Turns out that we didn't have to decide when to move Cameron from the crib to a bed on the floor after all: he let us know in no uncertain terms that it was time when he started flipping out of his crib. I've heard plenty of stories about kids who climbed out of cribs, kids whose mommies found them balancing precariously on the crib rail and screaming, and a myriad other stories about crib escape artists. But the only crib flipper (like that term?) I'd ever heard about was my younger brother Jakob, until now.
I should interject here (can I interject on myself? whatever...) that Cam has always been a climber. It isn't unusual these days to find him on top of the changer on the pack 'n' play we have in the living room, on chairs, tables, etc. In fact, I just went up to his room and retrieved him from the large oak changing table we have in there. He was standing on top of it, flipping the light switch on and off. My only clue that he was up was that his "white noise" machine kept going on and off on the baby monitor. Since we have the light and noise maker on the same circuit, I knew exactly what he was doing. Still...I have no clue how he got up there.
This has been going on for months and months. In fact, I think he was only around 9 months old when I turned around in the living room to find him on the TV. He'd climbed the coffee table (which is against our college-era, floor entertainment stand to keep the kids out of the stereo and DVD/VCR stuff...) and from there climbed on top of the television. Thank goodness he's tired of that "mountain" - it used to be a daily adventure. :) Of course, he's moved on from there.
We have a "pass-through" window from our kitchen into our combined living/dining area. Our table is huge, so we have it pushed against the wall so the boys have extra play space in the living room. One afternoon several months ago, I looked up from loading the dishwasher in the kitchen to find Cam laughing at me, and standing taller than I was. See, Kyler's sister was watching the kids that morning, and we have a kid-sized picnic table that the boys kept climbing on. She (understandably) didn't want her (at the time) 10-month-old learning this nifty trick, so she put it up on the table where they couldn't reach it. Or so she thought. She seriously underestimated the determination of her nephew. As it turned out, the reason Cam was taller than I was, was because he had pushed a chair over to the table (remember, he's only about a year at this point, and these are heavy wooden chairs! The kid is a beast...) climbed up on the dining room table, then climbed up on the toy picnic table, and then stood up on that. He was literally standing about five feet in the air. Crazy kid.
Okay, interjection over. The fam stayed with Kyler's parents for a few nights last week so we could catch most of the Big East Conference Tournament on TV. It was about 11:30pm and nearing (what we thought) was the end of the Syracuse/UConn game when Kyler and I very distinctly heard Cameron calling "Mama..." and then a few seconds later, "Mama..." It was like he was in the room with us. It startled us a bit, especially when we realized we didn't have a baby monitor on. Kyler went to investigate, and found Cameron halfway up the stairs (Kyler's parents have a nursery set up downstairs). Thank goodness he didn't get all the way to the top and try and get over the locked baby gate - that could have been very bad.
So, I took him back down to his room, where I found all of the contents of the top dresser drawer strewn about the floor, along with all of the diapers from the baskets under the changing table. He must have climbed out of the crib and onto the top of the dresser, where he just went to town with all of the interesting things in there. We picked up, turned the lights back off (he'd turned them on), turned on his lullaby machine, rocked and sang, and I tucked him into the crib with his taggie and blanket. He said, "night-night" as I left and closed the door. I walked up the stairs, closed the gate, got a glass of water, and sat down to watch the game again, and we heard, "Mama..."
He was on the stairs - again - in like 10 seconds! He had stood up, turned the light on in the nursery, flipped out of the crib, opened the door, and gotten halfway up the stairs in that short amount of time. So...crib days are over. There's a toddler bed in the guestroom at my in-laws, so we tried laying him down in there. Total freakout, as expected. After an hour of screaming (and I mean screaming, this kid has some pipes!) we gave up for awhile and Cam joined Daddy in the living room for what turned out to be six overtimes - until about 1:30am. He finally went to sleep - in the toddler bed - at around 3am (Kyler did most of the work after 1am - I love you, husband!) and stayed through the night. As soon as we got home, we arranged Cam's room and put the crib mattress on the floor. We've had a few rough nights this week, but mostly the transition has been wonderfully uneventful.
Now, if I could only get him to stop flipping over the back of the couch...