The before/after pictures above illustrate a significant milestone in the amount of freedom that Everett is allowed, at least during naps and at night. Never mind that most of our friends and family made this step at a much younger age. Usually this occurs because the crib railing becomes irrelevant, perhaps even dangerous, once the child learns how to climb over it. Everett never did climb out of his crib though we are certain he could have if he wanted to (he was able to climb into it), and we have avoided removing his crib rails for as long as we could. Seriously, who wants a two year old loose in the house? It doesn’t make us bad people – if anything it has made us slightly more sane because the crib has consistently contained him during time-outs and sleeping. We decided to make the change in the hope that when he wakes up in the morning he can entertain himself in his room for a while before waking us up. So on Sunday afternoon we asked him if he would like to have his crib rails removed, and he said “Yes! Can we do that right now?”. His first night in the “big boy bed” went reasonably well. We put a gate up at his door and he only got out of bed a couple times before settling down for the night. After Melissa put him down at his normal bedtime he stood at the gate and called me for a while. When I finally came upstairs he said “Dad, now it’s your turn to put me to bed.” This was a new tactic in a seemingly boundless amount of creativity that he puts into procrastination at bedtime.

On the subject of freedom, Everett now has considerable amounts of it during waking hours, and with the exception of the basement he wanders around the house as he pleases. As his freedom has grown so has his imagination. For example, Big Bird came to our front door this morning and hung out with us for a while after breakfast. Another example is the large number of monsters that live in the house. Interestingly, most of them are benevolent but there are a few bad ones like the goat that screamed at him in the office about a year ago. He remembers this, which is why the office is now called “the monster room”. Lastly, when we stayed with Tina, Dennis and Zach at their house after our trip to Europe last year we made a nest for him to sleep in the closet. In the back of the closet was a small access door for utilities, and he informed us that this was “where the monsters live”, but he didn’t give any indication of fear – if anything he seemed curious about it. We will keep watch on the monster situation and keep everyone informed.

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