Joshua sleeps in a big boy bed now. Actually, he sleeps in a big big boy bed. His friend Charlie was getting a new bed for himself and generously offered his old double bed to Joshua. We hadn't really thought about moving Joshua out of his crib, but when the opportunity presented itself we decided, Why not? And wouldn't you know it, the day after we picked up the bed from Charlie's house, we found out that Joshua's crib had been recalled. We weren't terribly concerned; after all, he's been sleeping in it for 2 1/2 years without incident. But we decided to use the recall as an excuse to go ahead and make the leap to the bed.
Jay set up the bed in Joshua's room right away, but we decided to let Joshua get used to the idea of a bed before moving him into it. He bounced on it, read in it, and rolled around on it. After a few days, we went to Target to pick out some sheets and a blanket for it, knowing that he'd probably sleep on top of the bedclothes and under his baby blanket for at least the next six months.
It took awhile, but we finally made our way out of the "licensed character bedding" aisle to the "we don't watch TV and we just want some plain old bedclothes" aisle. I picked out some comforters for Joshua and let him choose the one he liked best. It didn't take long. He like the comforter with the dark blue/light blue stripes. The only problem was that then I saw the quilts--and they were so pretty--and I knew they would look so nice in his room--and that they would be so much more comfortable that the comforter--and that it was just too bad because Joshua had picked his favorite already.
But I gave it my best shot anyway. "Look at this nice quilt Joshua! Which do you like better? This one (hefting the striped comforter out of the cart) or this one (rubbing the pretty quilt to show how comfortable it was)?"
"I want the stripes. Put it in the cart Mama."
We did this for the next few minutes, until I had exhausted all of the quilt possibilities. My boy wanted the stripes and there was nothing I could do about it.
Or was there?
Yes, for a fraction of a second I thought to myself, "I'm the mom! I have the power here! And if I want him to have the quilt, then by golly he's going to have the quilt!"
Yikes! Did I really think that? Yeah, I did. And then I thought about all the times over the next 16 years that Joshua will make his own decisions and his own choices. I realized that Quiltgate was only a taste of what's to come. All the decisions that I will disagree with. All the times that I will want to wield parental power to gain the outcomes that I desire rather than the outcomes he wants. All the times I will just have to bite my tongue.
I've read over and over again that, for a long time, babies don't know that they are not you and that you are not them. Now I know what the Terrible Twos are all about. I am not Joshua. He is not me. We have different opinions, different ideas, and different agendas. He copes with that by yelling and crying and throwing himself on the floor. I cope with that by sitting back and thinking,