CRIB—It Isn’t a Four Letter Word

by Lisa on January 10, 2009

cherry-elegance-round-bassinet-275“Bwa, bwa, bwa, da, da da” the sounds-du-moment reach my “workstation” at the kitchen sink. I turn off the water and head for the bedroom. Pushing open the door, I see toes in the air and arms flailing about. I creep closer to the cage in the corner, peek over the edge and am greeted with an all-gum smile. I smile back. Grinning not only at my small bundle of joy, but also the new-found freedom that comes with “bundle of joy” sleeping in his own bed.

Before kids I hadn’t thought much about cribs vs. co-sleeping. Of course babies slept in cribs. That’s just the way it was done. Sleep in my bed? Fat chance. No baby of mine was going to invade my sleep-space. A crib was the only way. That was PKT (pre-kid-thinking), PKE (post-kid-evolution) was about to take over.

Seven years ago the excitement of planning a nursery quickly replaced the initial shock of being pregnant. Thoughts of “I can’t be a mom, I’m too stupid” were instead changed to, “Should the room be blue, pink or green? What would the baby like more? Bedding with a wild safari print or a more traditional plaid and primary colors? How about the crib? Stained or painted?” I studied books and magazines that enlightened mothers-to-be as to what every impeccable and proper nursery must have. I did not want to fail my growing baby. I must prepare. And prepare appropriately.

Off to the store my husband and I went. Shopping for just the perfect nursery ensemble. I wasn’t, however, prepared for the perfect ensemble’s price tags. Yikes! The perfect nursery had just lost a bit of it’s magic. No longer was a matching diaper holder and coordinating pail a “must-have.” A whittled down and more realistic list included two essentials: crib and bedding. I knew I’d have to make skillful choice because this decision would not only effect this baby but subsequent babies that might follow. The perfect crib was found and purchased. The agreed upon bed covers were going to be lovingly made by Granny. Everything was set and ready to go.

Then just before Christmas she was born. One look into those squinty eyes and it was love. I knew then and there she wasn’t going to be sleeeping in that hard plastic tub the hospital called a bassinet. We’d wait and put her in her cozy bassinet at home. What she needed right now was the soft comfort of her mama. Once home, the bassinet seemed to be too far away and she was too little. We decided to wait yet again. Maybe when she was a bit older, then she could sleep in her perfect crib. PKE (post-kid-evolution) unwittingly had taken over. It was much easier, I decided, to nurse with her in our bed. I never even had to get up — just roll over like a mother dog and plug her in. Besides having her close to me I could really keep in tune with her every need. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. The perfect crib became a dust magnet.

Thirty months passed and baby number one became a big sister. The crib was dusted and again readied. Not for baby though. We knew that didn’t work. It was for big sister. After all we couldn’t have two kids sleeping with us, could we? And it WAS much easier to nurse and get some shut eye with the infant in the bed. Big sister was getting big anyway. Too big. It was easier to move her. Yes, she would have to go. And go she did. Right back to our bed. And there she stayed for another three years. The perfect crib sat lonely in the corner full of dirty laundry. But, what a beautiful laundry hamper it was.

Time to face reality. Crib had become a four letter word in our house. It might as well go. Besides I really didn’t need a dirty clothes hamper that big anyway. Dismantled and boxed up, the crib was ready to be sold. Although it cradled our kids maybe only a dozen times the girls and I were a little sad to see it go. For me it was a bitter-sweet parting. End of my baby days and an end of my in-home storage facility.

That was until….SURPRISE!!!


Now he’s here. Our littiest bundle of joy. All chub and yum. His first 5 1/2 months were spent right next to me in bed but now he’s rolling and moving. I don’t have the time I once had. I can’t lay down and nap with him like I did the girls. And after seven years my husband would like to say he has a wife that stays up with him until after 9:00 p.m. Last week we trudged out to the garage to drag out our perfect crib (aka dust magnet/laundry holder) and brought it in the house. Luckily we’re slow and hadn’t gotten around to actually trying to sell it. It currently sits perfectly coiffed in the corner of our room. Close to our bed. Our bundle of joy is using it both at naptime and bedtime. I actually think he likes it: his own space, his own bed. He still migrates to our bed between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. but he’s on his own for a bit of time.

And me? Well, once again I’ve realized my PKE has evolved. No longer is crib a four letter word. It has now become a six letter word — friend.

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