His bed is a black, 4-in-1 stages crib from Sears. It was originally purchased for his big brother Gabriel and has been passed down from brother, to sister, and now to him. It's full of character...which is a nice way of saying it's seen better days. It's been spat up on, scratched, dropped, chewed and rebuilt numerous times in numerous houses, three times in this home alone. I doubt if it could live through another incarnation, but for now, it serves it's purpose...or at least it would if Preston would cooperate.
He hates it. He hates sitting in it, he hates looking at it, and he loathes sleeping in it.
I know a part of his hatred towards the crib is my lack of commitment in forcing him to sleep in it. I let him co-sleep because it was easier to have him next to me when I was terrified he would die in the middle of the night, just arrest, stop breathing, cease to exist without my knowledge or motherly intuition to guide me to his side. So I kept him in our bed; and I've done it much longer than I did with my other two children.
Gabriel never co slept, Edie co slept until she was 9 months old and we started the arduous process of integrating her towards cribdom; and it was so arduous I promised myself never again would I keep a baby in my bed so long they understood, and preferred to stay there. But Preston, he's different for obvious reasons. He's my last child, one we could have lost no less, and he's my baby...even at almost 12 months old....
He's my baby, and the doctor says his heart still murmurs, some holes are still there, his appointments are still compulsory. So when I lay him down, in that black, 4-in-1 stages crib, I don't see a toddler, I see this tiny frame on this huge mattress...I see my baby. And when he cries for me, I get up, I reach out, and I hold him until we are both fast asleep...because some days I need that assurance more than he does.
And the ugly truth is - there are more nights than I can count where I wake up startled and confused, calling out his name in the dark of night, crying out my unconscious fears that he's disappeared...that the dark has stolen him. And while I'm struggling to find reality -wrestling with the spider threads of sleep - I shoot out my arm reaching for what I'm sure is lost...only to find him nestled next to me, safe and sound, and his crib empty...for one more night.