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Dilemma of the week: Big boy bed for Alex before the baby comes? (Plus, my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Halloween…)

I’ve heard over and over again how you’re not supposed to make any major changes with your first child right before your second one is born. I’m actually using this little gem as my excuse to not potty train Alex in the next two months (we try, he’s done it occasionally but frankly I’m too tired to put in the effort right now). I was also hoping it meant I could keep Alex in a crib for a while. He is a great sleeper, has plenty of room in there, and has never even tried to escape. That is, until this past Saturday. Halloween was a pretty awful day for me, actually. I want to tell you the whole story so bear with me….

At around 1 p.m., Nick and his mom went out shopping while I was putting Alex down for his nap. I'd planned to spend the next 2.5-3 hours relaxing. Not so much. After reading our usual 20 minutes or so of books, I kissed Alex, put him down and left the room. He popped up and started screaming for more books, for me, for Go Diego Go. It is pretty unlike him to protest sleep (it was probably the Skittles he’d been eating all day and the fact that I’d promised him we’d go trick-or-treating when he woke up) so after a few minutes I went back in, read some more, plopped him in his crib, and handed him Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I didn’t have time to deal because the blinds guy was now downstairs fixing our valance, and I needed the kid to nap. I can count on one hand the days of his life where he hasn’t, and it’s never pretty.

Fast forward about 20 minutes. Alex was quiet, the blinds guy left and I started cleaning up the kitchen from lunch. Well, it was a gusty, blustery day here on Long Island and all of a sudden the gazebo we have in our backyard blew 10 feet in the air and came crashing down into the side of the house. It was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz and I saw the whole thing happen in what seemed like slow motion. I vaguely remember Alex screaming, “Mommy, what was that??!!” but I was too panicked to respond. I just ran outside and then back inside for the phone and then back outside. The blinds guy was still in the driveway so I called to him for help and we got the gazebo off the house. I surveyed the damage -- no broken windows, but a few holes punched in the siding. Argh. I started crying. Then I called my sisters, who were nearby, so they could come over and help me get this thing far enough away from my house so it couldn't wreak any more havoc. (Before they got here I quickly ran inside and listened to Alex's monitor and heard nothing -- score!) I also called Nick, who was at Brooks Brothers of all places, and not nearly as sympathetic to my plight as I wanted him to be. Argh.

When my sisters left, I went back into the house, heart still racing, super pissed about the damn gazebo, and decided I’d better check on Alex. He was still quiet so I assumed he’d just read himself to sleep, but because I’d been outside for a while I wanted to be sure. I tiptoed up to his room and cracked the door. I looked over at his crib and there were all of his blankets but…no Alex. My head spun around the room and…no Alex. I ran to the crib and pressed down the blankets to be sure he wasn’t just lying really flat in there. OMG. My first thought was that the blinds guy took him. My heart literally stopped. I ran out of his room and, I think, screamed, “Alex!!!” but before I could unravel any more, the door to the guest room opened and there he was with a guilty grin on his face. “Hi Mom, I pooped,” was all he said.

So, Alex can now get out of his crib. Which means big boy bed, right? Nick and I are thinking we might be able to eke out a few more weeks in the crib while we get his new room ready (the circumstances surrounding Saturday’s incident were extenuating to say the least…and when we asked him to show us how he got out, he really couldn’t) but I’m nervous. What if he had fallen out and hit his head? What if he walked out the front door while I was in the backyard? What if he ate my mother-in-law’s prescriptions while he was hanging out in the guest room pooping? UGH.

We have a little over two months before the baby comes to get this situation under control. So I need your help: Any tips for the big boy bed transition? Oh, and did your kids climb out of their cribs (and was it this traumatic for you as well)? I don’t think my heart rate has come down yet….