Phoebe sleeps in her own bed. She has always slept in her own bed. Recently, however, she began showing us that she didn't like that plan so much.
Because our home is rather tight on bedrooms (3 of them for 9 people) we tend to get creative with our sleeping arrangements. For Phoebe this means going to bed in a pack-n-play at the foot of our bed until we can transfer her to a crib in her own room. Why can't she simply start in her own room, you ask? Because she goes to bed when her sisters are still awake, and would never actually fall asleep if she could watch their antics. She also must nap in our room so that the other four girls can have access to their bedroom during the day.
But I digress.
This system was working excellently until a few weeks ago when Phoebe discovered that she could fold the bottom pack-n-play "mattress" into a triangle, and made a fairly handy step stool out of her playpen and onto our bed. The first time it happened caught me quite by surprise. I was sitting on the couch in the living room when I thought I heard the fast-busy sound of the phone when it has been left off the hook too long. Sure enough, I checked the phone (on the table immediately to my left) and the screen indicated that it was in use. Funny, since I am the only one old enough to use the phone without permission. I took a quick mental count of my children, and their locations.
Leah & Mary: littlest pet shop
Josiah & Phoebe: naps
Then I heard Phoebe babbling from my room. In her preverbal ranting I could easily make out the intonations of a conversation. I slipped down the hallway to see what had her gander, only to be met with a peek at an empty playpen. Pushing the door open wider, I saw Phoebe sitting contentedly on my bed chatting away on the phone while it beeped back angrily. She saw me and grinned. My entire nightstand was a disarray of books and papers. Christopher's alarm clock was missing entirely from the other side of the bed. Someone had been busy.
Laughing, I scooped her up and took her out of the room. Nap was obviously not going to happen that day. Oh well, I thought, she just wasn't tired. She'll sleep tomorrow.
Ha! I seriously doubt I need to elaborate on the last two weeks.
And so my story reaches tonight. Up until this time we always managed to win the game by either: a) taking her out of the room until she was more tired, or b) redepositing her into the pack-n-play until she stayed in it. This evening it seemed that route b was the winning ticket. She eventually fussed at the grievous misfortune of being forever daunted in her quest for freedom, but the room silenced soon enough, and we knew she was asleep.
Christopher went in to transfer her. The first thing he noticed was the dark room. We always keep a small light on to help us see through the transfer process, but for some reason it was not lit. Then he bent over the pack-n-play, and there was no one inside. Startled, he shot a glance around the room until, his eyes adjusting the dim light, he saw Phoebe.