Friday, April 25, 2008

Fire Station

[posted by bkmarcus]

This morning, Benjamin took his first tour of Charlottesville's main fire station. He was most interested in the giant wheels of the fire engine.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

no more crib

[posted by bkmarcus]
Last Saturday, Benjamin and Nathalie returned from Kentucky quite tired. They both looked groggy and had apparently both slept throughout the flight back.

Benjamin had slept in a borrowed pack-n-play while there, and Saturday night was his first time back in his own crib in almost a week. But rather than sleeping in Sunday morning, he awakened around 5 or 6 AM and cried endlessly. When his mother tried to calm him down, he did something he'd never done before. He climbed out of his crib.

There's the inevitable feeling of pride mixed in with all the other sources of ambivalence as I report that. Any step up the ladder of childhood development is an opportunity to celebrate, but this was one of the scariest ones for a couple of reasons:
  1. climbing out of the crib does not mean climbing down safely;
  2. to be candid, I'll admit that the crib is a handy sort of prison cell, and our beloved inmate could now escape.
What both reasons have in common is that we were very worried for Benjamin's safety and had lost the one place we could put him and relax knowing that he couldn't hurt himself.

When Benjamin climbed out of his crib, he started to topple head first to the hardwood floor. Fortunately Nathalie caught him. It occurred to me that the sides of his pack-n-play (see photo to the right) might be taller than the sides of his crib, but no such luck. He immediately climbed out and began to fall, head first, to the floor. This time I caught him.

We took him into bed with us, and he did sleep for maybe 45 minutes, but then it was time to get up and play, which his overwrought mother acceded to. His father, with more sleep than the rest of the family, spent the day researching options, none of which could apply to Sunday night. I ordered a crib tent (see photo to the left) but it wouldn't arrive until midweek and we needed a solution — at least a temporary solution — within the next few hours.

This is where the narrative gets told out of sequence. Back in January, I wondered when Benjamin would start to climb out of his crib. I had read not to worry about it until he was 2 years old, but I decided to be prepared. When we selected his crib 2 years ago, we picked a "3-in-1" model — one that could be converted from crib to toddler bed with an in-between stage for transition. To go from crib to bed requires only that we remove one of the sides. To do the in-between configuration, we'd have to order an extra part, a guard rail to keep baby/toddler from rolling out of bed. What I discovered in January was that our model of crib had been discontinued, and with it, the matching guard rail. So I corresponded with the parent company of the crib maker and then with a retail outlet of a sibling brand of cribs, then back and forth between them for a while to get their stories straight, since the model numbers differed between company and store, and finally paid for the guard rail (and shipping) for a different-but-similar line of cribs. Only problem was the current cribs didn't come in natural blond wood, just white or dark wood. We ordered white to go with the white accents in Benjamin's mostly blue room. Then in March (yes, 2 months later!) the store called me back and said that white had also been discontinued (!) and that all they had was dark wood. Fine, fine. Just send it along.

The piece arrived the week Benjamin and Nathalie were in Kentucky. I had stored it in the back of his closet, figuring we wouldn't need it until this summer at the earliest. What good timing that it was there.

So I spent Sunday evening converting his bed and then attaching safety locks to all his drawers. If he's going to be free to roam his room at night, we don't want him to be able to climb up onto anything he could fall off of, or to pull anything heavy over onto himself. His new prison is bigger, but (we hope) just as safe as the old one.

The first few nights, he'd come and cry at the locked door of his nursery (which is a screen door I put in 2 years ago so that we could always look in on him — and, later, so that he could look out), but now he seems to be adjusting. I suspect we'll return the crib tent, unopened.

Here are some photos of Benjamin sleeping in his new big-boy bed:

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free time

[posted by bkmarcus]


Friday, April 11, 2008

friends & family plan

[posted by bkmarcus]
Benjamin is in Kentucky visiting friends and family.

Benjamin and Sebastian

Benjamin and Katarina

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

petit crapaud

[posted by bkmarcus]

At 21 months, Benjamin meets his first toad.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

the turtle standard

[posted by bkmarcus]
The giant wooden turtle at Cville Coffee will probably remain a good place to take Benjamin's picture, so it may well become our standard for showing his growth over time. Here are a couple of photos of the boy and the turtle, one taken when he (the boy, not the turtle) was around 12 months old, and one taken when he was closer to 21 months (which, by the way, he turned today).

- papa

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