Yesterday, around 11:30 A.M., I was standing at the kitchen sink washing the dishes left over from breakfast when I was surprised by a loud “thud”. I turned the water off and leaned back so that I could see through the kitchen doorway.
Suddenly, Lee’s bedroom door swung open and he came running out crying and screaming, “Dad-dddy, Dad-dddyyyy!!!!”. This was a surprise because, a few minutes earlier, I had watched D put him in his crib for his nap.
I scooped him up and put him back in his crib so that I could watch how, exactly, he was able to escape. I hovered outside of his doorway and waited. He stood up after a minute or so, walked over to the corner of the crib, and put an arm around each side of the corner. He leaned forward and pulled himself up onto the corner and over the side of the crib and then slowly lowered himself to the floor.
“No way,” I said out loud before I realized I was even talking.
I walked in, scooped him up once more and plopped him back in the crib. I took a few steps back and leaned against his wardrobe. “Let me see you do that one more time,” I said to him.
This time, he walked over to the same corner, pulled himself up like he had before BUT THEN RESTED BOTH FEET ON THE LEDGE OF THE CRIB and sat up straight. He literally looked like a frog with both feet and hands on the ledge of the crib, teetering forward. I snatched him up before he could fall, realizing this was probably the reason he was crying and screaming the first time.
Lee and I walked out onto the front porch and yelled for D to come inside.
I called my Mom to see if there were any tricks to making him stay in the crib, while simultaneously texting D’s Mom about the situation. (They’re my go-to’s, obviously, the two of them have raised a combined seven children).
They both told me what I didn’t want to hear……. Lee needed a “big boy” bed.
D suggested raiding his Grandmother’s attic for a twin-sized bed, while I was already looking at new ones online. Moments later he was on the phone with his Mom and, luckily, she had one in mind for us.
An afternoon that I had planned to spend on the couch watching Netflix quickly turned into:
- a trip to D’s parents house,
- a trip to my sister- in-laws storage unit,
- back to D’s parents house (because we forgot Lee’s stuffed puppy),
- a trip to Wal-Mart to buy Lee a mattress cover, pillows, bedding, and spare bedding,
- back to D’s parents house to drop off Lee with his Aunt Boo (who is the freakin baby whisperer and can get him to take a nap like she’s the Caesar Milan of naptime),
- back to our house to dis-assemble Lee’s crib and assemble his new bed, make up his new bed, re-arrange his bedroom so that everything fit, and load up his crib to put in storage,
- and then back to D’s parents house. Where my sweet, sweet, Mother-In-Law (or Momma #2 as she will henceforth be referred to) thrust a full wine glass into my hand. She listened to me blubber out various combinations of the following phrases: “but he’s not even two years old, why is this happening to me, what happened to my baby, why couldn’t he be a little less intelligent so I could have him as a little helpless baby for a while longer, etc. etc.”.
When we got home last night, D and I put Lee into his pajamas and set him on his new bed. He didn’t like it at first and he instantly started crying crocodile tears. We got into bed with him and I read him the Dr. Seuss book “Go Dog, Go”. When it was over, D got up, turned out the lights, and went to get our dogs situated. I laid on my side, facing Lee, with our foreheads touching, until his breathing evened out and I thought he was asleep. I started to sit up and Lee reached up and grabbed the collar of my shirt, pulling me back down to the pillow. I happily obliged. With that one swift movement, he filled my heart. He knew that I needed him to need me for just a few moments more.
Another 10 or 15 minutes passed and I was sure he was out. I got up and went to our bedroom where D was watching the monitor. “We have to make a pact right now that if he gets up any during the night, we are walking him back to his bed. We can lay down with him if he needs us but no sleeping in our bed. We don’t want to start any habits that will be hard to break later,” he said. We shook on it. “Oh, and one more thing,” he said, “we are taking turns reading him a story and laying with him until he falls asleep, you don’t get to do that every night.”
“Agreed,” I said (but I didn’t shake on it).
Though D and I spent the entire night passing the monitor back and forth and tossing and turning, Lee slept peacefully.
He never once got down out of his bed.
Hopefully this will be the norm, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.