El Monito

My baby is determined to kill himself.

He’s been climbing lately – like he climbs more often than I walk. (And he can’t walk – which means he definitely climbs more often than he walks.) He climbs up onto the futon, he climbs all over the coffee table (I use “coffee table” here as a loose translation for “that army chest we plunked in the middle of the living room), and he does his darnedest to climb up onto the bed. He tries to climb the drawer handles in the hallway. The other night, when he was tired, Ethan caught him trying to climb into his crib.

The most difficult part of this is instilling in him a proper fear and respect for gravity. I have no problem with my little monkey learning how to climb. I refer to him as “Monito,” (“Little Monkey”), and I’m rather proud of his newfound abilities, especially compared with the motionless blob of diaper that he was just over half a year ago. No, my problem with the climbing is more in the falling.

He started out by falling off the bed. Ethan and I have a fairly standard, double-sized bed. It stands about two to three feet off the ground, which isn’t that far to fall, unless you’re only two feet tall. El Monito has mastered the edge of the bed; after falling to his doom one too many times, he has grown wary of it.

The high chair, however, is a different story. He’s only fallen out of that one a few times, and he hasn’t quite associated it with the warning bells that the edge of the bed set off in his head. It has a seat belt (which he hates), but I don’t usually belt him in, because he usually sits reasonably still while eating (and because he hates it).

Last night, while I was cooking, I scooted his high chair up near the countertop so he could watch (and not cry). He immediately climbed out of the high chair and onto the counter. So I scooted the chair back so he couldn’t reach the counter. He turned to the side and climbed the dish drainer.

I scooted the high chair back into the very center of the room, where he couldn’t reach anything. He spun like a top in dizzy circles, trying to find anything he could climb on. Finding nothing, he just kept spinning while I cooked. I got the rice all put together, seasoned, and in the rice cooker, closed the lid, and heard a crash.

The baby had dive-bombed onto the tile, head-first, in a desperate attempt to find something to climb. I picked up my screaming child, turned on the rice cooker, and went to go sing some songs while he cried it off. ♦

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