Bye bye crib

Is bribery a sustainable parenting tactic? I think RB was motivated by embarrassment to poop in the potty, not the carrot of a car bed I dangled out in front of her.

When we returned home from vacation, she slept in her crib for three nights before she remembered,

“I pooped in the potty, I’m supposed to get a car bed!”


SIGH. Crib, we had a good run.

Who knew when I sent Captain off to fetch a giant, plastic, toddler, car bed I found on Craigslist, that I would then have a subsequent car loving kid who has just about outgrown the car bed before she ever set eyes on it.

I was never concerned enough to end our crib days a minute sooner. And I’ve been googling full-size car beds. They exist.

The bed is a huge success as far as RB is concerned. I’m not a huge fan of two free range kiddos.

RB is on week four of no diapers. Last week she exclaims,

“I pooped in the potty! Do I get another car bed?!!”


This is why I’m not so sure about bribery. Where do we go from here? Also this is how some people end up with a driveway full of vehicles. Captain.

Last night RB declares from the toilet,

“I’m not going to get a lot of car beds, just one car bed.”


“Could I have a lot of car beds?”


Two weekends ago BB begged for a sleepover in RB’s room. BB hasn’t slept in her own room since.

Both kids are thrilled with the situation. In between being thrilled, I hear RB’s bloodcurdling scream.

I’m ready to separate them. RB wipes away tears,

“BB is touching my car bed.”

“Do you want her sleeping here next to you?”


“Then you need to be flexible.” And it IS a used car.

Another parenting tactic I need to let go of is assuming any behavior BB does is predictive of what RB will do.

BB will relax in the bathroom reading and daydreaming for ages. She won’t move until she gets someone to check her. She doesn’t need this. She knows she’s capable, but for whatever reason, she waits however long it takes for someone to come give her the all clear.

RB went to poop and I wandered off. I came back. No one was in the bathroom. The toilet was full of poop and no toilet paper.

It never occurred to me that RB would poop and abscond.

I turn the corner and there’s RB’s bare bum in the living room playing Barbies.

I shout,

“RB you need to wipe!”

She turns. One hand is clutching a wad of toilet paper. Annoyed, she waves it in my face,

“I DID!”

I hold my living room to a very low standard, but free of poop and poopy toilet paper is one that I will continue to aspire to.

Purim is this kid’s holiday

Another car and it’s not for Captain

I’ve got a bad case of Spring fever and I’m ready with my bathing suit. The plastic kiddy pool is coming out of the basement any day now.

We continue to accumulate more and more kid gear. We head to the swing-set store. Baby Bop claps her hands and exclaims,

“Special treat!”

Yes, indeed. And the sticker shock is for real. But faced with not getting a swing set, we’re ready to pony up. What’s life without a slide, a swing, a fireman’s pole, an add-on ice cream stand, a telescope and a steering wheel? We decide we don’t need the steering wheel. The swing set is stationary.

And while we’re shopping for gear, what about a toddler bed? I’m tempted because the 6 months of beauty rest I had are never far from my mind. Baby Bop hasn’t slept in her crib in 3 months and maybe a “big girl” bed would be just exciting enough to do the trick.

I browse the toddler bed selection. There’s a standard looking bed for a reasonable price, but the race-car bed is where my heart is. Who wouldn’t be excited to sleep in a race-car bed? New they’re over $300. What’s that about? A plastic car. And it’s not even a full car, it’s got a big hole in the middle of it for the crib mattress.

I can’t fathom spending that without knowing if it’ll make Baby Bop sleep. I’d spend it immediately if I knew she would. Maybe she’ll love the swing set so much she’ll sleep out there.

Even though we’re already buying that, I’d add the optional playhouse with flower box windows just for her sleeping pleasure.

I browse Craigslist. There’s a $40 plastic car bed in great condition 20 minutes away. DONE.

I try to put Baby Bop to sleep in the crib one last time before we dismantle it. She does her panic scream where she stops breathing and her mouth is open in a silent wail. This is as bad as it gets. Captain gets his tool box. Goodbye crib. For now.

Baby Bop is thrilled with her new car bed. Not so thrilled that she wants to sleep there all night, but thrilled enough that she’ll start out there.

Captain and I alternate the rest of the time sleeping with her on her mats on the floor. She would prefer we slept with her in her car bed.

Awhile ago a friend of mine mentioned getting into her son’s toddler bed with him like it wasn’t a big deal. I couldn’t fathom this. Surely I’d never do that. First of all, how could I even fit?

Well I do. And so does Captain. With our head on the plastic “trunk” and our feet hanging down over the headlights, it’s more comfortable than it sounds. Not comfortable enough to sleep there all night, but good for a little rest.

Another friend shares about her 4-year-old sleeping with her. She says,

“I don’t mind. Someday he won’t want to sleep with me.”

I hear that. So I’m enjoying my Baby Bop snuggles in our new toddler-size car bed and simultaneously hoping for another miracle.

Captain says,

“Seems like when she’s 5 we’ll be able to reason with her.”

Neither of us has spent much time with a 5-year-old, but the little that I do know, doesn’t make me think everything will be reasonable.


So far no number of friends in the bed can get Mommy and Daddy off the hook, but I’m willing to add more