Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My 1AM Wake Up Call

Chase doesn't so much have a monitor in his room at night anymore.   Not so much because he doesn't need it, which he doesn't, for the most part, because he usually sleeps through the night, and if he doesn't he yells loud enough for me to hear him down the hall, but because I use it more during the day and I forget to bring the parent part of it upstairs at night.

Well, last night, close to 1am, I heard him calling for me.  So I stumble out of bed and toward his room, only to notice that his voice isn't coming from his is coming from downstairs.


Background:  a couple weeks ago Chase figured out how to outsmart the toddler doorknob guards that I used to keep him in his room.  His hands are just little and sticky enough to get behind the contraption and turn the knob to open it.  So, I did what any responsible parent would do to keep him in his room during nap time:  I turned the whole knob around so I could lock him in from the outside.  Fire hazard?  Perhaps.  But the boy needs his naps.

That system works great when I remember to lock it.  You know where this is going, right?

Last night, I put Chase to bed and he went right to sleep.  And I closed the door and forgot to lock it.  And then little man woke up in the middle of the night, let himself out of his room, and traipsed downstairs all by himself.  

When I made it downstairs and picked him up (he was just sitting at the bottom of the stairs yelling, "Mommeee!  Mommeeeeeeee!"), he looks at me and asks, "...Gabba...?"  Um, no.  No Yo Gabba Gabba at 1am, sir.  Back to bed with you.

And as I was turning to carry his disappointed little self back to his room, I noticed that not only had I left his room door unlocked, but also the front door.  No dead bolt, no knob lock- nothing.  I got a pukey pit-of-my-stomach feeling.  He could have (and would have, I am sure, if it had taken much longer for me to get downstairs) opened that front door and walked straight outside in the middle of the night, and no one would have known until morning.  

I had a very hard time falling back to sleep with all of the scenarios racing through my mind.  I still get sick to my stomach when I think about what could have happened.

It is so difficult and frustrating, when he has the physical capabilities of a 3 year old, and the urge for the independence of one (not that at three Ian was ready to walk around the neighborhood in the middle of the night by himself, but he could certainly walk next door by himself or play in the culdesac with visual supervision) but cognitively, he is right at about 2 years old and completely lacks any kind of fear of the unknown and has no concept about limits.  

Constant vigilance, I tell you.  Constant.  Even while he sleeps.  You can bet I will be putting that monitor back in his room full time so I can hear every little sound that child makes from now on.


Angelle said...

Holy CRAP! That is scary!!! So glad he was just waiting patiently for you to get downstairs.

Anonymous said...

oh my!! Thank God everyone is safe and sound.

Mindi said...

OMG! Laurie, that is so scary! Wr still have a monitor for that very reason. I'm glad he's safe and sound!

Anonymous said...

just imagine the things i'm going to pull when i have kids. You're a good mom.


Nikki said...

I've had a few holy crap parent moments lately that make me so very, very thankful that I was one of the lucky ones to have escaped with a lesson learned, instead of a tragedy on my hands. My heart aches for all the families that don't get that lucky. Now that I'm a parent, especially a parent of three, I can totally see how these little slip ups can happen. Glad that Chase knew to get you in on the action before anything happened!

Bethany said...

Yikes! I hear ya sister ... we lost Payton at Hollywood Studios and the scenarios are crazy. She has awesome gross motor skills too, that doesn't always benefit, does it! LOL. Little stinkers!!!!

Chris said...

Ok, the Yo Gabba Gabba made me laugh because I could see John doing the same thing. I am pretty impressed that he could open the door. Both that he is tall enough and has fine motor skills.

Must admit I am guilty of still having John in crib. He is still so little and I am so nervous about him getting up in the middle of the night. Thinking that gate at the top of the stairs will be in our future for bedtime (fire hazzard) Glad everyone is safe.

Michelle Z said...

Oh gosh, Laurie, that's so scary! Those are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. We have a gate at the top of our stairs, so no one can wander down in the night without my knowing it - and Ruby is still in her crib. We tried a toddler bed for a couple weeks and it was a huge failure at the time.