the great escape
i was hoping that bina would stay in a crib until she was five. ok, that's pushing it. three. i thought maybe we would have another solid year of crib confinement. but no. bina the explorer discovered the morning of tuesday, july 4 that the pack n play could not contain her. how fitting that she discovered her new found freedom on independence day, of all days. this one. always going out with a bang.
we drove up to northern michigan to spend fourth of july weekend at my dad's lake house. the main floor is where most of the living space is, as well as the master suite. the walkout basement has guest bedrooms and is where we stay when we visit. david and i were sharing a room with the dogs and bina was in a pack n play in a room down the hall from ours. tuesday morning, july 4, david got up to go to the bathroom and saw that the door to bina's room was open and she was not in it.
i texted my dad and step mom upstairs, thinking she must have woken up and they heard her before we did and decided to bring her up with them. my dad said no. i thought maybe my step sister heard her and brought her up then? and then went back to bed? that seemed far fetched though. i decided to go up to the main floor to investigate. apparently my step mom got up just as bina was walking up the steps from the basement, wiping her eyes like she just woke up. my step mom assumed we sent her up to be with them while we slept in. neither of us was correct in our assumptions. just goes to show you, my high school geometry teacher was right: never assume. you make an ASS out of U and ME.
apparently, bina had escaped the pack n play. she must have climbed out onto the end of the bed it was pushed up against, slid off the bed onto the floor, opened the door from her room to the hallway, walked through the downstairs living area around to the door to the staircase, opened it, closed it behind her (because it was closed when my step mom came down to check), and then wandered upstairs. i naively thought maybe if we just pushed the crib back from the bed, she wouldn't get out. wishful thinking from dumb first time parents. so for nap i did our normal routine and then set her down in the pack in play. as soon as i turned my back, she dove out of the pack n play and onto the floor. like. belly flop, face down. i whipped around when i heard her hit the ground with an "OH MY GOD." alright. so. it wasn't just the bed. actually maybe she escaped from the non bed side before too. the bed looked pristine so it's likely she didn't pull on it to get herself out the first time. and goodbye nap time for that day. we were not equipped to deal with a toddler dive bombing out of a pack n play at my dad's. we were originally planning to leave the next morning to head home, but we decided to leave that night. i figured we weren't going to sleep there, so we might as well go ahead and drive and hope that maybe things will be better at home. if worst came to worst, we at least had a crib mattress we could put on the floor at home, which we didn't have at my dad's lake house.
to our delight, bina fell asleep in her crib (after putting up a fight) when we got home around 11:45pm tuesday night, july 4. she woke per usual in the morning and i got her and brought her back to our bed to nurse. she napped in her crib wednesday afternoon, and slept in her crib again wednesday night. no great escape. i realized we were working with borrowed time and that we maybe had another week or so before she figured out the crib is exactly like the pack n play, just a little higher off the ground. so we took the crib mattress from the nursery and pushed it up against the edge of her crib, and we installed a child lock on the inside of the door to her room so if she did escape she would be contained in her room until we came to get her out.
thursday she went down for nap. i did my normal naptime activities: dishes, cooking, and blogging. at around 3:45pm i was still blogging and i heard this "thump-thump-thump-thump-thump." like. the sound of little feet running around upstairs. i paused for a second and then decided to pretend i didn't hear that. maybe it was the dogs? and kept on blogging. then i heard it again. "thump-thump-thump-thump-thump." short intermission. then again. "thump-thump-thump-thump-thump." i smirked to myself. oh this child. i got up from the dining table where i was working and walked around to the stairs. and who did i see at the top of the steps? my little escape artist.
so i wasn't surprised she jumped the crib. we knew that was most likely going to happen soon. but i WAS surprised that she managed to get past the child door knob lock. i walked to her room and looked at the door knob on the inside of the door. no child lock. huh. i turned around and saw the two pieces of the door knob lock sitting on the bookcase next to the door.
she REMOVED the child lock from the door knob. and was running up and down the hall upstairs. epic. i love this kid so much.
alright so, bina: 3. mama and daddy: 0.
when david got home from work we installed the toddler rail on the side of bina's crib. david had a fun time with this. the way it's constructed makes it really difficult to screw in the side with the rail. david commented the design was stupid. for once, i agreed with his design assessment. he had to use a special tool (the name of which alludes me) to screw in the screw little by little and avoid hitting the rail in front of it. the tool damaged the finish of the wood it was screwing the screw into. oh well. it's secure at least. function over form this time. i removed all the things from bina's room that could possibly entertain or hurt her. took out all the baskets from her IKEA expedit shelf and replaced them with blankets. no more toys, only sleeping in this room. took her books to the nursery. we will start reading for bedtime in there. to keep her in the room, my plan was to get a better child lock for the door knob or get a new knob that locks and install it so the lock is on the outside of the door. i was relaying bina's antics and my plan to my counselor thursday evening and she was like - hold up. yeah don't lock your kid in her room. that can be scary for littles. and i was like "dammit i shouldn't have told her my plan." but i did, and then i got the "that's not a good idea" talk (which my sister in law also kind of alluded to earlier) and so we went with plan b and put up a baby gate in her door frame. she can still see out, but she's somewhat contained.
last night we attempted normal bedtime routine. bath, books, turn on noisemaker, nurse, bed. when it came time for bed i attempted to lay her in her crib with the new toddler rail. she was not having it. she climbed to the edge of the bed and clung to me like a terrified little koala bear. i hugged her and told her i loved her. i pried her little body from mine and then walked to the door and closed the gate behind me. an epic meltdown ensued. she got so upset she was gagging in like two minutes. that level of intensity is not normal for her. so i decided to go back up, grab the crib mattress from the nursery, and lay on the crib mattress on the floor beside her crib-turned-toddler-bed. my original plan was to lay beside her as she laid in her bed. but she was not having that. she didn't calm down until i laid on the crib mattress on the floor and laid her on top of me, belly to belly. i knew i would never be able to sneak out this way. so i moved her to my side. but this chick was onto me. she immediately climbed back on top of me and resumed belly to belly position. ok. fine. whatever. after awhile i moved her back to my side. she fell asleep. i waited some more and then tried to sneak my arm out from under her and carefully get up from the crib mattress on the floor. she woke. because. of course. she started fussing a bit and i laid back down with her again.
at one point i whispered "can you get in your bed now?" and she whispered back "no." then i tried "can you get in your bed and i will stay until you fall asleep?" and she whispered back "noooo." i smirked to myself again. i love her so much. that sweet little voice, matching my whisper.
the whole time i was thinking. hm. this is going to be a fun few weeks adjusting to the toddler bed. and i was also thinking: someday i'm going to miss this. my little sweet won't be so little anymore. she won't want to climb up on top of mama on a crib mattress on the floor and fall asleep. she won't want to fall asleep with me next to her. she will be too big for a crib mattress, too big for a toddler bed. and so. i embraced the moment. knowing that the next few weeks may seem like an eternity, but they are just a blink. my sweet bina is growing so much, developing so much. she cracks me up. i couldn't help but laugh when i saw her at the top of the stairs after nap, having escaped both her crib and the child locked door. that's my girl. she is going places. and nothing can stop her. and i wouldn't want her any other way.
bina finally fell asleep and i managed to sneak out of her room successfully at around 9:30pm last night. this morning we woke early to the sounds of a loud storm. the dogs jumped in the bed with us, terrified. not a peep from bina's room. i thought for sure she would wake. but she didn't. she slept in until about 7:30am. then i heard her little feet from our room, and i heard the door to her room open. i got out of bed and went out of my room and into the hall, turned on the light. and there she was at her baby gate waiting patiently. my little bina the escape artist. she survived her first night outside the confines of her crib.
and that, my friends, is the story of bina's great escape. happy independence day.