The Daddy: The Bed- Serene Place to Sleep or Supplemental Toy Box That Just Happens to be Soft and Squishy??
The Momma: Well, let’s see. Given the fact that I can count at least 5 toys the kid HAS to go to bed with, and there are another 5-10 at the foot of his bed? I’m gonna go with Toy Box.
D: Man, you go in there to take him to the potty (awesome, by the way) and he wades through an ocean of toys just to get to the edge of the bed. We used to have to worry about the kid smothering as an infant, now we have to worry about him banging his head on a toy during sleep?
M: Or getting a bruised rib? Like when he slept on Thomas the Train one night and woke up with him imprinted on his ribcage?
D: Exactly! It’s like this kid figures out new ways to be strange. During the day, try to get him sucked into playing with his toys and you’d think we were forcing him to work in a salt mine. Sleep time? Oh no, NOW he wants to get all imaginative.
M: What is WITH that? I mean, it’s adorable to hear him over the monitor yammering about Dorry and Percy and Zoom Cars and Bunny, but…DUDE. SLEEP.
D: This is one of (as opposed to everything else we do, right?) those times where I wonder if we need to nip this in the bud quick. On the one hand, he sleeps in his room where his toys are, but on the other hand, I fear escalation. It’s simpler toys now, but when he gets older, is he gonna want to take his video games in there?
M: Um, yes.
M: But I’m not sure we can really stop that just by stopping him now. I mean, isn’t that partially just a KID thing? I totally did that with books, I’m sure you did it with stuff. I think to an extent, that’s just…kids.
D: I can’t imagine for one moment you’d think I ever avoided bedtime when I was a child. I mean, it’s not like I just stay up and play video games until the wee hours of the…
D: OK, yeah fine.
D: It’s his new imagination taking flight in an adventurous wonderland of excitement. What we need to do is take the engine out of that plane early so he just crashes…into sleep. Speaking of crashing, that metaphor was not my best.
M: Yeah, not your best.
M: But yes, it’s a hard thing when we know how much he needs to sleep and he just wants to play. But I also know that this will change. He goes through these phases and then changes to something else, and the toy in the bed obsession will fade at some point (before coming back some other time, I’m sure).
D: I know this has become a running gag on these chats- that the kid is just going through a phase, but it’s the same old irrational fear: something new comes along and I’m not sure if it’s a behavior we need to correct or a phase we need to endure with patience and calm.
D: How do you know which is which?
M: Blind dumb luck?
M: In reality though, I think it’s more a case of picking our battles. This is one where, honestly, it’s probably not worth getting worked up about even if it is a behavior and not a phase.
D: Yeah, as new fun phases go, this one is more comical than concerning. Seriously though, if he starts waking up with bruises, those toys have got to go!