Our adventure starts with baby number four, boy number three, nearly two year old Griffin starting to escape his crib. After three days of hoping he'd magically quit hopping out of the cage, we finally caved and moved the crib out and the toddler bed in. We were milking every day we could out of the captivity of the crib...funny how with your first child you can't wait for those milestones and then each child after that you draw out the inevitable as long as you can. With the first baby your facebook statuses read "Alex just rolled over!!! What a big strong man, can't wait for the next thing!" and "Johnny just took his first step! We'll be blazing trails in the park in no time!" The more seasoned mother's statuses look more like: "Well, Emma just rolled over. That means I only have two more months of peace before the little monster starts pulling the decorations down and eating everything I don't have time to vacuum."...guess which one I am? ;)
In preparation for this moment we had removed the wardrobe and installed a large cabinet up out of little hands reach to store his clothes, diapers, shoes, etc. (Can you tell we've done this before? How many times have some of you had to re-fold all the contents of a dresser or closet that little hands have found? Let me rephrase that. How many hundreds of times have you had to refold giant mounds of clean clothes?) We put safety plugs in all the outlets, took out anything we thought he could climb up onto and fall off of to hurt himself. The goal here was to make the room kind of like a safe house so that we could just lay him down in his bed and shut the door, allowing him to run around freely and make his own decision to go to sleep. Once again, we'd been here before, and tried many other avenues- Sitting out in the hallway outside of baby's doorway until drunk with exhaustion constantly hopping back off of my perch to reprimand for getting out of bed, for climbing up something, for playing with toys...ugg, no thank you! If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't make someone do something. Even if you work really hard to intimidate them into it. (Not that I've ever tried that...;) ) So instead I've grown to appreciate lending a false deaf ear to things. What is this you ask? A false deaf ear? Yes, it's where you can hear Billy and Johnny beating the ever living tar out of each other with the nerf bats, and you can hear Johnny (who had it coming by the way) screaming for mercy, but you smile at your house guests, recross your legs and ask Pam how Gracie is doing in ballet class. You can hear what is going on, but sometimes, you pretend you can't for sanity and mostly, for the child's sake. Children really don't need to be rescued all the time, and if you try, it's you who will need rescuing.
So, back from that bunny trail we have Griffin in his panic room, err, I mean, safe room. Or so we thought... On the first night I still wound up going into his room multiple times to put the toddler bed back in the corner since his room has two great big windows that dominate a whole wall, wood floors that make sliding furniture around easy for little people, and it was a duh-ism to this tot to make a stool out of the bed and climb up into the window. Hey, I said I tried not to rescue children too often, not that I wanted to assist them in suicide! Also, he was continually taking the mattress off of the bed and then sobbing because he couldn't get it back on again. After a restless night we had to get more creative, and came up with this:
Mr. Griffin is now sleeping snug as a bug in his newly made safer safe room and this is one happy mama! How the heck else did you think I'd have time to write this blog post?!
I hope the sharing of these ideas will spread a little more sanity and parent quiet time to the world!