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.