Monday, September 28, 2009

Stepping Outside The Barricades

The first time we put Tom into his cot it dwarfed him. He looked like a peanut in an empty warehouse. We filled the space with soft toys and spare blankets but still he looked lost.

Somehow, over the last year or so, despite our watching him intently he’s managed to sneak the act of growing past our eagle eyes. He’s grown stronger, sturdier, more self willed and determined. And longer.

And the cot has slowly shrunk around him. First it reduced itself from warehouse to wrestling ring – allowing Tom to charge around its railed edges in an endless game of ring o’ roses. And then it shrank further still. It became a one child pay pen. At full stretch Tom was practically touching the far edges with his toes.

And then, inexplicably, it became a pleasant prison. One he never complained about being inside – thankfully Tom has always loved his bed – but one he suddenly began to try and escape from a couple of mornings ago. The early signs were there. Tom was gearing himself up to “go over the walls” (as opposed to smuggling himself out with the laundry).

Such activity sounded the death knell for the cot. The drop down to the floor was such that Tom would be likely to suffer a broken neck or at the very least broken limbs.

Such a likelihood was simply unacceptable.

So the cot was dismantled yesterday afternoon and reconfigured into a proper bed. Tom’s first.

I must admit I felt... sad, regretful. There was something comforting about bedding Tom down in his cot each night. He was safe and secure. Contained. He could come to no harm and no harm could come to him.

He was also still my little baby boy.

Now, suddenly, I have had to re-adjust my thinking. Accept that he is no longer a baby. He is a very active, singularly determined toddler. He’s a proper little boy.

After we’d rearranged the bedroom yesterday afternoon we allowed Tom a little playtime in it. This proved to be a good move. He was very excited by the changes and his frequent squeals of “ooh look” indicated he was pleased with the new arrangements.

The test was bedtime of course. Rather sagely we managed to wear him out so that he’d be less reluctant to get out of bed and it seemed to work. He was tucked in and snuggled down. All his usual furry toys were there.

I snuck up to see him after half an hour and found him sprawled on top of the bed – the blanket kicked off as usual – sound asleep. Mission accomplished.

This morning he was up at 6.10am, running around the bedroom, dipping his little fingers into all this amazing stuff that Ben leaves lying around in the room they share. He loved it. So much so he really didn’t want to go downstairs today and only did so under duress.

So. Another developmental stage has been encountered and passed. The baby has gone. And I shall miss him dearly. But the boy that has appeared in his place more than makes up for the loss. I daresay as his confidence grows his morning wanderings will take him to the stair-gate at the top of the stairs or to the bathroom and all its myriad opportunities for mischief... I suspect I shall not get much of a lie-in for the next week or two...

But despite and perhaps because of that I feel immensely proud.

Welcome to a little bit more of the world, son.


17 comments:

A Write Blog said...

Watching them grow is amazing and sometimes catches you unawares.

Our Grandduaghter got dressed on Saturday morning and when she walked in to see us it was a revelation. She seemed to have grown and changed in a way that neither of us had noticed even though she had stayed ov ernight.

We both saw a glimmer of the young woman in her. It was nice too.

Gina said...

Awww yes I remember those feelings so well. With my last, I dreaded saying goodbye to the cot and poor Joe was stuck in one long after he should have been. He didn't realise until another child the same age came round to play and said scornfully, "oh you're still in a baby bed" and that was it, peer pressure meant it had to go.

-eve- said...

I enjoyed this post. I can almost picture the bedroom - it sounds very enticing :-)

Steve said...

AWB: it's weird how growing up is both a continual, gradual thing and also a quick burst when you least expect it!

Gina: ah - peer pressure. One of the less enjoyable aspects of growing up. Thankfully Tom is not old enough for that at the moment and is quite happy just being himself. (Re: you know what - will email you!)

Eve: you're very welcome to drop in sometime and play with Tom's toys (if he allows you)!

French Fancy said...

This must be almost as wonderful a moment as when my first bichon could no longer fit into her carry bag

I'll get my coat

Steve said...

FF: now why didn't I think of carrying Tom around in a carry bag? He's too big now... darn it! ;-)

Valerie said...

The various stages are magic, each one giving us moments to remember for all time.

Steve said...

Valerie: alas some of them are impossible to capture with a camera... you just have to try and store the experience in your memory.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh yes, I recall being very sad when our Scowly Teen first went into a bassinnette, a cot then a big bed. With our youngest, she hated being in a bassinette even - tiger fighting every night so she went straight into a big cot. before you know it, you'll be standing at the school gate with a tear in your eye!

Owen said...

And in just a few more years he'll be off to join the merchant marine or some such, off to see the world...

Gypsy said...

I can also relate to this post which was beautiful and nostalgic. Just wait until he goes to school, and then high school and then...well you get the picture. It makes you feel proud to see them growing into wonderful little human beings but there is a touch of sadness too.

MOTHER OF MANY said...

The scariest bit is when they first escape the cot un-aided and suddenly show up beside you and say hi!
Which in my case meant they had escaped the cot and come down the stairs all alone in the semi-dark!

Steve said...

Amanda: or worse still, standing at the school gates juggling PE kits, lunch boxes and a couple of thousand Pokemon cards! ;-)

Owen: ...fuel shortages pending...!

Gypsy: the scary thing is school isn't that far off - only 3 years. He'll be in pre-school next year! Gulp!

Ally: we've all been awake since 5am this morning and Tom has been just about everywhere. Thankfully the stairgate has kept him upstairs but he's been a bit of a noisy explorer today... and the house being in semi darkness hasn't put him off at all. He's yawning well now though. As are we all...

Selina Kingston said...

Oh - how lovely. i'm quite emotional now thinking about your boy and remembering my two.

You realise that's it now? The years will fly by now and you'll be having "discussions" about friends who are girls NOT sleeping over in the same room
(had that one just last week!)

Steve said...

Selina: are you trying to turn my hair white? ;-)

missbehaving said...

It's scary how these things creep up on you.
Exciting times for young Tom.

Steve said...

Missbehaving: they certainly are - I've never seen Tom so eager to go to bed... mind you the last thing on his mind at the moment is sleeping!