Every so often we seem to go through short spells where DorkySon makes lots of developmental leaps at once. You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we’re not; DorkyDad and I are still left looking at each other in shock, and asking where our little boy has gone.
We’re having one of those spells just now, and I think that in part it has been prompted by our recent holiday. DorkySon managed to cram so many new experiences into the week away and it seems to have given him a newfound confidence.
We were moving the furniture around in his room at the weekend, and when he saw us shifting his cot away from the wall he stood and looked at it for a few minutes.
“I’d like to turn that into a big boy bed now, with no bars.”
Our instinct as parents has always been to let decisions like that happen in their own time, with DorkySon’s input, so while we were a little nervous, we were also pretty proud that he had taken the initiative. We talked to him a bit about what it would mean to be in a proper bed, how he would have to be careful not to fall out, and how he would have to behave well and not be jumping out of it every five minutes.
He agreed, and said that he wanted to go ahead. He spent most of Sunday afternoon lying on his tummy in his ‘big boy bed’ and reading books. He took his afternoon nap in there (after showing us at least a dozen times how good he was at climbing in and out by himself) and then on Sunday night he slept in it all night without any problems.
So far he has still called me through every morning to check that it’s okay for him to get up, and to make me watch him swing his legs out. I’m sure it won’t be long though before he realises he can just jump out himself and come running through to our room without asking permission.
It is only a few months since DorkySon was so shy that he would hide behind my legs or cover his face with Binky if anyone new tried to speak to him. Now he marches ahead of me when we walk through the park, shouting a big cheery “Hello” to everyone that passes, and looking mighty miffed if they’re not friendly in return.
His new chattiness has led to some slightly embarrassing moments – like when he practically begged a stranger on a train for a bite of their sandwich – but at least we have been getting some good giggles from it, and it makes me so happy to see him coming out of his shell.
I have a feeling that we’re not far from another big leap too. There has been an awful lot of chat recently – on holiday, at home with us, and with his nursery – about ‘big boy pants’. Of all the experiences I’m expecting to go through as a parent, potty training is the one that terrifies me the most. But I am hoping that we can get the balance right between the necessary guidance, support and encouragement, and standing back enough that DorkySon feels in control of things himself.
Wish us luck! And please feel free to leave any advice in the comments below!
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