Night One Of The Free Range Toddler: SUCCESS!


Our very first night of having a cage-free toddler in the house has passed…

… and?  Dare I say it?

I think it went extremely well, considering the toddler we are talking about.

If I haven’t been clear here at Jedi Mama, Inc. before tonight, let me just state the facts for you.  Thing 2 is a full-on, nuclear-charged, twenty-seven-pound mass of energy that is in constant motion.  He can leap tall buildings and scale walls that, before now, were feats only Spider-Man could accomplish.  He runs, he hops, he jumps, he bounces. He climbs, he dances, he spins, he hollers.  When we are in the Suburban, waiting at a red light, he yells out, “Go!  Go!  Go!  GOOOO!!!!” the very second it drops to green, because he simply doesn’t have the time to sit around at stoplights.  Today, I lifted him up to grab hold of his uncle’s pull-up bar… and he held on, all by himself.  The pull-up bar is installed at the very top of a door frame, and there was my baby… hanging unassisted.  Oh, I stood nearby [if two inches away counts as nearby], with my arms outstretched, ready to catch him, but he just swung there.  SWUNG THERE, people!  And he pretty much pulled his entire body up into the air in a completed pull-up.  I smell the Presidential Physical Fitness Award coming for arm-strength in kindergarten.

THAT is the type of toddler we’re dealing with.

And… oh!  His mama is crazy-mad in love with him!

Last night, when we left off, he was sleeping on his crib mattress, which was on his bedroom floor, because HE WILL NOT REMAIN IN HIS CRIB!  He climbs to the top railing, perches there like a vulture in watch-mode… and then he does a little jump / free-fall / stop-your-mama’s-heart combination that I worried was going to end in a face-plant on the hardwood floor.

(Face-plants on hardwood floors never turn out well.  Usually, they involve much remorse, even more blood, and broken teeth and noses.)

(For all the effort that I am investing into holding Thing 2 down and brushing his teeth on a daily basis while he squirms and fights and yells through a mouthful of fluoride-free toothpaste, I WANT TO KEEP THOSE TEETH INSIDE OF HIS MOUTH.  Thank you very much.)

Hubs and I honestly expected some adventure last night, because it’s THING 2, PEOPLE…

… and we got it at 10:00 PM.

Thing 2 screamed one of those I’M SCARED OUT OF MY WITS, BECAUSE WHAT’S WITH PART OF MY BED BEING ON THE FLOOR?  AND HOW DID I GET HERE?  AND DO I STILL HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS IN THIS HOUSE, WHAT WITH ALL THE CHANGE?  It was the scream that’s usually reserved for 3rd graders running through the dark woods on Halloween night.

Or for women, when they realize that YES, GIRL!  It really is a new, half-inch-long hair growing out of your chin.

I scooped the little man up in a tight hug.  We rocked in the rocking chair.  Within five minutes, he was sound asleep again, so I tucked him back into his makeshift floor-bed.

And that little stinker slept there until 6:00 this morning!!!

The Lord is good and worthy to be praised, y’all!!!

We  pulled off a very successful nap this afternoon on the floor, too, even though it was just an hour long.

IMG_9450 IMG_9453Hubs’ mom called this morning and said, “I have seen the blog pictures; Grammy’s boy WILL NOT sleep on the floor!  I’m ordering a toddler bed right now!”

How do parents make it without grandmas nearby?

I ask this, because toddler beds magically appear… buckets of hot wing soup just show up in our kitchen for dinner… and this morning, when I told Thing 2, “We need to vacuum today,” he ran to the vacuum cleaner closet, and yelled, “Yay!  Mam!”

Because Mam?  Well… sheepishly… I have to admit that… YES.  She has vacuumed our house the last two times it’s been vacuumed.  Apparently my nineteen-month-old baby now associates any housework that gets done around here with his grandma.

Which reminds me of a story from one of my PE classes, so hop on down the rabbit trail with me.  I had all of my pre-kindergarten kiddos at one end of the gym.  I would say things like, “If you have a red shirt on, run to the far wall and come back!”  Or, “If you like chocolate ice cream, run to the wall and come back!”  And then I said, “If your mom makes you clean your bedroom, run to the wall!”  With that one, the entire class ran, except for one little four-year-old girl.  She’s cute as a button, and her wardrobe is so amazing, I actually envy it.  I said, “What?!  Your mom never asks you to clean up your bedroom?”  She shook her head and said, “No.  Our maid does that.”

Um… Right.

I think that I now covet more than just her sassy jeans and trendy sweaters.

This afternoon, the Littles and their friend, Addie, played together.



Thing 2 laughs in the face of rules and danger, which is why Time Out feels as comfortable to him as an old, worn pair of jeans.

IMG_9467 IMG_9465 IMG_9466The Littles were plum thrilled to have a bed that’s JUST THEIR SIZE on the floor.  I made that bed up with the airplane quilt and stuffed animals exactly NINE TIMES today, before I finally decided that it was no longer worth my time and energy.

Apparently, throwing stuffed animals and bedding all over the room can bring great joy to the Under-Two crowd.

IMG_9468 IMG_9475 IMG_9476Anyway.

My heart is very sad that our crib days have ended so suddenly.  It’s like one day Thing 2 was a baby… and the next day he was embracing bungee jumping, without the bungees.  Here’s the kicker.  When we had the boy, Hubs and I pretty much figured that he’d be an only child forever and ever, amen.  Every single milestone came with pride for his accomplishments and growth… and sadness that those stages were moving BEHIND us.  We thought that there would be ONLY ONE first lost tooth… ONLY ONE move from diapers to Star Wars underwear… ONLY ONE first day of kindergarten.  Every single one of those events was hard for me to take, and yet… I was so excited to move forward with the boy’s next stage and adventures.

And then God revealed that He’d been saving a gift for us.  Thing 2 arrived.

And it’s exactly the same thing, all over again.  I never, ever thought that we would use the boy’s crib and changing table again.  But… we did.  And now we’re done with the crib.  And my heart is a little sad that we’re now taking it down and putting it away for the last time.

However, Hubs and I are looking forward to the next adventure with Thing 2, as well.

I just hope that it involves a whole lot of sleeping at night, and LET’S JUST STAY IN THAT TODDLER BED, M’KAY?  Because Mama needs her beauty sleep to help combat the chin hairs.  You know?

As Phil Robertson once said, “Women with facial hair… That’s a bummer!”

Happy weekend, people.

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