The other morning, Susie went in to check on Amelia before heading off to work and was shocked to find the following scene:
The number of books, blankets and dolls in the crib is not the surprise. The fact that there was no child in the crib was rather disconcerting. As Susie was about to call out to me for help, she turned around and stumbled upon the answer to “Where is Amelia?”:
Apparently someone slept on the floor, although we are not quite sure for how long. As an excellent father, I decided to let her keep sleeping there for a little while longer. When I finally went in to wake her up, I asked her what she was doing on the floor. Her response? “I seepin.” And then she laid her head back down and tried to sleep for a few more minutes.
We knew this day was coming. In fact, I am somewhat surprised that it took this long. Compared to Hannah, Amelia has always been more advanced in gross motor skill. She also has considerably less fear than Hannah ever had. I had first witnessed an Amelia escape a few months ago. It was amazing. She was like an agile, little monkey the way she effortlessly swung her leg up to get her on top of the crib and then in one smooth motion deftly slide down the other side and was out of her crib, ready for action.
This happened in the morning and she may have been bolstered by the fact that someone was watching her in case she got stuck. Since that “great escape”, she had only tried it one other time at night. but it was enough to convince me that before I headed out of town last month I should probably affix the bookshelf in her room to the wall so she couldn’t pull it on top of herself.
Luckily, she had not made any other attempts to get out. Susie and I assumed that we were going to have to make the decision about taking the front of the crib off much sooner than we had anticipated. But six weeks or so had passed, so we thought that maybe we were in the clear for a little while longer. Of course we should have known better because the night she slept on the floor, Amelia had already made one escape that night.
I was out of the house doing something, while Susie was reading a book in the living room. Apparently, she head an unusual thud come from upstairs. We are accustomed to hearing a sharp bang or two after putting Amelia to bed as invariably a few books will be jettisoned from the crib. But this was different, so Susie went to see what was going on. Apparently, the monkey had hopped out but knew she was in trouble because she was trying to get back in. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize how difficult this was and all she had was her legs stuck between the vertical slats. Little did any of us realize that this was going to be the end of an era. We were about to have two “free-range” kids.
I still remember the first time Hannah ever escaped from her crib. We were on vacation in Door County, Wisconsin. At that time, the three of us stayed in a small cabin, with Hannah’s ‘pack and play’ in one room, pinned up against the bed. We had just put her to bed and were a few feet away in the kitchenette, washing some dishes and waiting for her to fall asleep. After about 10 minutes, there were jolted by a cheerful but shocking little “HI!” that caused both of us to almost jump through the roof. We turned around and there Hannah was staring back at us like this was a normal occurrence. After taking a moment to compose ourselves, I scooped Hannah back up and put her back to sleep. And I made sure to rearrange the room so she couldn’t boost herself up on the bed again.
Despite initially being resigned to taking the front of the crib off, for now we have decided to let it ride because the very next night Amelia went right down to sleep and didn’t get out of bed. Transitioning out of the crib doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal, but it really is. While we both know that Amelia isn’t a baby anymore, moving out of the crib pretty much makes it official and that landmark is an exciting and yet simultaneously scary milestone. It is the the first of many reminders of how fast time goes and that your little baby doesn’t stay little forever.
So for now, we still have a caged monkey. But I think it is only a matter of time until I am awoken in the morning by a cute little monkey poking me and asking, “Daddy seeping?”