Whenever folks are looking at others’ mental capabilities or deficiencies, you often get the comparison of chimps and their ability to use tools. You know the example: chimp uses stick to coax ants out of an ant pile so that he can eat them. Little children are like this as well, as I’m learning.
Stella has episodes where she’s convinced that something wonderful is on a higher-level surface. As such, she will do what she must to explore this surface. She used to just get on her tip-toes and blindly flail around until she encountered something grab-able. When you consider that she’s 3 feet tall with very long arms, the kid has some reach. We have been constantly adjusting objects on counters in order to avoid catastrophes. In the case of my kitchen island which is reachable from 2 sides there is only about a 1.5” strip of space that one can place an object without it being accessible to sticky little fingers. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen my daughter streak by with a marker, iPhone, onion, pair of underwear that I had considered “safe” and out of reach.
As if that hasn’t been challenging enough, she has now finally figured out that as a member of our genus and species, she is capable of manipulating her environment. It started with her little plastic chairs. I wondered how long that would take, as she dragged them all over the place for the longest time. But only recently has she put 2 and 2 together, that if you drag the chair to the edge of the counter, stand on said chair, the sky is literally the limit. The chairs have been banished. Some are outside, some are in the vomitorium (i.e. the cat room).
I have since had to confiscate all manner of toys which she has designated as reach extenders; her wooden popcorn popper is now in the vomitorium. Just the other day I got a big box from diapers.com and had given her the box to play in. At 10 that night, the cats decided they wanted to hop in it and scratch around. I got up and flipped the box over to keep the stupid beasts out. In the morning, I found Stella standing on the box clanking the gin bottle around next to the bar area. How that poor box was supporting her 31 pounds is beyond me. The box was quickly broken down and banished.
So here’s a question to the other parents out there: What the hell did you do? When previous methods will no longer keep the small ones out of stuff, what’s left? I am literally out of spaces to put things where they’ll be out of reach, and that reach gets longer by the week. I’m thinking of renting one of those PODs to store our belongings until Stella (and I guess Baby Y, since I’m sure this will happen then as well) are old enough to understand – or heed- the word “no.”