pris·on [priz-uhn] noun
1.a building for the confinement of persons held while awaiting trial, persons sentenced after conviction, etc.
2.any place of confinement or involuntary restraint.
Let’s call a crib what it really is: a prison. We place our babies in these “prisons” for their own good. We don’t want them to get loose. We don’t want them to hurt themselves. We place them in these “prisons” for the sake of our sanity. The peace of mind bought by knowing your child is safe and secure in his or her crib is priceless. Knowing your child cannot get out and make a mess is also priceless.
Last night I placed Baby C in his crib after his nightly ritual of brushing his teeth and loving everybody up. He began to cry after I closed the door to his room, and I decided to let him cry it out since this is becoming a trend. I want him to be able to fall asleep without having to lay down with him. I want him to know that it’s okay to be in his room alone.
So I went downstairs and was fiddling around on the computer while I listened to him cry. This is not a pleasant thing to endure, but it was something I felt I needed to do. A handful of minutes later one of the twins comes downstairs.
“Didn’t you put Baby C in bed?” he asked.
“Then how’d he get in our room?”
I rose from my chair and walked to the bottom of the stairs and, sure enough, there stood my other twin holding Baby C at the top of the stairs. I walked upstairs to put Baby C back in his crib. While I was in his room he pointed towards the floor. “Lay down?” he asked.
Lately I have been laying on the floor in his room when he wakes up at night so he doesn’t get in the habit of coming to bed with me. I’m trying to teach him that he needs to sleep in his bed and that crying in the middle of the night isn’t an automatic ticket to sleeping in bed with me. Unfortunately, this has taught him that I need to lay on his floor when he’s upset. Oh, well. At least I can get up and go back to my bed after he’s asleep instead of having toddler feet up my ass all night.
I went to my room and grabbed a pillow. I threw it on the floor in his room and laid down. After a few minutes had passed he was sound asleep. I picked myself and my pillow up from his floor and proceeded to get myself ready for bed. After my nightly rituals were complete, I put myself to bed and promptly passed out.
The next thing I know it’s the middle of the night. It’s pitch black. I hear a tiny voice jauntily say, “Oh, hi, Daddy!” And then I feel a small creature climb into bed with me.
I was too tired to fight him. It was the dead of night and I was still half asleep. Fuck it, I thought. I just rolled over and went back to sleep.
Tonight I converted his crib to a toddler bed and put a gate on his bedroom door. I win.