I've often said I'm going to keep him in his crib as long as I possibly can. He's way too energetic to go to sleep voluntarily, and I've never seen him lay his head down and fall asleep on his own. Not since he was about 5 months old. He has to be confined in his crib before he'll settle down and go to sleep for either his nap or bedtime.
Well, the other night, he keep wanting to lay down in our bed after he had his jammies on. He'd keep saying "sleep" and pull the blanket over him. So I told him okay, he could go to sleep in our bed, if he would actually stay there. I even brought in his blankies, his sea horse, and his bottle of water. I went back to the kitchen and about 10 seconds later, I heard the pitter patter of little feet.
I told him to go back to bed, and he ran back into the bedroom and climbed into our bed. I walked out again, and another 10 seconds later, he's in the hallway. So I sent him back to bed, and this time, I waited just outside our bedroom door, looking through a crack in it. As soon as he put his feet on the ground, I opened the door and said "back to bed." We did this about 10 more times, until I finally gave up and told him he had to go to sleep in his crib.
Honestly, that's exactly how I expected it would go, and I didn't mind at all. I thought it was cute. I wondered if he was amazed that I could always figure out exactly when he had gotten out of bed, but he may not be that sophisticated yet.
We haven't attempted a repeat experiment, but I'm thinking about his big boy bed and how to rearrange his bedroom now.