Earlier this week we made good on various oaths and promises and finally got a twin mattress set up in Harvey's room, taking the first step towards THE BIGGEST DEAL IN HISTORY, which is to say getting him to sleep on his own. As we moved the mattress around on the floor I said, "You know Harvey, your mama and dada first kissed while sitting on this mattress."
"Really?" Dan said.
"Of course! This is my childhood mattress from my parent's house!"
"Okay, yeah, whatever," Dan said.
We pulled out various pieces from our linen drawer to try to find a twin sheet. "How about this cloud sheet?" Dan said.
"Sure! Those were the sheets I took to college." I said. "You know Harvey, your mama and dada decided to get married while sitting on that sheet."
"Oh yeah?" Dan said.
"YES Dan! Where have you been our entire relationship?"
"I'm sorry; I just don't pay that much attention to your bedding."
We made a big deal about this being Harvey's OWN bed, putting his animals on it and tucking him in for fun. Harvey enjoyed throwing himself on it throughout the week, each time announcing, "OFF MAMA! OFF DADA!" and sometimes "OWN BED!" Yes, he got the concept of personal property pretty quickly.
We were waiting to slowly get the room organized and the bedrails on before launching onto the solo sleep project, but last night at bedtime Harvey threw himself onto his bed crying "NURSING OTHER BED!" and he would not be moved. So I laid him down in his bed and he started laughing maniacally shouting "QUILT! QUILT!" He was so excited about the new bed and all it's tucking in accoutrements that I was afraid he would be unable to sleep. But no, he fell asleep within minutes. Easy as that. And then that was it, he was sleeping in his own bed.
And then I sat next to him sobbing uncontrollably.
Over the past year and a half we've had some casual experiments of letting Harvey sleep in a different room, but each experiment ended with a night of anxiety (mama's) and crying (Harvey's and mama's) and finally re-justification of co-sleeping. Rationally, having him farther away was a pain when he was still nursing in the night, but that ended a few months ago. Now with a new baby's on the way, I'm really out of reasonable excuses to keep him my cuddle bunny forever.
So after an intense period of freaking out (because without Harvey asking for hugs in the night WHO WOULD EVER LOVE ME?) something amazing happened. Dan and I went to bed together and actually had a CONVERSATION. With each other. In voices that were not whispers. It was like we traveled back in time to a different era.
Harvey called out for me at midnight but only needed a few pets to fall right back asleep. He woke up again at 3am and was more awake that time so I lay down in his bed and cuddled with him until we both fell asleep. Two hours later I staggered back to the grown-up bed and got a little more rest until Harvey woke up at 6. All in all this was a pretty good night for him: two wake-ups, neither of them crying, and he seemed to be genuinely happy in his new bed (unlike the crib which he likened to a Romanian prison). In the morning I asked if he liked sleeping in his new bed and he shook his head vigorously in the affirmative. I asked if he wanted to come cuddle in mama and dada's bed and he screamed "NO DADA! NO DADA BED!" So there you have it.
The one who was the most unsettled last night was Rascal. Sometime between midnight and three am he got up and laid down in the entry way of Harvey's room, just looking in at him. Dan got up and moved the dog bed in there in case Rascal wanted to sleep with Harvey, but Rascal just followed Dan back into our bedroom and jumped into the bed with us. He too must have thought we had traveled in time back to a different era because he came up to the head of the bed and laid down in-between us, his neck stretched out under my arm for petting. I have to admit, it was heart-warmingly cute. Just the answer to who will love me when Harvey grows up.
Looking at the calendar, it seems Harvey turned 19 months just yesterday. I guess that's the turning point for all grown up.