For instance, she's had a huge impact on his vocabulary and verbal skills. We always wondered if her bubbly, outgoing personality would cause him to grow up a little quieter. I could have easily pictured her talking for a younger sibling. But that has not been the case.
My little baby boy is speaking in sentences these days. And the things that come out of his mouth are often Clara-isms. Like, "Sorry 'bout that!" and "It's yogurt time!" He has his own phrases too, like constantly telling me about the happenings of "Thomas the Engine," which he somehow makes into a two-syllable word since his little baby mouth can barely get out what he wants to tell us.
I really think having a one-year-older sibling has brought him up to her level with speech, and other skills as well. They're so close in age that he tries really hard to keep up, and is usually successful.
That has all been great, until last week. He was successful in learning something from her, alright. But it was something I most definitely did not want him to be taught.
My sweet 19-month-old is now climbing out of his crib.
It started a couple weeks in to them sharing a room. We had two different stints of house guests in June, plus we stayed in a hotel for a few days, and so they basically shared a room the entire month. It was going so well that we were even considering making it a permanent thing (Ryan was already dreaming up plans for a little man-corner in our third bedroom).
Then Luke decided that this escaping-from-your-crib thing that his sister does looked pretty interesting. And he had no trouble with it at all. Like most boys, he is a natural-born climber.
|He was so tired that he almost fell asleep like this.|
For now, we're back in the newborn days of watching the monitor like a hawk. But that's just when I'm awake. I'm not really worried about him waking up and getting out overnight, because it wouldn't be like him to wake up calmly in the night and scheme about escaping his bed. He'd just scream for me. I'm more worried about what he may do in the morning before Ryan and I wake up.
And my biggest fear isn't even that he might hurt himself getting out. It's that he might climb on the double bed that is in there (his room also functions as a guest room) and jump and fall. Oh, there are countless ways to break a bone in this predicament!
But the hardest part so far has been that he no longer just cries in his crib at night when he doesn't want to sleep. Those days are over. He now just climbs out. And I go back and put him back in, over and over, for hours. My sister, brother-in-law and I tag-teamed and did that one night and man, is it hard! Since they went home yesterday, I just caved last night and let him stay up until 11. Not a permanent solution, that's for sure.
So what I am going to do? Well, either hope he gets over the novelty of climbing out (like Clara did, for the most part) and go back to how it used to be. If that doesn't happen, I guess we're looking at putting their crib mattresses on the floor in Clara's room (remember, his room has a guest bed that we're not interested in removing) and taking out almost everything else they could play with or climb on. If not for Luke, Clara could probably handle a regular toddler bed in her regular toddler room. But I feel like I have to bring it all down to his level since they are sharing.
But... here is where the conundrum gets even more complicated. See, there's this little problem that we're dealing with over here. It turns out that Clara has taken to biting Luke when they're alone in her room.
It happened a few times before we even put two-and-two together. Basically, I started spotting bite marks all over his body and then remembered seeing her do something to him on the monitor (which led him to scream out in pain) after she jumped in his crib during nap time. And we're pretty sure that at least two of the times he was sleeping. Then, yesterday, I caught her moments after it happened (he was awake for this one) and this time I was prepared.
It's been difficult to discipline since, for the most part, we realized so far after the fact. But she has gotten in trouble, and she and I have talked about it a lot. I'm just not sure what the cause is (since we're not in there at the time so it's probably not attention-related, nor is it over a toy [he was sleeping], and she seems to love having him in there with her, crying out his name when he's not), so it's hard to know how to change the behavior. By all accounts, she absolutely adores her brother. There are the normal sibling squabbles, but she has never, ever bitten him or anyone else in front of me. The only thing I can come up with is that even though she thinks she wants him in her room, she does resent losing her private time to play in her crib. I could always tell that was important to her. I mean, Luke is all up in her business a lot. A girl needs her space.
Anyway, that makes me nervous about putting them both, crib-less, in her room.
Does anyone have any experience with a young toddler climbing out? Or a child biting a sibling for no apparent reason, only when they're alone? I welcome advice on this little situation we are dealing with over here! Hopefully, a solution will present itself, or one or both behaviors will just stop. Until then, I'm just crossing my fingers that we won't have to make any trips to the doctor!