make a move.
This time the universe intervened.
I was wandering through Costco with my parents when we came across my deal of the year: the last unopened nearly identical evil twin of the Pottery Barn Boat Bed on Costco clearance and priced to move for $199. Yes, the 9 foot long mostly wooden complete with trundle whose coordinating nightstand alone is $299 + shipping + tax. (Ours is the Bayside Furnishings La Jolla Boat Bed also available at Home Depot online if you dare to compare.) And while I like name brands as much as the next gal, the fact that the base price of the PBK one was 4.9967 times more than our first car I was thrilled. G'parents bought the bed as an early birthday gift and we bought the mattress.
(Trundle doubles as storage for all those kid’s clothes we hope to use again. Oh the storage!)
If you're still shaking your head let me tell you that transitioning at 46 months was a breeze compared to stories I'd heard long ago from my colleagues. "This is your big boy bed and you will stay in it until morning" totally worked. Okay, he didn't always remain horizontal, but at least when we would peek in he was always sitting on the edge swinging his legs back and forth in a criss-cross pattern talking to imaginary seahorses.
The mornings went almost as well. We had one "Daddy why aren't you wearing any underwear in bed?" and two apparently not early enough interrupted sex sessions. (Because, of course, the week he got the bed was also the week that I was ovulating.)
On the plus side, we were able to imprison him in his high chair, slap a couple of Yo Baby's down, buying ourselves 10 more minutes of uniterrupted adult time.
Next up: wiping his own ass. With toilet paper.