Although Malcolm has always been (and continues to be) a great sleeper, he has turned into a bit of a hoarder and accumulated quite the arsenal of bedtime buddies ...
Each night, before settling in, he insists on filling his crib with various (security?) objects to the point that there is little room for him!
Here are some photos and descriptions of the objects in question to show you what I mean:
The moon block: It's nothing more than a half-circle piece of wood that my grandfather (Malcolm's great-grandfather) cut from scraps during one of his many home improvement projects. Part of a unique "building block" set that my cousins and I used to play with, it somehow ended up in my possession and now Malcolm has attached himself to this specific block. Notice the line of dark, knotty imperfection ... It must be this specific block (not any of the other half-circle pieces that are part of the set).
Bath letters ("Y" and "M" only): For Christmas, we gave Malcolm a set of foamy letters for use during bath time. For some reason, he insists on bringing "Y" and "M"along when it is time for bed ... It might be because they are orange, his favorite color. It might be because he likes to say "Y" and "M."
Plastic turtle toy: This was a Kids' Meal prize that Malcolm got while spending time with his Gramma and Grampa (my parents) one weekend. Back home and ready for a nap after that particular excursion, he cried and cried (tearfully saying "pop!" over and over) until we figured out what he wanted. The silly toy has two different heads that can pop in and out ... My son is a genius.
Plastic cookies (big and small): The big cookie was one of his first bed buddies. Then came the little (baby) cookie ... Now both are staples of his bed time routine.
Spot: Spot is (and has been) the security object of choice for a good year now. This polka dot blanket goes wherever Malcolm goes ... So, in the crib is no exception!
"Eating the Alphabet" board book: This library book (I guess my husband will have to continue to renew it over, and over, and over again ...) makes the cut because it has some bananas on the fourth page. It also proves useful as a little light reading material when Malcolm wakes up (and Mom wants an extra fifteen minutes of sleep).
Orange ball: This ball, a Christmas stocking gift from my parents, got to spend a couple nights in the crib, but since has been bumped out of the rotation. This is good news for me ... It is one less object to worry about!
Doughnut stars (not pictured): This flat, white disc with rainbow stars is part of a wooden doughnut set that Malcolm received for Christmas (it is one of the icing toppers that velcros into place). Since it has colorful stars (one of his favorite things), it quickly became a "must have" for bed time!
Count Von Count plush doll: If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that Malcolm loves The Count (of Sesame Street fame)! Although he must be present at the start of the night, all too often he is on the floor by morning ...
Fuzzy duck plush: Once relegated to the shelf over his changing table, the fuzzy duck was recently upgraded to a space in the crib.
Talking shark plush: This hammerhead shark is not only cuddly, but also a learning toy! When squeezed (either on purpose or accidentally) it doles out interesting shark facts ... Not something that I expect to hear in the middle of the night (over the baby monitor)!
Domo plush: I'm not sure why, but I have always thought that Domo was super-cute. Of course, Malcolm agrees and insists he be part of his bed time entourage!
Little mousey: My sister-in-law crocheted Malcolm this little mouse years ago. He didn't really pay it much notice until somewhat recently when he learned the sign for "mouse" and decided that it had to be in the bed with him.
Orange Monster: A gift from his first Christmas, the Orange Monster has always been tucked away in the corner of the crib (so maybe this one is my fault). Much like The Count, he must start out in bed, but is usually on the floor by the morning.
Water (not pictured): Occasionally, Malcolm will request that his sippy cup full of water spend the night with him. The more the merrier, right?!
As you can see, all of these little trinkets are quite harmless (and even humorous!) right now. They haven't negatively impacted his sleep routine very much (and we haven't had any meltdowns because objects have gone missing), yet I'm really starting to wonder how things will work out when Malcolm inevitably makes the switch to his "big boy bed" sometime this spring.
Without rails and/or a bumper pad, there will be more opportunity for things to go missing ...
New cracks to fall into ...
Many more chances for him to wake up in a panic and wonder where [insert object here] has gone ...
I can only hope that Malcolm will graciously allow us to narrow down the group, little by little, until only the essentials remain (and by "essentials," I mean Spot because a blanket is big and much easier to locate when you're fumbling around at night!!).