He Does All His Own Stunts

Posted by on November 12, 2006

First there was the doggy door incident where I turned my back on P for a minute to throw some laundry in the machine. I turned around to find him still chattering away in the general proximity of the patio but on the other side of the screen. AS IN OUTSIDE!

Yes officer, that is correct. The last time I saw my toddler was right before he absconded through the DOGGY DOOR!

Then there was the dishwasher incident where I left P sitting on the carpet 10 feet away, playing with a few of his favorite non-toys (my wallet, my headset and an old cellphone) while I went to the bathroom. When I returned less than a minute later, he was gone.

I followed the noise to the kitchen where I found him standing on the opened dishwasher door with the cat next to him and his hand in my box of Captain Crunch. I removed him, with much protest, and when I went to close up the cereal, I noticed he had stashed some forks and knives inside. And then I noticed he had very kindly emptied a few glasses from the dishwasher and placed them on the counter. Glasses? Forks? Knives? All he needed to complete the scenario was a lighter and some rat poison…

And now Dangerboy’s latest antic…climbing out of his crib head first. CRIB DIVING, DAMMIT!!!!

Of course we appreciate the punk rockness of it, honey, but it’s gotta stop.

So…this means the doggy door must be closed whenever P is on the patio. And now I have to use the dreaded baby gates since he knows how to lock and unlock the dishwasher, as well as turn it on. And it also means we are the owners of another new baby safety device.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold THE CRIB TENT!
Yes, I know it looks mean but we tried letting him sleep with the crib rails down and just a bed rail for safety. We did. And it was folly, people. PURE FOLLY. We’d put him in the crib. He’d climb out and be at the bedroom door before we’d even closed it and then he’d just cry and twist the doorknob relentlessly. We tried everything that we thought would work with someone who is 16 months old and doesn’t understand reason or logic. And well…you can see from the photo above how it all turned out.
After one night of such foolishness, I went to that circle of hell known as Babies R Us, paid my seventy fricken dollars (for a piece of mesh and a couple tent poles???) and bought the damned crib tent and despite it’s bondage-friendly appearance, P doesn’t seem to mind it at all. My chief complaint, aside from the obscene price is the fact that it was so unwieldy and hard to put on. Other than that, it does what it’s supposed to do and uh, as long as P doesn’t invent any new ways to endanger himself, he ought to make it to two in one piece.

And just in case you’re wondering how I could be so clueless about things like dishwashers and doggy doors, I plead ignorance. My daughter was nothing like this. She never got into anything or attempted any crazy stunts. I had NO idea toddlers could be so wily and insane. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


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  • Lady M says:

    He can do all that at 16 months old? Wow! You might want to look into biographies of Houdini to be prepared. Q is a few months older, and has just figured out how quick he can be on the playground. I can’t keep up!

  • For some reason I’m just now realizing that our sons are the exact same age! Anyway….my son does the EXACT same thing with the doggy door. We have one from our family room doors out to the backyard and he uses it like it’s his own personal portal to the outside. It’s was hilarious at first, but we really do have to keep it closed any time he’s in the house now.

    And about the whole pulling knives out of the dishwasher….Totally been there too. It scares me SO bad. I have to really keep an eye on him.

    He hasn’t escaped his crib yet, but something tells me I’ll be buying a crib tent soon!

  • beachmommy says:

    Been ther Done That! with regards to the crib tent … and for the exact same reason (I thought those tents were only for the tropics – HA!) Ours went on when after a nap at 15 months, I went in to his room and every surface in the room that he could reach or climb onto, including himself, was COVERED with vaseline from the huge mongo-vat that was on his changing table!!!! It took weeks to get it all out of his hair! And we just replaced the carpet because that was a lost cause…
    He an the tent were best friends for another year!
    GOOD LUCK with your escape artist!

  • Janet says:

    Yeah, I don’t know anything about that either. My daughter loved her crib and never once climbed out. I never needed a gate or to babyproof anything. Now I do it becasue of our puppy…believe that?

    Hope the tent works. My SIL used it for both of her daughters and loved it.

  • Pattie says:

    You aren’t going to resort to kid leashes now are you? Don’t worry, I won’t tell Kristen. *LOL*
    Just kidding! You know, my son was the same way, too. He did things that I had never even THOUGHT of. So, I feel your pain. I must say though, if my child tried to eat MY Captain Crunch, I might have to sell him *hahahaha!*

  • My daughter was the textbook baby: napped when she should, ate when she should, obeyed all the rules, grew the way the books said she would, etc. At ten years old, she’s still the pleaser and the rule follower, but puberty is on the horizon, and I’m starting to get the chills.

    My son was the most laid-back, easy-going infant. He was pretty textbook himself UNTIL he turned 1 year old. At 12 months he eschewed all vestiges of babyhood (breast, bottle, strollers, baby food, etc.) and became A KID. He started his “into everything” stage and tried to “cute” his way out of trouble by flashing his dimples. He never laughed in the face of danger as your son seems to be doing, but he always seemed to be able to find other kinds of trouble.

    Today he is 7 years old, and my biggest frustration with him is that he is so bright and talented but SO LAZY and UNMOTIVATED. He likes to use his own rules and hates to be given direction. Ugh. His teacher assures me it would be worse if he had a behavioral problem (he is never malicious or deceitful; he just likes to do things his own way regardless of the rules). I guess so, but I’m doubtful.

  • Oh, and kid leashes were a must with my son. Since he never wanted to ride in the stroller once he learned to run (notice I said RUN not walk) he had to have the leash. The stroller came along to serve as the carrier for the diaper bag and for transporting my son whenever his “off switch” was engaged.

  • tori says:

    My twins did all kinds of stuff that my first enver did. I felt stupid every time, as if I should have known, but I just didn’t. When my twins started with the crib diving, we just put their crib mattress on the floor and they stayed there. Luckily for me, for the most part they didn’t really think to come out of their room.

  • Kristi says:

    And now that you’ve taken away the dishwasher, along with the knives and glasses, the doggy door and crib diving, he will be finding other devices to worry you sick over.

  • Mr. Fabulous says:

    Babies that are smarter than me make me nervous…

  • Lisa says:

    Kids are QUICK. It’s a wonder we haven’t had serious damage here! I feel your pain!!

  • Mombat says:

    Yes, yes, he’s clearly advanced. Of course, the crib diving could set the brain development back a bit. In my son’s case, the kind saying was “he tends to lead with his head.” Six ER visits later we seem to have reversed the trend. Good luck!

  • EXACTLY. Tacy never did even 1% of the crazy shit that CJ does. I was thoroughly unprepared.

    I’m familiar with the dishwasher-as-step-stool trick. But a crib tent? You’ve REALLY got your hands full.

  • Mary-LUE says:

    I foolishly put a kid size version of an armchair pillow in my son’s crib when he was about your son’s age. Maybe a couple of months older. He quite quickly used it as a step to get out. So I took it out. He knew, though, that he could get out. Fortunately I was in the room when he launched (this word is not an exaggeration) himself out of the crib, flying about three feet away from the crib. I actually caught him!

    We went right out and bought a bedrail and a twin bed that was already in his room. We were fortunate that he basically stayed in there and only got out to wander the house once or twice.

    Good luck, dear!

  • Oh, The Joys says:

    Let us know how that thing works… If it doesn’t work for it’s intended purpose, just think of all the deviled eggs you can keep the flies off of at your next summer picnic!

  • Kristen says:

    Well, you know how I feel about the tent. With the broken leg and all :) Good move.

  • jen says:

    wily and insane…love it. at least you are ready for safari, that mesh can double nicely as malaria repellent.

  • motherbumper says:

    I know my little lady will be like him – thanks for the heads up and product info – I”ll be printing this one for future reference ;)

  • Jenny says:

    I am so glad I had a girl.

  • Lisa B says:

    I hear those little tent thingees are awesome! (I have a friend with a danger baby too!)

    Its a good thing my son isn’t a danger kid — he’s klutzy and gets himself hurt enough that way!

  • OMG Izzy, I shuddered when I saw that crib tent. As you know, I have 3 kids and when my oldest was around 17 months, he too climbed out of his crib and we installed the same crib tent. He was so upset at first when we closed the tent when he goes to bed, but after a while, he got used to that tent and would not be able to sleep unless the tent was zipped closed. It was like he was “conditioned” to be in that tent.

    We moved him to a big bed eventually and he had such a terrible time falling asleep. I think he felt the comfort of being in a confined space. I feel so guilty now in retrospect of using that crib tent. I think we should have transition him to a toddler bed instead of using that crib tent. I hope this works out for P, but I just want to let you know our experience with it.

  • sarah says:

    My baby specializes in the “disapearing” act. I found my long lost 5 pound chunk of cheddar cheese the other day after missing it for almost a week stashed in the back of the silverware drawer. Keys in the potty, phone in the underwear drawer – she’s a genius!

  • stefanierj says:

    LOVE the crib tent idea, and may have to look into it if D extends his climbing repertoire beyond Everything In Our Living Room. He doesn’t seem to mind the crib just now, though, so shhhhh.

    My question is–how the freak do you get him out? Don’t tell me you have to untie it every time! I am way too lazy to do that. Of course, I am so cheap that if I spent $70 on it, I’d damn sure do it, but still….

  • This is my future. This is my future. This is my future, which is beginning NOW. Oh, hell.

  • MamaDuck says:

    Ha ha ha, I can see my little guy doing that, he LOVES the dishwasher ;). Glad it all worked out ok!!

  • Peetsmom says:

    Oh, I KNOW what you’re going through. My son pulled the same crib diving at 16 months as well! Pure crazyness ensued! He did not understand why he had to stay in that crib! He would not hear of it! My memory is of him on one side of the door, pulling…me on the other side – holding the door knob! Him – screaming – me – frustrated beyond belief. We ended up getting the tallest baby gate we could find and then had to add cardboard to the back of it because the little bugger would get his little toes and fingers in there and climb over it!! Ah yes…fond memories…he’s nine now! Hang in there!

  • Jill says:

    This MUST be a boy thing….. I am the mom of two girls and this has NEVER happned in our home…. only when my nephew comes over! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Just make sure he doesn’t smuggle any kitchen knives into bed to cut his way out of the crib tent. Otherwise, the tent looks like the perfetto solution to me.

  • Ohhhhh, I feel your pain. I know you’ve read about my trials with Diminutive One. He was like a pint sized Harry Houdini. There wasn’t a baby gate, or a crib tent, or a stroller strap that could contain him. And after a while, cabinet, refrigerator, toilet lid and VCR locks didn’t even slow him down.

    A good compromise is a twin bed with rails. It doesn’t keep them in, but once they figure out they can get out, very little will. It does keep them from falling out during the night. It was a tearful day when we said goodbye to the crib, but it was either that or risk brain damage from a fall.

    I had no clue until my second one either. :?)

  • Aprylsantics says:

    My daughter was the daredevil. I had to put ramps made of comforters and floor pillows on the arms of my couch to prevent backflip injury when she was 18 months old. Needless to say, I was prepared for a boy. As luck would have it, he’s a very laid back kid and I only have to tell him once to stop doing something. My 5-year-old daughter is still looking for trouble.

  • kittenpie says:

    I keep living in fear of the day Pumpkinpie realizes that she cuold in fact get out of her crib and dive onto the futon beside it, but so far she seems content to stand in there are call for me. It means I’m just insane enough not to go take a shower if she’s in there but awake, though, because I am paranoid about being the mom whose daughter breaks a bone while I’m singing in the shower. Crazy, I know. I’ve already seen the look on Misterpie’s face, thank you.

  • Lisa G says:

    We call my son Houdini sometimes. He can get out of anything. AAAAAAAAck. Nerve wracking I know!!

    Hang in there.


  • Chantal says:

    My son’s entire life has been devoted to flying in the face of anything I thought I knew about parenting from parenting his three older sisters!

  • barbex says:

    I so know that “my first child never did anything like that!” feeling! And that is not a girl/boy thing, I have two boys and the big one was somehow more careful in his adventures. The little one has me running at full speed if I hear any sound in another room cause I have wrangeled knifes, glasses and what not from his hands while he balanced on some stool or the couch. He is just two, he has more in store, I’m sure, scares the hell out of me.

  • Jenna says:

    I watched as Nicholas tenatively put his foot on his play piano today and cringed. No, no, no. NO CLIMBING! *dies*

    That said, Nick’s favorite toy is also my wallet. :)

  • Karla says:

    Oh all the things I will be looking forward too soon. I’ve heard of those crib tents and was actually wondering about them. My cat seems to rather enjoy the comforts of the crib right now and we’re having a hard time keeping him out of there.

  • Dana says:

    That’s crazy that he got out of the doggie door. Kids are too smart for their own good!

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