My wife and I have been working on getting our youngest daughter Sarah out of our bed and into her crib for the past month. At six months, she is long over due. While I admit, we've been doing a poor job of it, it has also not been easy. It started out as a matter of mommy's choice since Sarah was being breast-fed. Being that we both have our careers, it was sort of rough on mommy to get up for the two o'clock or three o'clock feedings. It's so much easier to just roll over and do the deed.
As of late, it has really started to get tough. I never thought that a little two foot tall person could take up so much space in the bed. I've awakened with a stiff neck, sore back all from trying to fit into my little piece of the mattress. I can't remember the last time I had some decent REM sleep. Between the assortment of ideas and thoughts running through my head and my current mattress concessions, it's hard to string together a full night's sleep.
So we started the migration process. We renewed our commitment to evicting our little one from from the bed two nights ago. We reluctantly sang victory after the first night as our little one was able to sleep a majority of the night in her own crib. She cried a little at first but quickly went to sleep. Sonia swore that the baby was staring her down with a very serious face the next morning. Almost if to say "You guys got away with last night, wait till tonight". I dismissed Sonia's perception as her reading too much into Sarah's expressions. She did appear to be very solemn and not her usual happy morning self.
Last night was a different story. We battled it out for two hours straight. Fifteen minutes at a time. She would fall asleep in our arms and start yelling the minute she touched her crib's mattress. This went on for about four hours before we finally gave in. Sonia summoned me to get her and bring 'my daughter' back to the bed. The minute Sarah touched down on our bed, she smiled. She looked over to Sonia with a grin and stuck her tongue out as if to say "I won ah-ha".
Sonia and I couldn't help but think how she must clearly know what she is doing. I've read my share of child development books and all state that our conciousness starts early in our infancy. As our brains develop, they start to record. Much of what we record goes into our unconcious state of being. The human version of what ROM is to a computer. These experiences are stored deep, never to be accessed. They start to shape our catalog of what things feel like, what they smell like, wether it was a pleasant or not so pleasant experience.
The personality starts to develop sometime around our fourth to fifth month of life. It is then when babies start to coo back, smile at their parents and the child parent relationship is a bit more mutual. Sarah is at that stage, from what I can tell, she is very jovial (smiles at everyone) and a bit intense. She is not shy and will stare most strangers down, only to win them over with a smile. She has been nicknamed 'the welcome wagon' by her daycare taker Ms. Peggy. Mostly because of the fact that everyone gets one of her smiles when they walk into her room.
But it really got me to thinking, I wonder if Sarah is fully aware that she is 'gaming' Mommy and Daddy. She must be. That little smirk tells me she knows alot more than we think she does. That little stinker.