But it still came as a surprise -- the day Joey climbed up the ladder and onto the top bunk.
Over the past few months, as Joey has gotten more and more mobile, finding a place to play that was safe from him became harder and harder. Eventually, the only safe place -- the only place free from little hands that like to chunk sippy cups at heads and rip pages out of books -- was the top bunk. And this week, the safehouse was compromised.
It was a day of rampant emotions. I heard a comotion, and walked in to see this:
He was on the third out of five rungs, and working very hard. Conner and Micah had walked into the room and were excited at first, then scared. "Moooooommmm-mmmy! Come quick!"
By the time I was got there (I took my time, I hear that a lot, and it's usually not nearly as urgent as it sounds!), he was nearly there.
At that point, there was not much I could do. I could have taken him down, but he already knew he could do it. He'd go right back. So I ran and got the camera. And sure enough, he made it to the bed -- where he immediately tried to stand up.
With fun things like bunk beds come lots of rules, "No standing on the bed" being one of them. So Joey was told to sit down. Several times. Finally needed a little swat on the bottom and help sitting down. He was stunned at first. But then he tried it again. This time, as soon as I said, "Sit down," he started crying.
I suppose that's one of the tough things about growing up, about getting some freedom -- all the rules.
So now (when they're not trying to get away from him), Conner and Micah will often climb up on their bed and beckon Joey to join them. Apparently it's even more fun when you're climbing up to join an audience.
And he still cries a lot up there. Between the nearly six-foot drop and the ceiling fan, his mother is a bit of a nervous wreck. When we got the "bump beds" in preparation to add Josiah to our family, I was very nervous about Micah (then about 22 months) climbing the ladder and playing on the top bunk. And now my almost-fourteen-month-old is doing it, too. I do hope that there is not an ER trip in my near future, but I feel that it is nearly imminent.
So in the mean-time, I'm trying to find the balance between letting the baby roam and learn to hang on his own -- and being a safe and responsible mother. Usually I let him climb up a few times a day while I'm watching, and then it's not long before the ladder gets put away. You see, he cannot get down on his own. And I'm not sure that he is physically able to climb back down that ladder. When he wants down, he holds onto the edge, stands up, and begins to lean over. We're working on "down" or "please" but for now it's crying. It may be a long few months. Hopefully we won't befriend the ER too well...