On Monday afternoon I put Kendall in his crib for a nap. He was fighting it pretty hard, but I knew he was exhausted and he needed the rest. I left him in his room and began cleaning the playroom. At some point I noticed silence and was happy he finally fell asleep. Minutes later I heard some sort of banging. Furious that Scott would choose this moment to randomly bang on something, perhaps nail something into the wall, I left the playroom to go give him a dirty look. As I followed the sound of the banging to Kendall’s bedroom door I was all sorts of confused.
“Why would Scott be inside Kendall’s room banging?”
“Oh…my…God, please let it be Scott inside Kendall’s room banging.”
::step, step, slowly open door, thud::
That thud was me accidentally hitting my kid, the one who was supposed to be IN HIS CRIB.
He looked up at me, grinned ear to ear, and seemed to say, “Hey mom! What’s up? Don’t worry, I got out all by myself. I’m good. See, I even got my toys out and everything. I don’t need a nap!”
I knew it was the end of an era. He finally mastered climbing out of the crib. It was only a matter of time. I should have seen it coming much sooner after taking him to the mall play area that morning. He scaled the Tweety Bird slide, all the way to the top of Tweety’s head, 3 times all by himself. Last week I came into the living room after quickly throwing some clothes into the dryer to find him perched atop our couch, the fireplace behind him. Why, then, did I think I’d be lucky enough to keep him in the crib until he was 2? Because I had planned that? Ha. Surely I should know better than to think I’ll ever be able to follow through with anything I plan.
We were lucky he hadn’t hurt himself, and knew we had to make a change immediately, so Kendall skipped his nap on Monday while we ran to Home Depot to replace his corded blinds with roller shades. We also removed just about everything from his room. I would say it was pretty baby proofed to begin with, but we’re trying not to underestimate his powers as of late. We took the front off the crib, turning it into a toddler bed, and laid a bunch of pillows on the floor next to it.
I was terrified that Monday night was going to be a battle, but, delightfully, it wasn’t at all, and neither was last night. He went to sleep without a fight, stayed in bed, and didn’t fall out. Both mornings we retrieved him before he did so much as read a book from his bookshelf, and that was as late as 8.
Now, before you go hating on me for bragging, know that as I type this I am seated next to his bedroom door, listening for sounds of distress, as I have abandoned him in his room in hopes of him taking a nap. I started at 1 by reading a couple books, then wrestling with him while he tried to crocodile roll himself off his bed for over 20 minutes. I asked his teacher yesterday how she gets him to nap on the floor, and she told me they just don’t make eye contact, keep laying him down, pat his back, and tell him to go to sleep. Tried that. Failed. Miserably. So I left the room for a bit before I became concerned with the lack of noise coming from the room because silence is never golden when you have an uncaged toddler. Then I went back in, took the white noise machine away from him, tried the crocodile wrestling some more, left again. I finally went back in a few minutes ago and just sat in his rocking chair and pretended to ignore him while he screamed and eventually passed out on the floor amongst his toys. It took 2 hours, but he’s conked out now, and I’m grateful to have at least one more afternoon nap. I refuse to let him give up naps just because he’s not contained to a crib. (That sounds terrible, I know. Let me clarify that the screaming was brief, and is pretty par for the course around here. He almost always hollers a bit out of pure exhaustion before going to sleep.)
And yet, the whole time I sat there in our rocking chair pretending to ignore him, I couldn’t help but think about Layla Grace, a 2 year old with Stage 4 Nueroblastoma who is living the last moments of her life, and this incredibly heartbreaking blog entry by her mother all about how she wants nothing more than for her sweet baby to stay awake. I just couldn’t help but feel sad and greedy for wanting, willing, begging my son to take a nap. And how trivial of me to be annoyed that *my* plans to keep my son in his crib until 2 were derailed, when this family’s plans to raise a beautiful little girl who they hoped to shop for prom dresses for, see off to college and walk down the aisle were vanishing in front of their very own eyes. My thoughts and prayers are with Layla Grace and her family.
Kendall is 21 and a half months old