This world. This place. This life.

School of hard knocks, baby version


When we took Willa to her six-month check up, one of the questions I had for Dr. Kiehl was about crib bumpers. Specifically, breathable ones.

She listened patiently while I explained that Willa was getting her feet caught between the slats in her crib, and crying because she couldn’t get unstuck.

She kept listening while I explained that the interwebs say regular bumpers are bad (SIDS risk), but that there are these breathable ones that are supposed to be okay and . . . .

She finally interrupted me and said, “You can buy them if you want. Or you could let her learn how to get herself unstuck.”


Oh yeah.

Keep it simple.

Let her learn.

Let her learn, even if it’s the hard way.

Don’t shelter her from experience.


Willa started crawling last week, and her mobility is increasing exponentially. She’s fast, and she’s determined. If it’s in her way, she’ll keep working until she gets around it, or over it.

Even if she face plants or bonks her head.

Sometimes it’s really hard to watch.

It’s hard to change her diaper in the morning and see that her cute little knees are still red and chapped from the previous day’s adventures.

And then today I left her in her crib while I went to the bathroom.

What I saw when I came back took my breath away:


For the first time, she had grabbed hold of the top rail of her crib, and pulled herself up to standing.

I have a strong, fearless daughter, and she is exactly the child I need.

I’m a dreamer—and she pushes me to pay attention.

I’m a worrier—and she teaches me to keep her safe, and let the rest go.

Tonight, we’ll lower the crib mattress. And then I’ll try not to think about her standing there, because I need all the sleep I can get.

3 thoughts on “School of hard knocks, baby version

  1. If it helps you sleep better…

    A. pulled herself up once. I dropped the crib, and she hasn’t done it since. Of course, it’s only a matter of time…

  2. A friend learned that her baby could roll over when she put him in the middle of the queen-size bed, left him for a few minutes, and heard the thump of C hitting the floor. Who knew that the first time he turned over, he’d turn over and over and over?

    I’d gently unstick a child who got her foot stuck, if she couldn’t unstick it within a minute. But they are so resilient. We guard them from life-threatening dangers and don’t worry about the chapped knees and head bonks. They are born resilient in more ways than one. C is a thriving teenager now.

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