At the age of nineteen months and a half months (exactly) Ace for the first time stayed overnight away from his parents. There have been many occasions where Ace has stayed away from one of his parents, but never away from both of us. He's had a handful of babysitting adventures, but on Thursday afternoon we dropped Ace off and for nearly 20 hours he stayed in the care of his Gran (Gammie) and Pop Pop (Papa). We all were expecting a rough night and plenty of upsetness - but Ace knows his grandparents now and he loves them. He was excited when we pulled up to their house and began running all around and as far as upsetness went his total was about five minutes worth. Total. Yipee!!!
Ace played in 'his' room, with Bailey, and a great time playing with the grandparents. They went for several walks where Ace picked up a few "poncos" - it's one of his cutest words to date and stands for pine cones. He loves to pick them up and throw them. He also had a blast splashing in puddles. Pop Pop sent the parents a video while we were out - and it was super great to see him having such a great time. Neither Loving Husband and I had much anxiety leaving and weren't really that sad to let him have this overnight - we ourselves were looking forward to our first overnight-alone time in 20 months. We were very thrilled to hear how wonderful he did.
Pop Pop also was given the opportunity, thanks to Ace, to change his first #2 diaper in 23+ years! He's now fully indoctrinated into the world of grandparenting. :) Yes Gammie had to go do the doctor and so Pop Pop and Ace were on their own for a bit. So we appreciate him breaking his impressive record for our son. We really know how much he loves him now. ;-)
Sleep, I'm told was pretty similar to our experience. Drifting off and sleeping for nearly 4ish hours before waking and then the oscillating awake and sleep cycle for another 4 before they brought him to their bed. Apparently the only real sadness for Ace with us being gone was when he woke up in the morning and realized we weren't there - but after five minutes he was back to his happy self and eating his breakfast.
When Loving Husband and I walked in the door, greeted by Pop Pop and Ace - Ace didn't immediately lunge for either of us. LH took him and gave him a hug and Ace continued to hug on him, but not for long - LH set him back down and Ace went back to running all around. In fact I personally did not get a hug until we were leaving about 20 minutes later. And he even threw a small protest when we started to put him in his car seat. He loves his grandparents and didn't want to leave!
We stopped back by yesterday because we had forgotten his shoes and as we pulled up he was squealing with glee. It was great to see that he remembers them so well, loves them so much, and is excited to see them... and once again he had himself a large protest when it was time to say bye-bye. He really does love them - and we are really grateful for their willingness to keep him overnight and risk sleep deprivation so that we could have a great night away! Thank you, Gran and Pop Pop! I think they might even be willing to do it again ;-) after a little bit of sleep!