A couple weeks ago my little family of four went on a 1,000 mile trip (1,000 miles each way, I might add) and returned 10 days later. Our first night back home our second born son, Maxton, (second born by 2 minutes) escaped from his crib.
Let me back up a few weeks. Maxton had previously tried this feat and we had caught him in the act; he was literally teetering on the top of the crib railing with one leg pointed towards freedom and the other leg still dangling towards his crib. We quickly grabbed him up and said a quick prayer of thanks that he didn’t crash to the ground and hurt himself. But, prior to this incident his mattress had already been lowered to the lowest position on his crib. So, what action did we take to prevent this same escape tactic from happening again? Nathan removed the spring altogether and laid his mattress directly on the floor. “That’ll prevent his ability to escape,” we thought.
Now fast forward back to our first night home after our trip. Nathan woke up first the next morning and went upstairs to get the boys out of their bedroom. When he returned with them he told me the news. Maxton had greeted him at the door. Astounded and worried we checked him all over for bruising, watched for a limp, or anything really. There’s no way that free falling from the top of the crib banister down to the ground didn’t leave him wishing he had made wiser choices. However, it didn’t seem to have phased him, but rather he seemed to be enjoying his new found freedom. All the while, Maverick was cheering him on from inside of his crib as he held on to the railings, bounced up and down, and laughed. There was no way that Maverick wouldn’t try the same trick now that he knew Maxton accomplished it and lived to tell about it.
We still have no idea how he was able to pull himself that high and throw his little body over the side. No idea. The top of the crib was at least 5 or 6 inches above his head once we put his mattress on the floor. That took some serious determination, and muscles too.
So that was the day.
That day we turned their cribs into toddler beds.
That day we kissed a bitter farewell to sleep.
We have had one 8 hour stretch of sleep since then. It’s a vicious cycle. Our boys aren’t good sleepers anyways, but now that they aren’t trapped in their cribs… hmm, that sounds awful… let me rephrase… Now that they aren’t secured in their cribs they get out of bed and run around their nursery screaming every single time they wake up at night. They scream until we come up there and get them. Then they don’t want to go back to sleep in their “big boy” beds. On and on it goes. all. night. long.
Last night we were up with them at 1:30, 2:00, 4:00 and when my alarm went off at 5:00 they were both in the bed with us. It reminds us of their newborn days. The bags under our eyes and zombie like concentration during the day reminds us of those days too.
These moments are frustrating, no doubt. I often wonder when this phase will end. Will we ever feel rested again? It’s been almost two years and they still don’t sleep well. Some days I feel like it’s slowly killing us. But, even in my frustration I am reminded how blessed we are.
Today at work, well really almost every day that I work, but especially today, I had a young patient that had been in a serious accident and I just felt sick on my stomach. Those parents are no different from us. They are tired and weary at times too, but they love their child more than life itself, I’m sure. It was just a gentle reminder to me that every single day and every single restless, sleepless night with our children is a precious gift.
When I got home today I hugged them each a little tighter, smelled that sweet baby scent in their hair for a minute longer, and kissed their sweet faces a few more times. So tonight, as I’m gearing up for another long night, it doesn’t seem so daunting. I’m just so very thankful that I have them to love on and take care of.