It finally happened. Choo-choo climbed out of his crib.
Now, you might be wondering why an almost 3 year old is still in a crib, but I have a good reason for this. He couldn’t get out. Okay, so it’s a simple reason but still a good one.
Once he was around 2 or so, I waited for the moment most parents dread. The moment when my child was no longer safely contained in his crib. I waited and waited. And it never happened.
Choo-choo was terrified to climb out by himself. I even sat with him in his room as he asked me to get him out of bed. He would try to climb out, so far as throwing one leg over the side but still standing on the other foot. He’d then pull the leg back in, lift his arms, and ask me again.
Then one day, I actually encouraged him. Well, I say “encouraged,” but he was already completely up on the side and panicking because he had no idea what to do next. I thought that would be it. That would start the moment that he would never stay in bed again.
I was wrong.
For the next couple weeks, he still waited for me to lift him out of his “walled” bed. Then the tantrums started, with Choo-choo refusing to sleep at nap as well. In a fit of frustration, I left him in his crib and walked downstairs to compose myself before returning to his room.
Then I heard it. Amongst the wails and screams, there was an ominous thud. I ran upstairs to find my son standing at the safety gate, still crying for me.
That’s all it took. He was out of his bed after that nap, though I didn’t pay attention to this in the moment. I’m still not sure how it escaped my notice. When he was out of bed the next morning as well, I knew the time had come. Choo-choo is capable of being more independent now.
I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled. I mean, I love that he conquered his fear. And I love that he is growing more and more each day, learning new things and trying them. I just am not ready for the fully independent child he is on his way to becoming.
After rechecking everything in Choo-choo’s room to make sure it’s safe for him to wander around, Diesel or I will have to unbolt the removable side and face the facts. Our little boy isn’t a baby anymore.