This past weekend was Memorial Day which provided an opportunity to celebrate our freedom and honor those soldiers who have helped make our country what it is. Unfortunately it is more commonly simply associated with the start of summer and new beginnings.

As I mentioned in A Change Is Gonna Come, Nolin was celebrating his new-found freedom and we were just starting our new beginnings as Nolin transitioned from his crib to a toddler bed. We weren’t sure we would be prepared to handle our little man growing up. Well let’s be honest, we weren’t sure we were ready to go back to sleepless nights.

Jenn sadly declared, Our life is over. We knew that things would truly never be the same. We would no longer be able to enjoy our routine of teeth brushing, reading stories and saying goodnight to all the animals of the world (from Nolin’s paintings of the 7 Continents). Now we were going to be faced with agonizing cries, late nights, and toys thrown every where.

Most of these I could live with, I was just fearing the horror story we had heard of a friend’s child (just slightly older than Nolin) who decided to greet her parents with walls masterfully decorated in finger painting poop…yep, 100% not in my wheelhouse of fun.

So the first night (Nolin’s 2nd birthday), ended with me sleeping in his tiny toddler bed until about 1 am. Not the most comfortable, but I have to admit it was kind of fun.

The second night, we decided to just leave him in his room and let him cry it out if he had too.  Finally around 10:30 – 11:00 the room had grown silent for a sufficient period of time.  We felt that we could go up stairs and check in on him. We walked in to find quite the scene.

It looked like a bomb had exploded in his room and he was the sole casualty. He laid awkwardly face first on the floor with an implosion of toys and books surrounding him. We both laughed and put him in his bed and happily called it a night.

The third night, I suggested taking some of the pieces of his Thomas The Train train track and putting it in his bed. As we walked up there, his eyes lit up and he looked at me and said Wanna play trains in the big boy bed? I informed him that we could do this once we got him ready and brushed his teeth. He finished up quickly and jumped into his bed and began playing.

Well only one small problem with this idea. The bed didn’t make for a great surface to run the trains on and took up a significant amount of space in his bed. He eventually pulled all the trains and tracks off the bed and started playing with them on the floor. Not really the intended result, but he was happy.

As we were planning to go to bed he was still up with his trains, so Jenn had to go in and put him back in his bed. He laughed and immediately jumped back to the floor. Jenn entered the room and put him back in his bed. This went on about 4-5 more times in less than 5 minutes. Then Nolin just stayed in his bed.

The next morning was kind of like Christmas we both ran eagerly to his room excited to see what we would find. And just like a Christmas miracle, there he was still sleeping in his bed…could this really be it?! Has he adjusted and accepted his new bed and his new freedom?!

The next night we decided to tweak our perfect plan just a little bit. This time we hoped to forgo the need to throw his trains out of bed and we started with everything set up on the floor. We got him ready for bed and then played with his trains for a little bit before saying good night. While we were downstairs we did hear him get out of bed, but just let him do his thing. As we went to bed, we checked in on Nolin, expecting to find him sleeping somewhere on the floor, but he wasn’t…he had put himself to bed in his big boy bed. To say we were amazed, excited and grateful would be an understatement.

This transition wasn’t nearly the end of days that we had expected.

It has been over a week and it seems to have taken (although I am sure now that I am posting this and since I will be pulling single parent duties over the next 4 days this will all change).

For now, Nolin will even hang out in his bed until you come to get him up in the morning. His room and his bed have now truly become his place and he enjoys it which is awesome to see.

Jenn and I may have been doubting Thomases, believing that life would never be the same now that Nolin had graduated to a toddler bed. In some ways it wont, but I guess I will never doubt the power of Thomas to help ease some of these life transitions.

Hopefully our good friend Thomas will be able to help as we move towards Pacifierless days and potty training. Although I am not sure how we can work a train into those scenarios. I certainly don’t want Nolin breaking all of his teeth replacing his pacifier with a wooden train, nor do I particularly want to help Thomas out of some of his less sanitary adventures as I am sure Nolin would love to throw him in the toilet for a grand finale.

Suggestions for these next stages are more than welcomed…

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