For the past several months, since we discovered that she can climb in and out of her crib with ease, we've been contemplating removing the front rail of her crib to turn it into a toddler bed. After all, what's the use in having it there at this point?
After bath time, I just decided tonight's the night.
I went to the garage and got an allen wrench. Maddie saw me removing the first bolt and of course had to be involved in the action. I allowed her to remove the bolt herself and pull it out. I loosened the remaining three bolts and she removed those as well. I pulled off the front rail, put on a fresh sheet, made the bed, and that was that. I told her it was now a big girl bed.
When I tuck her into bed we read a few books in her glider chair, then I stand up and rock her and sing for a bit in front of her crib. I followed the exact same routine as usual. She usually lets her lower arm hang down and grabs the front rail but tonight it wasn't there. She asked to "hold it", so for routine's sake I stood to the side of her bed and let her hang on to the side rail while we finished singing.
Then.... I laid her down. I gave her kisses and asked her if she wanted her music on. She said yes. I turned it on and started to walk out and she started to get upset! Oh no!! I went back to her right away to comfort her and she was saying "I want it off! I want it off!" and I thought she was talking about the rail. I calmly explained to her that this is how her bed was going to stay tonight, already envisioning having to bolt the front rail back on. She got a bit exasperated with me until I realized she was talking about the music. Oh. Whoops.
I turned off her music, left the door open a crack, and laid down in the hallway right outside her door to see what she would do, half expecting that I'd be camped out there a while to gently lead her back to her bed that she now had the freedom to leave easily.
As I watched, she rolled over and fell asleep.
I love her.