So the kid is growing up. We’re closing in on the potty training, dressing herself, losing the baby gate portion of development. Aside from the potty training the rest of that stuff was pretty easy with Frank. Tell him to stay off the stairs and he stayed off the stairs. Tell him not to open the kitchen cabinets or laundry room door, that’s it, he wouldn’t go near them. That’s not necessarily been the case with this one.
Tell her to stay off the stairs and she climbs the outside of the stairs by holding on to nothing but the balusters. Technically she was not on the stairs if you define stairs as the part you step on. Tell her to stop pulling down the baby gate and she makes a ladder to jump over it. Again, she’s living on a prayer and a technicality. Even with the cabinets, she won’t open them but she’ll wait for you to, then jam her pain impervious arm in there so you can’t close it.
So it was with much dismay that I went into her room one morning to the sound of my 2 year old daughter saying, “I’m climbing!” Yeah she was climbing all right, climbing right out of her crib. She even went one better and got within a leg throw over the top of climbing back in the crib starting from the ground. Well hell. Y’all know what that means.
Big girl bed for Anne Marie. Sleep reduction for mom and dad. Probably forgot to mention she can already open doors. Do you think I have any hope of containing a kid that does this to a box of chicken and BBQ sauce from Chik-fil-a and then sleeps it off like it was no big deal? Yeah me neither.
But we couldn’t let her keep the crib out of the fear she would fall during a night escape and crack her melon. So the front of the crib came off. Four bolts later and we went from 12-14 hours of confined sleep to complete free range chicken. Took me all of 10 minutes to convert the crib to a bed. Surprisingly it took her two nights to realize there was no invisible force field keeping her in and she could come and go as she pleased.
The first night she figured out she could get out of bed and leave the room was the night we realized we needed to start locking the upstairs baby gate again. Around 4 in the am I could hear what sounded like running downstairs. Sure enough, there she was, my 2yr old running laps around the downstairs. I just stood on the landing and watched a few laps. She would fly past the bottom of the stairs and disappear into my office only to reappear in the hallway behind me, going about 100mph with a big grin on her face.
She got around twice before she noticed me. “I’m running daddy!” “Mommy sleeping!”
“Yes yes Anne Marie that’s very nice, now Anne Marie need sleeping.” Yeah tell me you don’t start talking like your kid when you’re trying to reason with them.
The next night I found her in Franks room around 2am. She was playing trains. Frank? He was out cold, face down on his pillow, not a care in the world and no recollection of his little sister desecrating his Thomas trains merely by touching them. That little fact will remain a secret from Mr. Drama at least until he gets so bored he starts reading this.
The next night I found her around 4am trying to open the baby gate at the top of the stairs. She was being very quiet about it. This is a departure from her banshee like screaming when she inadvertently lets the gate shut during the day and she gets stuck upstairs for more then .22 nano seconds. No, she knew she was doing wrong and was attempting to mask her misdeeds.
Anyway the morning after her quiet escape attempt Tracy found Anne Marie’s hat at the foot of our bed. She was wearing it when she went to bed. She never naps or sleeps without her hat. So at some point in the middle of the night or early morning, she came in our room and left without us knowing it. That required opening and closing our bedroom door. Not sure if she left the hat by mistake or was sending us a message like, “Any time I want. You’ll never hear me coming.” That’ll make you sleep with one eye open. Look man, she already knows how to handle a blade. Read this: Running with scissors.
So let this serve not just as a funny story about how one little she devil is slowly killing me, but a public service announcement as well. If Anne Marie appears at the foot of your bed in the early morning hours, two things have happened: I forgot to close the baby gate again and you forgot to lock your front door.
You’ve been warned.