Frank Lee Morris and Steve McQueen would be so proud

We get a lot of wind where we live, up on the top of a hill which seasonally looks over the harbour (that is to say, if I could clearcut the hardwood-dominated parkland behind us, our house value may skyrocket). During the nights, there's always something making noise outside, whether that be raccoons gnawing at the lawn, the compost bin shuffling around next to the house, or tree branches scratching against the roof and siding.  Most nights these noises are far preferable to the screaming that comes from Younger Son's crib when he wakes up anywhere from zero to six times between 10 PM and 6 AM. And let's be honest, rarely do we get a night without the demanding angry yell from the crib across the hall. Usually he needs to be covered up, or assured that no, it's not morning, the sun is not up, and it is not time for cereal, honest, reallyreally, and I shit you not.

But over the weekend something different happened. The Lovely Wife and I both woke to the sound of shuffling. It was somehow different from the sound that Older Son makes when he gets up (which is rare, probably happening once every couple of weeks), so while I prepared to hear our door slide open and the heavy breathing of a half-asleep preschooler as he chose which side of the bed to come to looking for comfort and an escort back to bed, I noticed that the shuffling sounds kept going.

"Okay, what's going on?", I said.

"I don't know. This is weird", said The Lovely Wife.

"Hmm, he's usually in here by now"

[sound of a tiny thud]

"What the…", she said.

"He's OUT!"

"He's not out."

"Oh, he's out. What do you think he's going to do?"

"I don't know. Let's wait."

[waiting ensues for about half a minute]

"He's got all his lights on", she said.

"He does not. It's probably the hall night-light."

[The Lovely Wife sits up, and returns rather quickly to lying down position.]

"It's very cute."

"It is not cute. Our son just crawled out of his crib."

"You should look. He's peeking around his door and looking down the hall."

[I sit up.]

"Okay, fine. It's cute. What the hell are we going to do?"

"We're going to get up and ask him what's up, that's what."

I promptly got out of bed, crossed the hall and confronted our youngest child, now 28 months old, who has just scaled the crib railing effortlessly, lowered himself to the ground without getting hurt, and has turned on all the lights in his room except for the main light whose switch he is sadly at least a foot too short for. He smiled up at me, completely content and awake (!), which I thought was strange since it was 2:30 in the morning. 

Our guess is that he woke up, didn't know what side of morning he was on, so decided to take matter into his own hands. Totally unprepared for this as we were, since his older brother never had the inkling to escape from the confines of his white-barred sanctuary, and since we've never seen him do anything like this, we had no idea how to address the situation. What we didn't know that first time is that we would have ample opportunity to craft a response and adhere to plan, as this happened two more times in the span of the next two hours. I actually believe he went back to sleep both times and woke up and (I can only assume) executed his escape more deftly than the previous time.

"Seriously, what are we going to do?", she asked me after the third time.

"I don't know. Get him a real bed? Ignore it and hope this doesn't become a trend?"

"We have to do something. This is insane. We're going to have to put the gate back on the stairs."

"Or maybe we'll put the gate on his door.  Hey, how about a lid?"

"Shut up. [snickering] No. really. We can't put a lid on his crib."

"Oh, fine."

Strangely enough, I think he probably would have gone to sleep in the middle of his floor, or crawled back into his crib with all the lights on. But the interesting part of all of this is that it was all done without any hint of crying (note to any of my currently incarcerated readers: escapes work better when done quietly), which both fooled us, then startled us, then gladdened us. The fact that he's getting out of his crib, which we've lowered the rail on since we don't want the little dude getting hurt if he falls out, may be a blessing in disguise. As long as he doesn't need anything from his sleeping parents, that is. 

I've taken to calling him The Bird Man, even though he didn't ever escape from Alcatraz.

And who knows. If this sneakiness continues, maybe he'll star in Mission Impossible 12.

Posted bythemikestand at 11:12 AM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

Sizzle said... 12:36 PM, April 17, 2008  

I can totally see my nephew doing this. He's a monkey and climbs on everything. You guys must have been tired after all that up and down.

doow said... 12:45 PM, April 17, 2008  

Surely this is the point where you start training him to bring you stuff? Either that, or it's the point where you start tying him down.

Brianna said... 1:20 PM, April 17, 2008  

did you *ask* him why he was getting up? (I assume the answer would have been, "well daddy you're always saying you need something to blog about."

Megan said... 1:52 PM, April 17, 2008  

My parents quickly took to placing a bag of cheerios and rasins and a book in my crib, so I would keep myself occupied when I woke up.

Mandy said... 4:36 PM, April 23, 2008  

My daughter first escaped at 17 months. Not long after she learned to walk she was outta that crib buddy. I once heard it start and peeked in to watch. It was the most incredible thing. She scaled that puppy like she was a miniature spy.

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