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November 17, 2013

We knew Madison was ready for the transition from her crib to a toddler bed by the sound of the thud we heard after she climbed out and landed on the floor.  She had just turned 2 years old at the time so we knew this moment was coming and had even discussed it, but the thought of her climbing out like a zoo animal executing an escape plan confirmed that time had arrived.

A random day towards the beginning of July, Allison had the day off from work and after a morning full of coloring and other fun toddler events she put Madison in her crib for an afternoon nap then went into our room to fold and put away laundry, the most exciting of all household chores.  She collapsed shirts into themselves and set stray socks aside for the matching game she would play once the bottom of the basket was discovered again when she heard something hit the floor across the hall then echo even louder through the baby monitor.  Once she ran in, saw Madison on the floor and registered the noise was the result of a failed dismount combined with a sloppy landing, they both started crying. 

Something worth noting about Madison is how tough she is.  Sure she has a ribbon in her hair more often than not, she’ll quickly announce purple as her favorite color with pink as an alternate and she’s drawn to glitter like Mariah Carey, but all of those feminine details disguise a brave and tenacious little girl.  She will slide across concrete and dust herself off, she’ll slip on the hardwood floor and laugh about it, she will over zealously play the drums and accidentally hit herself in the head… but she will not cry about it.

She will cry when you cry.  Compassion.  Something she was born with.

Once Allison patted her down confirming she wasn’t hurt and wiped the tears from both of their cheeks, I received a text the time had come to remove the crib railing.  I was nervous.  Allison was nervous.  Madison was excited.  I was concerned that she wouldn’t stay in her bed and I would wake up at 3am with her breathing in my face... which actually occurred the second time she crawled out of her crib.  She also pulled my eyelids apart with the thumb and index finger of her right hand that morning (you may have seen mention of this event on Twitter when it happened).

We removed the railing that night.  We didn't remove it after the initial incident in hopes the fall would discourage her from trying again allowing us a little more mileage out of the crib, but no such luck.  We removed the railing immediately.

With the railing removed from her crib, the toddler bed now allowed her access to climb off and on at her leisure.  There was nothing to contain her.  There was nothing to contain the rush of emotions we had watching from the sidelines either as our baby morphed into this walking, talking little girl who could now get in and out of bed by herself. 

There is never enough time to soak in one phase entirely before moving onto another.

Every night after we have turned out the lights, read two bedtime stories (she picks one for both Allison and I to read individually, lately this one is in heavy rotation) and we've tucked her in, we sit with her as she says her prayers.  We encourage Madison to pray for whatever she wants, whatever she’s thankful for, whatever she feels the need to mention and she always includes the comfy bed she sleeps in.  We pray that we’re always able to provide that for her.

As for the removed railing...

...Allison decided to place it in our home office where it's vertically propped up against a blank section of one wall currently holding catalogs/magazines.  Maybe it could hold Christmas cards in a few weeks?  We figured we'll keep it there until Madison is ready for her big girl bed then we can store the entire crib/toddler bed all at once.  Or maybe the toddler bed will need to transition back into a crib by then?  A certain someone with red hair and a subtle cabbage patch obsession has been showing symptoms of baby fever and I think it's contagious. When asking Madison what she wanted for Christmas the other day, her response was a baby sister.

{sigh} I hope Santa is prepared to let her down gently when she sits on his lap this year.


  1. First off. Madison really is so adorable.

    And Hey! Thanks for the banner! That's really fun. :) Also, I wanted to say that my mom has dropped by your blog a few times and enjoyed it. She liked the DAD perspective AND obviously your writing and photos. :)

    Mateo is still in his crib. I almost can't believe he hasn't tried to climb out yet. I really should convert soon but we're keeping him in his cage, er crib for a bit longer. I need to take a few deep breathes before we engage in that next stage.

    And OH, I like the Christmas card idea!

    OH, and where did you guys get that Zebra. And can Mateo copy it? So cute. :)

    1. Thanks! Tell your mom she can stop by anytime.

      As far as Mateo goes... let him sleep in the crib as long as possible. If Madison didn't attempt the circus act of climbing out, she would probably still be in hers. We have to hold on to what little bit is left of the baby stages. Right?

      The zebra came from Pier 1 a while ago; I'm not sure if they still carry it or not. I couldn't find it on their website, but they rotate their stuffed animals all the time so he could make a comeback soon. In the meantime, they do have a few others that are really cute (I like the fox).

  2. Haha, prying your eyes open in the middle of the night! Glad she wasn't hurt the multiple times she fell out of the crib. You know, when we first removed our son's crib railing, he stayed in his room & cried/whimpered for us. Something about his blanket falling off. Then, it stopped. Then potty training happened. Then baby sister came along. Now we have nightly visits from him wanting one of us, mostly dad, to sleep in his twin bed with him. Guess we should enjoy it (?).

    1. I'm so glad she wasn't hurt either. Two times felt like two too many! I would agree... I try to remember and enjoy every stage because they don't seem to last very long at this age. Just think though, you get to do it all over again with that cute little girl of yours.


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