My aunt and uncle are always gracious to open their home to us when we are in Ohio. We call it the Barton Bed & Breakfast, and it is undoubtedly our home away from home... a very welcome place to be, especially in times like this.
They have many grandchildren, so their home is equipped with all the necessary items for hosting our two small children. In the guest room I have claimed for the week, there is a crib for Tyler and a Pack 'n Play for Tucker.
I put the boys to bed last night, after a very, very long day of catering to their many needs outside of their normal routine or environment. They were exhausted, and I was ready to join the adult world of post-bedtime activities.
As we adults sat in the living room talking about tonight's performances on American Idol, I heard Tucker's voice, "Oh? Mommy? Mommy? Oh?"
He sounded closer than the bedroom where I had left him, and sure enough, I found him standing in the hallway. I was shocked. How did this happen??
I didn't punish him for getting out of bed, largely because I really wanted to see how on earth he had done it. There are no toys for him to stack and climb on, there is absolutely no way for him to gain leverage from inside, and the walls of the Pack 'n Play come up to his armpits. And none of us heard a thump, as he would have come crashing to the ground after throwing himself over the side. Clearly, he made a very clean and graceful exit.
Seriously, how did this happen??
So I asked him. We went back into the bedroom, I put him inside the Pack 'n Play, and I said, "How did you get out, Tuck? Can you show Mommy? How did you do that?"
He pointed. "Out."
"Yes. Right. But how? Did you come this way? Or did you come over that side? How did you get out?"
He gave me a sly smile. "Out."
We continued this oh-so-productive dialogue for a few minutes, but to no avail. I truly wanted him to try it again, just so I could see how his masterful mind had figured it out.
I still don't know.
I finally told him to stay in bed. "Do not get out again. Mommy loves you. Stay in bed. Good night."
You know, it occurs to me that in another 15 years, he just might say to me, "Oh, that whole speech delay? No, I could talk by the time I was a year old, but I found it worked far greater to my advantage to keep my mouth shut."