Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The escape artist

Dear Daylight Savings Time,

I hate you. Please go away. Nothing personal.

Daylight Saving Time came at a very poor time for us while we're still trying to deal with K's sleep problems. Because of course, when you have a toddler that's already staying up far too late, what you really want is to shove time back an hour so her body thinks it's an hour earlier than it actually is, giving her the stamina to stay up another hour, right?

The sleep avoidance is also harder to deal with in our new house. At the old house, one of us was usually in the room next to hers while she was going to sleep, which usually kept her in her room. Now, we're in the basement, which has led to a toddler running around upstairs at will and getting into any manner of trouble. We've finally resorted to a gates across her doorway. Actually, this is our third gate. The first was a classic tension-mounted gate which she was able to push down (she could have just opened it on her own if she were a little stronger). The second was a gate-type, which she figured out how to open within fifteen minutes. Mind you, we used both of these gates in the old house with no problems. The problem with children is that they keep getting smarter.

So now we have a hardware mounted swing-gate, with four boxes of books in front of it to prevent her from crawling underneath (if we had mounted it lower, she would have been able to climb over it). Does four boxes seem like overkill? Not after Monday night.

We had heard some thumps, but didn't go up investigate right away. When we did, we discovered:

1. She had pushed the top box, filled with magazines, over, spilling magazines all over the place, and then pushed the bottom box out of the way.
2. She had pulled half of the contents out of her dresser. Not unusual, but it added to the atmosphere.
3. She then went to the refrigerator and got two bags of shredded cheese, apparently wanting a snack.
4. Which is why her carpet, the rocking chair, her bed and the top of her low bookcase were all coated in cheese.

It's not like we've never gone up to her room to discover a mess before - the time she got ahold of her diaper cream comes to mind as a particularly memorable moment (as a point of interest, it is very hard to get cream meant to be waterproof out of carpet. And a room with Burt's Bees diaper cream smeared all over it is very pungent). But I think this goes down as the worst.

It shouldn't surprise that the child who was able to get out of a sleepsack put on backwards with a safety pin through the zipper has a talent for getting around gates (thankfully, she doesn't strip any more - she just changes her clothes if she feels like it). I don't care if she plays in her room until she's ready to go to sleep. But when she runs around upstairs to keep herself awake and then rampages through the refrigerator like a teenager, some sort of containment strategy is needed. It's been two nights since we added the extra layer of boxes and she hasn't gotten out yet. I hope this is the box that can finally trap Houdini.

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