It’s a strange privilege to realize you’re experiencing something for the last time. Tonight, I put one of my children in the crib for the very last time. Tomorrow, the nursery gets painted and my third baby transitions to a twin bed. There will be no more babies to fill “The Hungry Caterpillar” themed nursery and no more babies to lay in the crib. The room will still be there, but its time as a nursery is no more. It’s now time for the transition to a toddler room.
If this paint could talk, it would tell you about the times I rocked and cried while wishing my babies would go to sleep, and the times I rocked and cried while wishing my sleeping babies would never grow up. It would tell you that the crib quilt was sewn by my mom and the stunning wall art was custom painted by my talented aunt.
It would tell you the toy box was put together right after my oldest daughter had surgery at age two. It would tell you that I picked this theme a year before I became a mother. That my first child was the only one to have her name spelled out above the crib (I never got around to doing it with the other two.)
Pieces of nursery have slowly come down over time—the mobile, custom valances, crib skirt, bumper pad.
This paint would tell you that my oldest child got booted out when she was two to make room for her sister, and that my second child still slept in a crib until she was three and never climbed out. It would tell you how my third born was a climber, so he was the first one that needed a toddler bed.
It would tell you that the crib and changing table were gifts we were blessed with before we knew how many children would use them. The mat on the ground was from a dear friend who lived states away and the stuffed animal on the shelf was from a dear friend I went to college with.
It would tell you that my mom was so excited to see that fleece-stuffed caterpillar at a craft show that she yelled my name so loud I jumped out of my skin. It would tell you about the time my oldest threw the Jack-In-The-Box on the shelf out of frustration because it was designed for a right-handed person—that was the first time I really understood she was left-handed.
If this paint could talk, it would tell you about the time my child had severe croup and we picked her up out of her crib while she held her stuffed frog to go to the ER. It would tell you about the times the babies took off their diapers and tossed them from the crib, or about the many books that were read before bedtime. It would tell you about my second born using the curtains to make a fort for her baby brother and about the time she snuck and got in his crib because he was crying.
It would tell you about the infant pictures that hang on the wall in between a foot print and hand print of each child. It would tell you about the nursery maternity shoot that is still framed. It would tell you about the many times I peeked in and watched my babies sleep.
It would tell you about the different sound machines and monitors that came and went. It would tell you how the neutral green and yellow has stood the test of time—it’s still beautiful and cheery and the perfect nursery colors for my little crew.
I still remember when the green hamper arrived in the mail—a gift from my mother-in-law from our registry. It’s still in perfect condition.
If this paint could talk, it would tell you that my father-in-law proudly bought the crib mattress from Babies “R” Us off of our registry. He couldn’t believe they even sold a giant gift bag for it to be wrapped in.
It would tell you about the sicknesses, laughter, block building, pretend play and diaper mishaps.
It would tell you the clock on the wall was for appearance only and never actually had the right time. It would tell you about the tweaks and adjustments. It would tell you about the most beautiful sound of deep breathing that came from a sleeping baby. It would tell you about the dreams and nightmares.
I would hope this paint would show me grace and forget to tell the times that I was not deserving of the three babies who have slept here.
Beautiful yellow and green paint of these nursery walls, the transition from a nursery to a toddler room is bittersweet, but you have been so good to me. Thank you for wrapping my babies in your colors. Thank you for accentuating my decorations. Thank you for holding my secrets and memories for eight years. You have blessed this room with your beauty—and I will be forever grateful.
Motherly Stories are first person, 500-1000 word stories, reflecting on the insights you’ve experienced in motherhood—and the wisdom you’ve gained along the way. They also help other women realize they’re not alone. Motherly Stories don’t judge. Instead, they inspire other mamas with stories of meaning, hope and a realization that “you’ve got this.” If you have a story, please submit it here: https://www.mother.ly/share-your-story/