Today was a big day. Today I woke up and decided that Miss 18 months was now old enough to use her magnetic alphabet for a more suitable purpose than just chewing on the letters. Her auntie bought her an amazing set of Melissa & Doug wooden alphabet magnets for Christmas last year. (I love wooden toys!) We have taken them out of their case a few times but she only wanted to chew on them. She has been getting more and more coordinated and brilliant every day so I thought that she might really enjoy trying these out.
As she ate her breakfast in her booster seat, I excitedly cleaned the front of the fridge in preparation. It needed to be done. She has an incredible ability to push her feet off of the kitchen table while in her seat and slide her seat backwards across the floor so she is within arms length of the fridge. That being said, the fridge door and especially the handle end up with all sorts of gooey, sticky, saucy, milky, filthy hands all over it. So, today was also a big day for the fridge. I finally got a chance to clean that $**! up. I happily scrubbed then polished the front of the fridge while chatting with Miss 18 months about how much fun her alphabet magnets were going to be while she munched on a banana.
Mr. 7 months old woke up from his nap just as Miss 18 months old finished her breakfast. Perfect timing. I brought him down and sat him in his high chair and served him up some Cheerios. Real Cheerios. I bought him organic “Cheerios” on the weekend in an attempt to be a better mom and offer him healthier food choices since Hubby has been obsessing (rightfully so) over GMOs in Cheerios. They were $9. I gave them to Mr. 7 months old once and he nearly choked to death with every “O” because they are way harder and don’t dissolve as easily as the GM-Ohs. The search for a healthier option continues. I have never read labels and articles about food manufacturing as much as I have since becoming a mom. Nourishing little bodies is a huge responsibility. I digress.
Once the fridge is all shined up, I move around some baby gates to ensure my little girl will be trapped inside the kitchen instead of outside. (We have stairs at the back of our kitchen and then a set of stairs going up and a set of stairs going down in the foyer just outside of the kitchen that are impossible to gate off so we rely on fencing in our living room instead so that she can’t get near any stairs.) I open the case to the alphabet magnets and she excitedly cheers as babies do (arms flapping as she squeals “eee eee eee eee.” I start taking the magnets out one by one and watch how enchanted she becomes with their ability to stick to the fridge. She starts to mimic me and quickly figures out that the magnetized side must be placed against the fridge for it to work. She carefully sticks each one to the fridge. Then stops at the lower case letter “I.” She hands that one to me. I politely say “thank you” and stick it on the fridge. She sees me stick it on the fridge and pulls it off and hands it back to me. Odd. She continues to stick her magnets to the fridge and shift them around. I continue to stick the lower case “I” on the fridge when she isn’t looking and she continues to pull it off and hand it to me as soon as she notices it. I decide she is trying to say “I” love you and think she is the sweetest girl in the whole wide world.
After many, many milliseconds of being entertained by these magnets, she realizes that she is in unexplored territory. She starts checking out her new surroundings. Even though I swept the floor after she ate her breakfast, she crawls under the table and finds an abandoned part of a cheerio. She crawls back out and hands it to me. I’m happy she offered it to me rather than putting it in her own mouth. She walks to the side of the fridge. As I cut up some banana for Mr. 7 months, I hear a familiar clatter. It is the sound of the piece of wood we use to secure our patio doors at night. The wood that she pulled out of the patio doors yesterday and held over her head as she ran across the living room. I had confiscated it and hid it out of reach and sight on the other side of the gate behind the fridge. Well played. It now feels like the walls are closing in. There are no “out of bounds” areas.
She opens every cupboard door making me realize I shouldn’t have anything “breakable” in there and should also get some better cupboard door locks. She opens the garbage can and sticks her whole arm in up to her arm pit. She stands on her toes and checks out the surface of the kitchen counter. While I attempt to stay one step ahead of her and clear the counters (aka push all the mess to the back out of reach), she discovers that her tiny fingers can fit in the space between the fridge and the counter and she can carefully pull on the cord to our ipod dock that is trapped in between. I quickly dart in her path to free the cord from her grip by peeling back her fingers one by one. As I try to straighten it out and get it tucked out of her sight, she stands behind me by the sink saying “cheese! cheese! cheese!” I think to myself “Don’t tell me she has managed to find the smallest, grossest, little crumb of cheese!” as I fish the cord back into its tiny crack. I turn around. No, she hasn’t found cheese. She has found the cheese grater and has managed to reach up and pull it out of the drying rack on the counter. While I am impressed that she was able to make the connection between the grater and cheese, I’m also pouncing at record speed to get the cheese grater away from her before some sort of tragedy ensues. It’s pretty easy to decide what’s a potential tragedy and what isn’t by thinking ahead to decide if it is something I don’t want to have to explain at the E.R. “Well she was playing with a cheese grater… Well she was walking around with a 3 foot long 2×4… Well she ate some unidentifiable something off of the kitchen floor…Well she was running up and down the back of the couch and…”
I start clearing out the drying rack and putting away all the dry dishes thinking this isn’t so bad. Those dishes would have sat there all day if Miss 18 months wasn’t kicking my ass for me giving me reason to put them away immediately. As I turn to put a couple of pots in the cupboard I hear a rattling and then a squeal. Baby Hercules has decided to sit under her baby brother’s high chair, both arms in the air holding on to it and rapidly shake it back and forth scaring the crap out of him. She laughs hysterically.
To Whom it May Concern:
The terrible twos have mistakenly arrived 6 months early in this household. Please rectify this situation immediately.
Mr. 7 months old spit up all over himself and all over his high chair tray. I run up the stairs to his nursery to grab a receiving blanket to clean him up. As I do, I hear a crash! bang! boom! followed by silence. Silence is never good. Crash followed by crying = I hope you are just scared and not hurt but if you’re hurt, hopefully you’re not hurt too badly. Crash followed by silence = Oh my Gosh! She has killed him. And herself. How? Oh my Gosh! She must have pulled the china cabinet over on top of them both. (The china cabinet that is in my kitchen because our dining room is now a play room.) After a split-second of literally freezing in my tracks, cringing, holding my breath wondering what the heck that noise was, I come down the stairs to face my fears.
Baby Boy is okay. He’s obviously afraid for his life that I would leave his “big” sister in charge for 4 seconds but he’s otherwise fine. Miss 18 months is also petrified. In the seconds that I was out of the room she had discovered the pantry. I forgot about the damn pantry. It’s really not that exciting to me so it didn’t even cross my mind. It’s just a big huge cupboard rammed full of crap we never should have bought in the first place. She had opened the door and pulled all sorts of cans and jars out on to the floor. Thankfully none of them broke.
I start picking them up as she tries to help me by handing me jars of homemade applesauce. Cute. Kinda.
We actually have a childproof lock on the pantry door. We just don’t set it that often since we usually don’t have babies running free in the kitchen. Actually I use it 100% more often for holding the pantry doors closed when Hubby fills it with way too many boxes of crackers. He has a Triscuit obsession. He thinks it is not only acceptable but necessary to have at least 8 different boxes of crackers open at one time and stack them like a Jenga game inside the pantry when he runs out of room.
I lock the pantry door and then realize how frickin’ dangerous it is to be throwing Mr. 7 month old’s sweet potatoes in the preheated oven while Miss 18 months old is on the loose. I lift her over the gate, out of the kitchen and back into the safe, baby-proofed living room. I hear “kumbyah” playing in my head. All is well in the world.
While Mr. 7 months old is happily playing with a teething ring in the high chair, I decide to take the opportunity for a much needed pee break (with the door open of course so I can still monitor babyland.) As I reach for the toilet paper, I hear footsteps coming up the stairs. What the….
In my hurry to not pee my pants (I clean up enough of that in a day without creating more messes myself), I didn’t check to make sure the baby gate on the other side of the living room was locked. Miss 18 months had escaped and (thankfully) decided to climb upstairs to follow me rather than down.
I must say she is doing well on the stairs. I also must say this is the weirdest thing ever to watch as you’re taking a quick pee. A quick reminder that this job has no breaks.
Needless to say, my gates are back where I left them. While the alphabet magnets are fun and all, they really aren’t worth the stress and hazards that an 18 month old running free in the kitchen can cause and find.
The kitchen is closed. Sorry. Please come again!
Oh… and I have no idea why I cleaned and polished the fridge. 15 minutes with an 18 month old and a sippy cup of milk and it’s covered in fingerprints and milk splatter. That was pointless. 🙂
Oh… and Miss 18 months managed to smuggle the lower case “I” into the living room when I lifted her over the gate. As I sat down to breastfeed Mr. 7 months, she walked over and handed it to me again. What the heck!
andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please click “follow” at the top or like my page on facebook to be the first to know of future posts. Thanks for reading! xo