As was previously mentioned, the King and Queen brought their first princess, Abby, into their bed when she was 4 months old. And lo, the princess did return to sleep after nursing at night, and lo, the Queen did not lose her mind from lack of sleep. And all was well in the Morrow Kingdom.
And then PJ was born. Again, the second princess was brought into the King and Queen’s bed at 4 months old. And lo, the princess did return to sleep after nursing at night, and lo, the Queen did not lose her mind from lack of sleep. And all was once again well in the Morrow Kingdom.
Now, when Princess PJ was born, Princess Abby did see that the baby had her own bed, for the Queen and King had brought out the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper for the baby to see how long she might use it, and the Princess Abby did indeed burn with jealousy. “I want a special bed, too!” she cried, and the King and Queen said, “You’ve got it, kiddo!” And off they drove to the closest baby furniture store to find a toddler bed for the first princess. And lo, Princess Abby did love the bed, though it took time and much, much nighttime parenting from the Queen to get her to remain in it after lullabys had been sung. But stay in it she eventually did, and so the King and Queen’s bed was not that full anymore. And all slept (though the King and Queen did have to admit they often missed the snuggly princess) and all was well.
Until the Kingdom was moved to Colorado.
In the new castle, the Princess Abby was a little wary of sleeping alone. So she returned to the King and Queen’s bed until she had acclimated to the new surroundings. The King and Queen understood her reticence and were happy to let her return, though things were a mite tight in the royal bed. “Fear not,” they thought, “she will become comfortable in the new castle and will soon return to her own bed.”
And the first princess grew. And the second princess grew. But lo, the bed did not grow. And neither did the first princess return to her own bed. And neither did the second princess want to move to her own bed. And soon the two princesses were sleeping quite well, but the King and Queen, not so much.
So the King and Queen had a choice to make. The toddler bed sat unused in their bedroom, but Princess Abby did not wish to use it. And really, it made no sense to encourage Princess PJ to sleep there, because she still nursed and the Queen did not relish the idea of trying to nurse her in the middle of the night through the bars of the toddler bed. They could force Princess Abby to sleep there, but they knew their children well, and their knowledge told them that forcing the princess into a situation she feared would cause nighttime to become a scary time. The Queen’s childhood memories of nighttime were nothing but scary, and she did not want that for her princesses. She knew that someday Princess Abby would be up for the challenge, but she was not yet there. “She will become ready in her own time,” she reminded herself, “and she will ask on her own to move to the bed. It is not something we need to force.” But still there remained the problem of the bed made for two that was trying to hold four.
“Eureka!” cried the King. “We have a guest chamber no one uses, with a queen-sized bed that sits empty all year. Let us bring it in here!” And so, with much shuffling and grunting, the queen bed was relocated, and lo, the family bed did grow! “Huzzah!” There was now plenty of bed for the royal family. No longer did the Queen awaken with a princess draped across her or a wee hand flung in her face. And again, the royal family slept, and again, all was well.
And then, one day, the two princesses did beg to have “a sleepover. In our own chamber.” The princess’ chamber where they kept clothes and toys did have a crib-turned-daybed. “We can bring the toddler bed in there,” said Princess Abby, “and Princess PJ can sleep on it and I’ll sleep on the daybed.” The King and Queen were skeptical that any sleeping would actually occur. But they agreed, knowing that small forays into independence would eventually lead into true independence, and if nothing else, the novelty might make it last a little longer.
And so, the toddler bed was relocated to the princess’ chamber, and lo, the girls did have their sleepover that night.
And the next.
And the next.
And the next.
And lo, tonight they celebrate the five week anniversary of when they moved to their own beds in their own rooms. And yes, Princess PJ does still nurse at night, and yes, it is a little bit of a bummer that the Queen has to get out of bed and go nurse her back down in another room. And yes, the King and Queen find it very strange to not have their princesses within arm’s reach at night and tend to worry that they’re too cold. But, the baby monitor works just fine to alert them when the princesses require them, and really, ’tis a small price to pay for the King and Queen to have a very, very big bed all to themselves.