Free Range Toddler

Last night, we had to deal with the issue of WE HAVE A BABY WHO KEEPS CLIMBING OUT OF HIS CRIB.  Hubs and I didn’t have to face this crisis when the boy was a toddler.  The boy climbed out of his crib once; we told him to knock it off.  Because he was the firstborn, people-pleaser that he is, he obeyed.

Thus ended our one-day battle.  The boy stayed put.  We never spoke of it again.

With Thing 2, Hubs and I have had a bit of a standoff.  We told Thing 2 to REMAIN INSIDE THE CRIB, AND PLEASE KEEP ALL HANDS AND EXTREMITIES INSIDE THE BARS AT ALL TIMES.  Thing 2 laughed in the face of danger, and he crawled out of his crib again.

And again.

Except we always managed to catch him in action, because DILIGENT PARENTING!  We may not feed our boys all organic, locally-raised produce, but I like to think that I’m Johnny-On-The-Spot when it comes to preventing a broken face or fractured femur.  Hubs and I intercepted the escapes yesterday before our little Navy SEAL just dropped to the floor.

My method of coping with the situation of the escapee last night was just to… Oh!  You know!... STAY AWAKE all night long, LISTENING for him to bail.  If my math is corrected… If I calculated things right and carried the one when I should have… then I’m estimating that I got three entire hours of sleep last night.

But they weren’t of the CONSECUTIVE HOURS.

It was kind of like college, but less fun, and without an eight-page term paper due.

Hubs and I knew something had to change tonight, because he (HE WHO WAS WELL-RESTED AND FIGURED THAT THE MOTION-SENSING BABY MONITOR WOULD GO OFF IF THING 2 FLEW THE COOP… HE WHO SLEPT ALL NIGHT LONG IN THE COMFORT OF HIS OWN BED!) was tired of hearing me say, “I’m so exhausted!  I have that lack-of-sleep headache, where your brain feels like it’s made of synthetic foam that catches fire easily.”

What we came up with is the HOMEMADE CRIB ON A FLOOR.

The baby is a free-range, cage-free toddler.  We have no idea how this is going to turn out, because these are live-action photos.  Or maybe the correct term is that they are live, NON-ACTIVE photos.  Whatever.

What you’re seeing in these snapshots is REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT SMACK NOW.

IMG_9447 IMG_9448 IMG_9449That, people, is a crib mattress on the floor, with guardrails for a big boy bed slid up next to it.

(And… YES.  The one guardrail has a giant hole and snag in it, which resembles a streaking comet.  These were the boy’s rails for his big boy bed, a decade ago.  And when the boy was three, he poked his finger through the mesh and just kept digging.)

(That hole is sort of like the burn mark on my new, white kitchen cabinets, where the boy was playing with a creme brulee torch when he was ten.)

(Or the holes in Hubs’ parents’ screen door, where Hubs and his younger brother used aerosol hairspray and a match to light boxelder bugs on fire, when they were junior high boys, before they realized that DUDE!  OUR SCREEN DOOR IS MORE COMPOSITE PLASTIC THAN GENUINE, FORGED STEEL, AND THIS COULD TURN OUT BADLY FOR US!)

(Boys will mark up a house for life.)

With any luck at all, we won’t hear a peep out of Thing 2 until 5:00 in the morning.

With any BIGGER luck at all, I will have slept straight through, as well.  Hubs needs no luck to sleep.  Hubs is the guy who can lay down on a floor model mattress in a furniture store, during the annual Labor Day Extravaganza Sale that draws thousands of people, and take a three-hour nap, while customers stroll around him.

He calls it his spiritual gift.

(Because obviously his gift isn’t differentiating between plastic screen doors and metal ones.)

Y’all have a happy Wednesday.  I’m heading to bed.

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