As I was putting Macie to bed tonight, Dale poked his head into Emma Jean's (Grandma's) living room (Macie's "bedroom" here at Grandma's house) and asked what I thought about Ivie sleeping on the top bunk in her room. "NO WAY" was my immediate response. "Even with the rails?", he asked. Nope. Not if Mommy wants to get any sleep at all tonight.
After Macie was in bed, I stood outside Ivie's room to eavesdrop on their conversation. I walked up just in time to hear Dale telling Ivie that "Mommy isn't going to let you sleep up there, Iv." (Glad to know I'm the bad guy.) She began arguing, so I stepped inside and began explaining to her that I was worried she would fall, or that she would try to get up by herself during the night and not realize that she was up high.
Ivie argued, responding with all the "right" answers (like, "When I wake up, Mommy, I will just scream and wait for Daddy to come help me get down!").
My next "play" was to say that Ivie could sleep up top if Dale would sleep on the bottom bunk. He didn't bite. In fact, he didn't react at all, so he might not have even been listening! So I moved on to trying to play on her fear of getting hurt. (I know, you probably wouldn't read about that method in a parenting book.) I even used the phrase "lots of blood". Shame on me.
Now that I look back on it, when I began talking about her getting hurt, I saw just a hint of a change in her expression. But it only lasted for a split second before disappearing, as she continued to plead her case about not trying to get out of bed on her own.
After we talked for another minute or so, Ivie cut Dale and me off. And, with eyebrows raised and excitement in her voice, she said, "I've got a GREAT IDEA!"
Playing along (but not really expecting much change in her opinion), Dale and I both raised our OWN eyebrows and asked, "What is it, Ivie?!?".
And out came the very last thing we expected to hear her say.
"I can sleep on the bottom and PRETEND that I'm sleeping up here!"
Dale and I were shocked. Did we really just hear that? "YES, IVIE! That's a great idea! You can pretend to sleep on the top bunk!"
And, with that, Ivie was happy to let Dale lift her back down to the ground to start the bedtime book-reading process. Excited to pretend to be sleeping on the top bunk.
After reading books and tucking her in, Dale reached to turn out the light before exiting her room. And Ivie had one last recommendation for the game of pretend that she'd started.
"Daddy, you can turn out the light and we'll pretend that it's still on!"
Mommy's liking this game...