i bet that was a nice surprise for your parents!
we're the weirdos who do the family bed, extended nursing, etc. stuff so no crib climbing stories here. we haven't owned a crib in years. i can't stand to hear babies cry either, and i love those snuggles. might as well take them while i still can. if the 2 year old isn't going to sleep, but i know he's tired, i will let him cry a bit after everything else has failed. but usually not alone, because that always ends up being counterproductive. if he's being a real pill, i kick him off the bed and then he comes back up a little more cooperative and settles down.