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One step ahead

Written by: Josh August 29 2011 So I walked into Bub’s room the other morning. It was 6:00, that time when I groggily stumble in to give him his fikey and gently coax him back to sleep for another hour. He’s crying, it’s dark, I flip on the bathroom light across the hall so I...

Written by: Josh

So I walked into Bub’s room the other morning. It was 6:00, that time when I groggily stumble in to give him his fikey and gently coax him back to sleep for another hour.

He’s crying, it’s dark, I flip on the bathroom light across the hall so I can see. But I didn’t expect to see this: I open the door and there’s Bub, sitting up in his crib. Just sitting there, against the rails, crying, like that was a totally normal thing to do.

My first thought was, naturally…DEMON BABY, DEMON BABY!!! He’s been possessed, he is no longer Bub as we knew him, and does anyone know a good exorcist? Okay, a bit rash, maybe, but plausible. Perhaps I watch too many horror flicks, but I could have sworn that yesterday I caught him in the pack n' play, spinning his head around like a basketball on a fingertip. Or maybe it was a dream. Hard to tell these days.

Anyway, second thought (much more rational) was perhaps he is ill. No well baby that I know of (all one of him) sits up in his crib and cries. How long had he been sitting there, exactly? And what force of nature assisted him out of the prone position? We know from hours of laboratory study that Bub cannot, in fact, attain a sitting position from either his stomach or his back. We all live with our limitations. But surely there was an explanation.

Third thought: Mommy was messing with me. She somehow heard him before me, snuck out of our room, into his, sat him up, then snuck back out of his and back into ours without waking me. Yeah, that could happen. But why? What’s the motivation? If there’s a joke there, I don’t get it, honey. I “woke her up” and confronted her about it. Her response is not really appropriate to print, I’m afraid; suffice it to say, she adamantly denied all allegations. Somebody get me a time machine and a rotary phone—I need Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries.

My fourth thought was that Bub somehow fashioned a grappling hook out of Blankie and his fikey. One lucky throw at the rail, one strong tug with a good push off the mattress, and voila! Prone no more. This seemed the most likely scenario, until I tried to picture him actually tying the fikey on. Hmm. And besides, he would never risk it coming loose, going overboard. In object impermanence land, that would be a real crusher.

But after the smoke of the conspiracy theory fires cleared, I was left with the simple, mostly undeniable truth: Bub had gotten himself up, one way or another (MENSA, I await your call). It was shocking, it was incredibly cute, but it was also an eye-opener.

He did it one more time a couple days later, after a nap. And this is when it hit me: If Bub can sit up, perhaps he can stand up. And if he can stand up, that crib bar is just at eye level, etc. Needless to say, we’ve put the crib bar up to it’s highest position.

And that’s what this is all about, really—staying one step ahead. Expecting the unexpected. He sits, we prepare for crawling. He crawls, we’re already ready for him to walk. And so on. I imagine this will go on pretty much indefinitely. Someday, Bub will be a teenager, with a driver’s license and no car. He’ll sneak out into the garage, my keys in his nefarious little hands. And he’ll turn the key, but that car won’t start. And Bub will likely go into his room and sit in his bed and cry, just for old times sake.

Sorry kid, Daddy loves you, but he totally disconnected the battery cables.