One of the weirdest joys about being a parent is the feeling of… fulfillment you get when you are woken up at 5am by your 17-month old daughter whose idea of an alarm clock is to stick her fingers up your nostrils as far as she can until you sit bolt upright wondering why you have a nosebleed. Why does she do this? Usually for a good 5am serving of cheerios.

Aside from having nose pain for a few hours, you can’t – as a parent – help thinking how clever your daughter is at a mere one-and-a-half years of age and conjecturing how far the strategy of sudden nostril-probing can get her in life.

You starting thinking things like, “If she can figure out what really wakes people up so young, think how powerful she’ll be when she’s older!” Then she hands you your glasses so you can get her some cheerios, and a tissue to stop your nosebleed.

Well, I have yet to get a tissue from the baby, but my hopes are high. Maybe she'll spot me one of her precious wipes.

If you’re wondering why a 17-month old can simply walk into my and my wife’s bedroom at 5 in the morning, it’s because we wisely, using the wisdom of the wise, decided to remove one of the walls of her crib so she could get out on her own. This was after months of her waking up at 5 in the morning screaming for cheerios from her crib, after which we recently decided to remove the crib wall and put cheerios and a sipee cup out in the hallway for her.

This was a decidedly bad idea, for the reasons that follow:

  1. We’d come into her room in the middle of the night sometimes only to find that she rolled off the crib face down on the rug, cheek all branded with rug-like patterns that looked like something out of the Wonderful World of Baby Goth.
  2. Instead of eating the cheerios left out for her she would throw them. We suspect this is because, after having been out all night, they would become stale. The baby likes her cheerios crisp and fresh. We’d tell her to put them in the microwave for a 30 seconds to crisp them up, but we learned in one of those “Expectations to Expect when You’re Expecting to Expect” books that babies and microwaves don’t mix, and man should never play God except when expecting.
  3. She’d stick her fingers up my nose anyway when she was done throwing the cheerios. So we kept the wall down, and instead put a few cushions on the rug so when she fell she’d break her fall on something soft.

As to the other issue, I’m currently looking around for good set of decently-priced nostril guards.