Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jail Break!

We had a good run.  We really did. For 3 years and eight months our kids stayed in their cribs.

They never once climbed out.  I realize this is something close to a miracle.  I hear plenty of stories of kids climbing out of their cribs to mark first birthdays.  Even more don't make age two.  For 3 years and eight months of glorious time we could simply put the kids in their cribs and there they stayed.  That was time I got to myself, to play video games or read or relax or to undertake home projects.  Sure, they might jump around and talk; occasionally they would scream.  But they stayed put.

Until yesterday.

Uh oh.

I've been battling a head cold all week.  If you think triplets sound daunting, try it with a body that feels like its underwater.  The kids went into their cribs at their normal times and talked up a storm.  But just as I was getting off work, they settled just a bit and I thought I might get a minutes rest.  Think again.

From somewhere in the house comes a loud "thump."  I grab the monitor.  Everything appears in place. But then Rand's head zips along the bottom of the screen like some kind of Pong paddle.  I see Sadie straddle her own crib rails.  I take off upstairs.

I crest the top stair just in time to hear Rand say conspiratorially "Ok, I go get him."  He turns and sees me, his eyes as big as flying saucers.  He clearly knows something outside the bounds of normal occurred.

Things like this always pull me in two directions.  I loved that we could put the kids down and know that, no matter how sick or tired we were or whatever else we had to do, they would stay there.  Turn the monitor down real low and we were free to some extent.

But another part me wondered why they hadn't climbed out yet.  Liam fears heights a bit and can be tentative, but Rand doesn't share those qualities.  Sadie is a slight but surprisingly strong thing.  But all three clearly have enough strength to climb out at this point.  Why hadn't they climbed out?  Do they lack the intellectual ability to see that they can get out on their own?  Do they lack the independence to do so?  Are they such followers they will sit in a cage for an hour rather than roam their own room?

That isn't quite how that works, Liam.
I sometimes wonder whether raising a really great adult requires dealing with really awful children.  Mediocre people are often followers; people who can't see the unique in the average.  Great adults think outside the box and always one step ahead.  Those aren't qualities you necessarily want from your toddler.  A great adult can be hard to work with, but often easy enough to avoid or placate.  You can't leave your toddler for another toddler.  Parenting is exhausting enough without having to do it with someone who is already a move ahead.

Are my kids destined for mediocrity?  I worry sometimes.

Not that it mattered.  We were about to lose our glorious, carefree days anyway.  As chance would have it, we planned on putting the kids into big beds this weekend.  Our free time was dead one way or another.

This was just a big exclamation point on that death.

That night the kids all stayed put.  It is sorta amazing.  And its certainly going to be interesting.  Sadie already wants to know what happens now when she needs to go pee.  The kids have tasted freedom.  Who knows what that means once the big kid beds go in on Friday or Saturday.  I'm sure I'll let you know, so stay tuned.

But for now: At what age did your kids finally escape from cribs?  Did you just get rid of them or did they force the issue by climbing out?  Were they good when they finally went to big kid beds?  Please let me know in the comments.  I'm interested in hearing about it.  Lord knows I could use the advice and moral support.

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