My 23 month old daughter has just mastered the art of climbing out of her crib. Fortunately for me, and my heart, I was out of the house when she was discovered out of her crib, opening her bedroom door. Were I home, I think I would have had a heart attack from the shock of an unexpected little one roaming the hallway.
Until tonight, my daughter had reserved her escapes for the morning. When she was ready to greet the world, she’d climb out of her crib, and start with Dad and Mom.
And then tonight happened, our unplanned evening of sleep training.
In an apparent effort to throw us off her plan for the evening, our daughter went to bed without a whimper. Her twin brother cried for a bit but eventually succumbed to sleep.
About two hours into what was supposed to be her sleep and our peaceful night, she climbed out of the crib and greeted my husband in the hallway, with a very proud look on her face. We knew she had the skills, but the timing was different. Wasn’t this supposed to be an AM thing? In the words of George Costanza, “We had a deal????”
My husband and I clung to the mindset we used when getting the kids into a sleep routine–consistency.
We began by standing in our doorway and waiting until she emerged from the bedroom. We’d scoop her up and return her to the crib. We figured we were in for a few climbs, and then she’d exhaust herself and go to sleep.
Not our little G. She was in it for the long haul.
About an hour into this gymnastic ritual, instead of becoming slower at the escape, my daughter was cutting seconds off the time it took her to raise herself, lay on the rail and lower herself to the carpet. Any runner would have been impressed by the way she knocked seconds off her times from climb to climb. If it wasn’t dangerous and wreaking havoc with our routine, I could have timed her and celebrated her athleticism with high fives and chest bumps when she got to the door.
As a team, we strategized and shortened length of the climb. We began listening for her heavy breathing and grabbing her before she lowered herself to the floor. Sadly, this led to several times where I thought I heard her climbing and burst into the room only to learn that she hadn’t made her move yet. Live and learn.
10:35. No sign of movement, silence from the bedroom, victory was ours…until the next night.