Thing 3

Lock Up Your Children. And Mine.


This kid…this kid is unlike any other kid I’ve had before. Both of them. He’s unlike the previous two before him. And it’s going to be the death of me.

He is going to be the kid that climbs out of his crib. He’ll be the one I turn my head on for 14 seconds allowing him time to scale the bookshelf. He’ll be the one who skateboards and skydives. He knows no fear and has an unquenchable thirst for adventure. He hates the stroller because it confines him and he already wants to run everywhere. He. Will. Kill. Me. You just watch.

I know some of you have told me stories of your own adrenaline-addicted monkeys. I come to you now and ask you to help me. Tell me what I need to fear the most. Tell me how to keep him protected from himself. And most of all, tell me how to DYE THE GRAY HAIRS THAT ARE ALREADY SHOWING UP.

23 thoughts on “Lock Up Your Children. And Mine.”

  1. Anchor your bookcases to the wall (ours already were because of earthquake safety). The bathroom is what really scares me: my daughter’s new favorite trick is to get her toes onto the little ledge at the top of the bathtub before the sliding shower door, and then she hangs onto the towel rack on the door and pulls herself along. SO NOT SAFE.

    And if you have any chance to sign him up for a little toddler gymnastics, go for it. We do one through our rec department (a private gymnastics place is more likely to be working-parent friendly with weekend classes I would guess), and it gives me 45 minutes a week in which she can do all her stunts over mats, so I’m not chasing after her saying no, and she gets to experiment and enjoy herself. I also like to think it teaches her a bit about climbing and balancing in safer ways.

    Also: wine. I find wine helps.

  2. I have one of those too. Mine was taking flying leaps off the arm of the sofa during his Early Intervention assessment. I was afraid they would report me to child services. There is nothing I can do to stop him. He’s pretty darn strong for a two year old as well. I have about 12 heart attacks when we go to the playground. Seeing your 2 year old walking across a beam on the jungle gym ABOVE YOUR HEAD is enough to turn all your hair gray. Which is why I have regularly scheduled visits at my salon. Every 6 weeks.

    I just realized that I gave you no advice at all there. Sorry, wish I knew how to bubble wrap them.

  3. No joke, I have one of those too. He is #3 of 4 and I think at 2 years old he’s already killed me mentally. I can’t wait for what is to come.


  4. Maybe it’s the May 2008 babies? My #2 son is the same way. Exceedingly good natured, with a smile for everyone, he’s still the more mischievous of my boys. Just the other day, the Hubster said this one was going to be just plain “bad” for the sake of being bad when he grew up. I have to concur. He’s already had more accident reports for bumps and bruises sent home from daycare in his first year than my 3 1/2 year old has had ever.

    The kicker of it? No matter what — good, bad, ugly — he smiles through it all!

  5. Oooh, I’ve got one!

    When he stands up in that rocker and starts using it as a surfboard after you SPECIFICALLY FORBADE HIM NOT TO, do not suddenly yell at him.

    He *might* dive off, and break his fall with his forehead and make bruises that resemble child abuse because you startled him.

    He might. Not that I would know or anything.

  6. I have the same concerns about my son who is turning 1 next week, so I hope someone else can give me advice also. He also smiles through it all, while I tell him “NO” he shakes his head, smiles and keeps on doing it, with no regard for his personal safety! GRR!

  7. My cousin used to wrestle out of any grip I had on him. I would hold him and he would Houdini himself out of it within two seconds. I was always amazed by it. Of course, when he did fall or hurt himself, he was smart enough to run back to my arms for comfort, before crawling out again.

  8. Feria by Loreal. Number 67 is a lovely auburn. I get compliments all the time on my “naturally” red hair.

    I get even more compliments on my delightfully bright, articulate, giving, pre-med 21-year-old daughter. But when she was a toddler I wasn’t sure she would survive childhood.

    She walked at 8.5 months and at a year loved to scale our upright piano. We baby-proofed all we could but had to accept that she would get more than her fair share of bruises. One thing we did was install a thick layer of pea gravel under our swing set so if she fell she was less likely to get hurt, and insisted on helmets when she biked or skated. I’m also a big believer in anchoring furniture to the walls, and in cushioning any sharp corners and edges.We lived without a coffee table because it was just too much of a hazard.

    You have my sincere sympathy. It’s hard to keep up with a lively little one. If it makes you feel any better, my daughter mellowed out as she got older and by age five or so was no longer a thrill-seeker.

  9. Erm, I have no kids, but I have a dog! Anyway, is that the “Quick Edge Burn?” I love it, whatever it is. It adds such focus and drama to images.

    Also, just to continue my stalker-like tendencies: I love the pictures with your new lens! I’ve been eying the same one (for my very, very old and permanently-dirty D-50) for months now. The SOOC shots from that are amazing, and I am so, so jealous.

  10. Sorry, Zoot! I don’t have children and therefore no words of wisdom.

    I love the natural light on this shot.

  11. I guess the only way to get around it is to join in! What kid wouldnt love to say that he went skydiving with his mum?

  12. My daughter (I think she’s 3 days younger than AndyZ) is also going to be the death of me. She did in fact launch herself out of her crib this past weekend and nearly gave me a heart attack. I was shaking for a good 30 minutes and didn’t put her down for most of the day. Then of course, when I did put her down, she ran forehead first into a wall while crawling. I’m glad she likes to cuddle, because she was pretty much forced to all day.

  13. My daughter (now 7) was once found at age 3 scaling the kitchen cabinets in an attempt to mount the refrigerator. No kidding. She wanted to retrieve something-a cat, a ball, who knows!
    Today she is still a bundle of energy, dancing, bike riding, running everywhere! But she is also more carefree and happy go lucky than my son (13) who worried about everything. He had anxiety at 5 about moving away from home for college! Where will I live? How will I eat? LOL
    That adventurous spirit will serve him well in the future. In the meantime, secure ANYTHING that could fall on him (bookshelves and televisions etc to the wall!

  14. More trips to the playground to give him a suitable outlet for his climbing tendencies? Maybe provide something suitable for climbing? A small climb & slide thing by Step 2 or Little Tikes for inside so he has someplace to play that is relatively safe while you make dinner and take care of other household chores (I’m thinking inside because our good weather months up here in NJ would keep us from using it much and I don’t let my kids outside without an adult).

    My SIL runs a daycare out of her house and every time she turns around her daughter has climbed up onto the table where they eat, do art projects, etc. She just keeps taking her off and telling her we don’t climb on tables. My kids hate being confined to a stroller or shopping cart when we were out. We have rules about parking lots and safety in stores that I’ve recited a gazillion times (parking lot rules: safety first, hold hands in the parking lot). Lil’bug is 3-1/2 and I still say it more times than not.

    Just be consistent and keep repeating the rules calmly. Eventually he’ll get it and grow out of it. Every so often I need to raise my voice so they know I mean business. It usually pulls them up short to prevent an accident.

  15. Anjali is like this! She insists on me doing “underdogs” while she is swinging in the BABY SWING. Arun? FREAKS OUT. Also, this past weekend, Anju insisted on WALKING BY HERSELF in Marvel cave at Silver Dollar City. Argh.

    I will be stalking these comments for ideas.

  16. I also have the monkey child, who gives me frights nearly every hour. We got the Step2 Kangaroo Klimber (I think that’s the name?) which has foot holds on both sides, a slide and is the right size for toddlers. When we move it will go outside, but currently it’s in my dining room (while the dining room furniture is pushed to the side).

    I second getting rid of the coffee table, soon they learn to push it to use as a ladder. We’ve turned our loveseat towards the wall when we have no guests, so he can’t use it to climb on either.

    I would attach everything to the wall, we’re planning on doing that once we move into our new house in 2 weeks. There’s even a strap you can get to hold a TV to the wall.

  17. Mine got out of his crib the first time at 10 months. We had to buy a contraption that was intended to keep cats out of the crib to keep him in until we were convinced he’d stay in a toddler bed. He had fallen down the stairs (all of them) at least 6 or 7 times before he was five. He had 7 stitches in his head at age six.

    He is my insane child and sometimes I think that it is only by the Grace of God that he has not killed himself yet.

    I have no real advise. Just an understanding of what you are going through. Hopefully your little guy will end up with the same amazing imagination and social abilities as mine has. I think that it goes along with his wild side. He is not afraid of much and I think because of that, he will be able to achieve whatever he wants to in life. I’ll take some bumps and bruises along the way for that.

  18. I don’t have an adrenaline-addicted monkey myself, but one of my son’s friends at daycare is just such a kid. And at a birthday party a few weeks back, his mom was pointing out to us a long red mark on his neck–where he’d nearly hung himself, climbing up on the window sill and falling with his head & neck stuck on the windowshade cord (which was sturdily wrapped around one of those cleat-things on the wall). He couldn’t reach the cord from the floor, but once he started climbing, it was a real danger. If they hadn’t found him when they did. . .

    SO, my recommendation is to make sure that cords & such are out of reach of anything Andy can climb on, not just from what he can reach from the floor.

    I feel for you. Good luck!

  19. Streets. Crossing streets. The need to look both ways, not just listen for traffic. The need to not cross the street until he leaves for college. (Conversations my son and I have been having for the past 4 years, since he turned 3.)

    Also, no playing Superman, kid, I mean it.

  20. Although this entry refers to security, I’ll talk about something else. This picture is fantastic. Way to go Zoot.

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