Some children are independent and want to play alone, sleep alone and will let their parents have a few minutes to themselves. Kelsey is not one of those children. She prefers to be in our company and prefers to be with both Kurt AND me together. If she has to have only one..it's Mommy Mommy Mommy!!!! This isn't something we've taught or encouraged. This is the way Kelsey came to us. Actually I like the fact that she likes being in our company. I believe she is well attached to us, because she is also willing to play in other environments without us and with other children as well. If she were not willing to play with others and in other places, then I'd be concerned.
However, I've made some major miscalculations since becoming a Mom and thought I'd share my learnings with you. I've tried to make this a little humorous, but I'm actually serious about what I say below.
1) Fix your older home's wiring before bringing home your child. You'll want to have an air conditioning in her room. Do not think that she'll be happy in her room in the fall if she summers in yours.
2) If you don't want to co-sleep with your child, don't bring her into your room. She will wake up earlier and earlier in her sleep cycle to get back to her big bed.
3) If you have a king size bed and have the opportunity to buy a new bedroom set, don't downsize to a queen. So what if your smaller master bedroom is overwhelmed by bed? So what if you have to roll 3 times to snuggle up to your husband? Pretty soon that room will be taken up by a horizontal sleeping toddler.
4) Don't allow your toddler to fall asleep to your 42" plasma TV in your room. Nothing else in the house can compensate for that much fun.
5) Don't give your toddler sips of your coffee or soda no matter how cute she is or how much she begs...your pediatrician will not be amused by the stories.
6) Don't feel guilty about leaving her with a trusted friend or family member while you spend some quality time with your husband. Children thrive in a happy family and no one's happy if Mom and Dad don't get some alone time.
7) Don't change the crib to a toddler bed too soon. And change it back as soon as you realize there's no way in heck that she's gonna sleep in the bed by herself, no matter how many Dora the Explorer sheets, blankets or toys she has in there.
8) Don't kick your spouse out of your bed because the 3 of you can't sleep in the queen sized bed with above mentioned horizontal sleeping toddler. Even if she is a heat seeking missile and wants to be snuggled next to you all night. Sleeping alone on the couch or futon in the spare room will not be good for your marriage.
Kelsey is happy and thriving. Kurt and I are sleep and snuggle deprived. I am currently researching ways to get our child out of our bed for good. If this doesn't work, Kurt and I may have to move into her room to sleep at night.p.s. one of the most important things I did right.....never give her non-washable crayons or markers. She colored on herself, her new table and chairs and on my living room hardwood floor (which are over 80 years old!) while I was writing this blog post. Because of my foresight, it came up easily with a wet paper towel. Kelsey also didn't like having brown marker on her and called it "boo-boos" so I don't think she'll be doing that again soon.
Good to know I am doing something right!