I cannot figure out how to keep her from figuring out stuff she shouldn’t be figuring out.
She HAS to see what I’m doing when I’m at the stove, chopping or cooking or just using it as counter space to prepare a bowl of cereal. Whatever it is I’m doing up there, she has to see. She would climb up and use the drawer handle as a step and hold on to the door handle, which, especially when she got heavier, became very scary. In fact, one time before I could stop her, the door fell open on her and she smushed her toe.
So she got a chair.
That worked wonderfully for a very long time. She would stand in her chair near the stove and was happy watching me do whatever, and she even had her own safe little counter space where I would put snacks, such as pieces of whatever I was cutting up. We were both very happy with this set up.
Then she discovered she could move the chair. She would push it over to other counter spaces, which had not been made so child friendly, and wrecked all kinds of havoc in our kitchen.
She even got to the point of, she would first drag the mat from in front of the sink all the way into the kitchenette, then push her chair to the sink so she could play with the dishes.
I’ve tried moving the chair to another room, replacing the mat in front of the sink, and whatever else I can think of, but she continues to figure it all out so that she can stand up there, bang dishes together, pour icky water everywhere, put clean dishes from the drying rack back into the sink, and even drink the icky dish water off of spoons or bowls while exclaiming, “mmmm!”
Therefore, my toddler is smarter than my ability to outsmart her.
However, I have creativity on my side! And a willingness to endure catastrophes on the floor!
I fetched the blow-up pool from the back porch, cleaned it up, and set it on the kitchen floor. I went to grab a tub of plastic balls to turn it into a ball pit, but before I had even managed that she had seen the opportunities, come down from her high perch by the kitchen sink, and began filling it with dishes from her own kitchen. So it was a ball-dish pit.
The best part was I was able to go back to work, until I heard a large clang and had to reprimand her to not throw her dishes. She has been told numerous times not to throw her toys, and it appears it finally sank in. I said, “you can throw the balls, but not your dishes,” and she humbly obeyed.
Just because, I often sing about whatever I’m doing. It beats talking constantly to explain everything and build her vocabulary.
So I was cutting up apple slices for Aria and made a simple ditty of “Apples for Aria, apples for Aria..cutting up apples for Aria..”
And next to me I hear a little echo “bapples..Aria…bapples..Aria”
It was just too cute.
Aria likes to make up games now.
She talks near-constantly, when we’re home, so she has to come up with things to say, I guess. One of the things you’ll hear, either emanating from the back seat of the car, or through the baby monitor, or wherever, is a very sing-song, “yay Pappy… yay daddy..” and that list has grown to include “yay mum.. yay Aria.”
She was doing this in her bath last night, and I decided to add to her list, so she would say “yay Pappy” and I would respond “yay mum” to which she would respond “yay daddy” to which I added, “yay kitty.” She looked around for a minute, cogs turning in her little brain, and said, “yay door.”
The bath is a great place for games. The shark game we used to play, where I would sing the Jaws theme then nibble her neck with a foam shark, is now a game where she attacks me from the tub. She gets this very serious look on her face, moves her hands around a little, sings “duu duuu duu” then her hands attack my arms and I have to squeal. She gets a very big kick out of this.
She also tries to splash me, but hasn’t quite figured out the trick, so instead just smears water all over me.
Another great favorite, for all involved, is the jump on daddy game. Or, since she’s being raised Seuss style, Hop on Pop 🙂 This game started with her just plopping down on him, but she’s become more brave over the months and now her feet fly out and she lands full force onto Eric’s belly or chest.
She doesn’t always give him warning, either. I think the dramatic Star Wars music in the background really adds to this.
But the best is when Eric got her back:
We’ve already decided when she’s old enough she’s going to take gymnastics 🙂
Aria climbed out of her crib last night.
We had just finished the night night rituals, she was dressed, read to, sang to, rocked and ready..or so I thought. I lay her down in her crib, told her I loved her and goodnight, but she stood up and started crying that she wanted to be held more. After a typical 45 min routine, I was beat, so kissed her on the head and firmly declined. I turned to leave, walked the three steps to the door, turned to say one last goodnight, and there was my child dangling on the outside of the crib! I cried out, something like oh no, or oh my goodness, as I flew to the crib to grab her.
I’m not sure what made her cry, if it was that I had thwarted her escape, or that I had called out loudly and she thought I was mad, or if she had frightened or hurt herself in the attempt, but cry she did. I held her for a moment, lay her down again, then rushed out the door and closed it to a crack so it would be dark and discouraging. (Turning off all the lights in the kitchen/kitchenette is how I keep her out of there at night. Not that she’s afraid so much as she likes to be able to see when she gets into mischief.)
I grabbed the monitor and ran downstairs to tell Eric and watch the little screen to see if she tried it again. Thankfully she didn’t. Nor did she tonight or during her nap today. Instead, she figured out how to get past the blockade at the foot of the stairs, as well as figured out how to get over the baby gate into the study. And she was sooo proud of herself when she figured these things out, yelling and pointing, as if they had just been a test for her to pass. I’m actually hoping the crib thing scared her enough that she doesn’t try it again soon, because I really feel like that’s the safest place to leave her when showering or whatever. If it’s not that safe anymore, I’m not sure what I’ll do with her. She is becoming uncontainable.
I irritate my toddler when I:
- Try to help her pull on her pants
- Try to put a hairband or clip in her hair when she’s decided that today she will not wear anything in her hair, but would prefer to constantly brush it out of her eyes with the back of her hand
- Give her hugs when she is trying to play
- Don’t know which type of food she is referring to when she says, “cheese” and she is so clearly pointing at something in the wall of fridge, obviously right there.. no there.. no no, over there..
- Don’t remember which game we are supposed to be playing when she grabs my hands and looks at me all excitedly and expectantly
- Don’t draw the correct shape when we are coloring, or I don’t draw it in the correct spot
- Try to read one of the multitude of books that she brought to me but for some reason has since decided that no, not that book tonight, why would we want to read that one
- Try to give her kisses when she is trying to play
- Tell her she can’t do any number of things she is trying to do that would probably kill her or at least seriously injure her
- Try to brush her teeth when she’s still trying to brush them herself or is just chewing on the toothbrush
- Don’t squirt her with the correct bath toy
- Squirt her with a bath toy she just handed me
- Try to help her get the last bits of food out of her bowl with her spoon that she can’t seem to get herself.. but would rather try to get herself
- Take away a package of wipes or tissues that she was going to disassemble
- Don’t leave fast enough after she figures out we’re going “bye bye”, which is anytime we put socks then shoes on
- Try to make her eat the very last bite of food on her plate
- Attempt to eat that very last bite of food on her plate myself
- Try again to make her eat that very last bite of food on her plate
- Won’t let her have something sweet that she spotted and reeeaaallly wants
- Won’t let her turn the knobs on the tub so that she can make her water ice cold or scalding hot
- Get tired of falling down at the end of Ring Around The Rosie and don’t want to play anymore
- Don’t want her to pull up my shirt to see the “baby”
- Wear a hairband in my own hair, when she’s decided that neither she nor I will have anything in our hair today (mine gets ripped out when I get down to her level.. very unpleasant)