Little Girls Trying So Hard To Be Big

A couple of weeks ago we finally bit the bullet. We changed Eleanor’s crib into a toddler bed.

Helping Daddy
Helping Daddy


It was hard for me, emotionally and logically. This awesome kiddo had never once indicated any desire to climb out of her crib. She loved it in there. I loved that she was contained and safe in there. I loved knowing I could put her to bed and come back to find her still exactly where I left her.

Big sister wanted to be a part of this too
Big sister wanted to be a part of this too

Earlier in the summer, when the weather got too hot, we moved Zoey’s mattress to the floor in Eleanor’s “room” (really the common area outside our bedroom in the basement). The girls love sharing a room but, ugh, it has been a battle to get them to go to sleep at night. Letting Eleanor have the freedom to roam out of her bed has not made that any easier.

One evening, I came home from work around 9pm and asked Zach how the girls were at bedtime. He reported that they had been difficult to get to sleep, but seemed to be asleep for the past twenty minutes or so. Not a minute later, I heard Eleanor’s voice over the baby monitor: “Light. On.” I warily opened the door to head downstairs and, sure enough, the light was on. I reached the end of the stairs and immediately called for Zach. There was Eleanor, buck naked, standing in Zoey’s bed (Zoey was sitting up, looking very sleepy and confused). Strewn all over the bed were every set of pajamas Eleanor owns and about twenty diapers. All over the floor and Eleanor’s bed was half a box of tissues, shredded to bits. Eleanor stood there proudly and exclaimed, “Peed! Wiped! I did it!” You sure did, kiddo.

"You're not going to scratch the finish, are you?!"
“You’re not going to scratch the finish, are you?!”


Apparently, we are gluttons for punishment, because only days later we decided to let Zoey try sleeping all night in underwear instead of a pull-up. I was skeptical from the start because Zoey’s sensory processing disorder makes it so she can’t tell when she has to use the bathroom even during the day. We just take her to the toilet on a schedule and she stays dry. How was her body supposed to know how to stay dry all night? But she really wants to be able to do this, so we thought it worth at least giving her the chance. For months we’d been telling Zoey that if she could keep her pull-up dry for three consecutive nights then she could try sleeping in underwear. That day finally came only days after putting Eleanor in a toddler bed. Zoey kept her underwear dry the first night, but the second night I ended up changing her sheets at 4:30 AM and then again when we got up in the morning. The third night, we checked on the kids as we went to bed. Eleanor was buck naked, once again, and sleeping in a puddle of pee. Zoey was also fast asleep on cold, wet sheets. We woke both girls up, washed and redressed them, changed their sheets and put them back to bed. At 2 AM, I was up again changing Zoey’s sheets. This time I talked her into putting a pull-up on. Since then we’ve been back in pull-ups without a single dry night, but Zoey still has the promise that if she can stay dry for three nights we’ll try again.

My sweet little girls want so badly to be so big. I’m really proud of their desire to try and their willingness to keep trying. I just wish it didn’t involve so much laundry.


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