A little background to begin this story...
When we moved Jaden from a crib into a bed shortly before Brandon was born (Jaden was 23 months old) - we worried that we'd have some trouble with the transition. We worried he wouldn't stay in his bed, that he'd get up and wander around at all hours of the night, etc. But since moving into his bed almost two years ago, Jaden has never once gotten out of his bed without Cody and I coming into his room and telling him he can get up. In fact for several months now, we have been telling Jaden that it's okay for him to get out of his bed if needed. If he needs to go potty, if he gets sick in the middle of the night, if he wakes up early and no one else is awake, etc. He has plenty of toys, book shelves and a whole chalk board wall in his room that he could entertain himself with when he wakes up in the morning -- rather than the immediate loud clapping and singing he chooses to do - from his bed - that wakes everyone else up. I've even told him several times that he can get out of bed in the morning, come into our room and climb into our bed. That way I can turn on cartoons for him and fall back asleep until Brandon wakes up. But no matter how many times we have had this conversation, Jaden still refuses to get out of bed until we walk into his room and get him.
Two nights ago, I had been hit by the worst cold I have suffered in a long time. I tried going to bed right after supper - at around 6:15. Cody put the boys to bed and then jumped in the shower around 8:15. While Cody was showering, I heard some muffled quiet sobs. At the beginning, I thought they were coming from Brandon - just crying himself to sleep a little bit. Jaden never cries in his bed. So I let them go on for about 10 minutes. But the longer I heard them, the more they sounded like they were coming from Jaden instead. So after 10 minutes I got out of bed and opened Jaden's door. Sure enough - there was Jaden sitting straight up in his bed, blanket in hand, tears streaming down his face. I immediately noticed that Cody had forgotten to turn off the Christmas lights for Jaden's Christmas tree in his room. His room was super bright, and this had Jaden very upset. "I don't want the Christmas tree on, Mommy!" he says as tears slowly drip down his face. Our poor little guy was sitting up in his bed trying to be a good boy by not being too loud, not knowing how to turn the lights off on his own, and not knowing what to do about it! He also was upset because Cody hadn't put any chap stick on Jaden's lips - something I always do before bed, but Cody wasn't aware of. (It's a new routine this winter - Jaden's had very dry lips). The look of desperation and worry on our sweet little boys face broke my heart. Cody walked in at that point to find out what was wrong and immediately unplugged the lights on the tree. The relief and sigh that came from Jaden when those lights were turned off broke my heart for a second time. I then gave Jaden a big hug and explained to him once again that if he really needs something, it is okay for him to get out of bed and come let us know. He lay back in his bed, I tucked him in, and that was that. What a sweetheart.
Something tells me we're going to be having the opposite problem with Brandon in a couple of months... ;)